Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Educational reform aka Why hasn't this been done before?

Education reform has been a hot topic lately in reference to (or perhaps in opposition to) the whole Intelligent Design thing. But while we are busy arguing about giving our future generation the freedom of choice (but hopefully from a selection of valid options) it occurs to me that the one thing we are never educated in is the actual act of 'choosing'.

There are many things they allow you to do when you turn 16/18 or some other randomly selected age when, assumably, your basic education is complete.
They let you drive - but only after at least 6 months of lessons and a test or two. Or five. Even then you don't get the rights of a full driving licence for three whole years.
They let you have sex - the theoretical lessons have been going on since before puberty and you get your full licence straight away. Such a pity they haven't yet managed to incorporate more practical lessons in the scheme. Not because I'm perverted, but because so many young people need it! *giggle*
They let you drink - somehow everyone manages the home-learning curriculum for this.

They give you legal responsibility for yourself having equipped you with the necessary basics to interact with the rest of society - language communication (loosely referred to as 'English') and maths, a bit of science, a bit of history, a bit of music etc...

But then they MAKE you vote, without ever having taught you a single thing about politics or government or social economics or democratic responsibility. And if that isn't bad enough, you get your full licence straight away - your vote counts just as much as someone who has been politically active for years.
Enter the voting demographic of 'The Ignorant'. One of the most powerful demographics because it is simply the majority. Any political leader who can manipulate that group will win. And because they are ignorant, manipulation comes in the form of money. Taxes or services, it doesn't matter as long as it is money.

Perhaps this is the sole reason why compulsory political education in years 10 and 11 hasn't been instituted as yet. Ignorant masses are easier to control. In a democracy, the people have the power and they have a responsibility and obligation to wield it, but if you don't teach them how to fence with swords, the most they will ever wield is a slightly pointed stick.

I am, regretfully, of The Ignorant, and my attempts at the home-learning channel are hampered by the media and what they choose to say and what the people/parties choose to tell them. I resent having no sword. I know that if I lash my stick together with other people's pointy sticks we can put up a barricade of protest, but one person with a big sword can still send the country to war...

But here I lay down my pen, and leave it for you lot to debate.

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