Sunday, 29 May 2011


we don't need no thought control
actually roger waters was quite wrong about the first point
we do need education
what we don't need is school
a place where we lock up our kids
and isolate them from people of all other age groups and walks of life
england's got millions of young people
emerging from these prisons at the age of sixteen
after twelve years of compulsory schooling
with practically no useful skills whatsoever
and a dreadful fear and loathing of education
society wrings its hands
and wonders why these youngsters are so feckless
and unsuited to work
governments blunder around producing league tables
as if education were like football
more like apartheid, i'd say
schools for the wealthy
schools for the middle classes
and schools for the rest
so that children quickly learn to know their place in the pecking order
with the accession of every new government
more blundering fools attempt to rejig the system
like applying a sticking plaster to a gaping wound
untold billions of public revenue are wasted on this futile exercise
but the thing these goons don't understand is
an education is not something that can be imposed
a real education is something that needs to be actively acquired
by each individual in their own way and in their own time
i should know
i spent thirteen years at school
and three years at university
learning almost nothing except how not to learn
i got myself through my exams
by knuckling down on my own with some revision study guides
i was terribly unprepared for adulthood or the real world
it was only when i left the world of institutions
that i started to teach myself
so it goes
what young people need is not blind obedience
but the chance to learn for themselves
from their families and friends
their grandparents and their neighbours
from skilled and knowledgable role models in their own context
what can a class of thirty 7-year-olds learn
from one 24-year-old straight out of teaching college?
of course by locking up our young people for thirty-five hours a week
it frees their parents and carers to be full-time wage slaves
fuelling the public purse in order to nationalise private debt
and subsidise transnational corporations and arms manufacturers
someone must be benefiting from this dismal situation
or am i just being cynical?

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