Education Reforms— I don’t understand the logic

Qld education Lots of stories this week about the Australian Governments new reforms, especially about taking money from higher education to put into school aged children.

Really, I have to ask. Who is happy with any of our education systems at present?

It seems odd to me to be removing funding from higher education when this is precisely where the children will end up to get the real world skills to actually make a living. After having three sons go through primary, secondary and now one at university I can’t say I have ever been happy with how they were taught. This is not so much about the people involved in their education, who on balance were dedicated and professional but more with the content is what I find alarming.

Schools have become very much the bastion of social engineering, at least that’s my experience in the Catholic system. I object strongly to having my kids told that the belief systems held by the Catholic education system ( or any other body especially Government) are right and any other thoughts are racist, sexist, discriminatory or any other label they choose. Not wanting to get into a debate about particular issues here today, I am a strong believer of the “there is always two sides to a story” and I am happy to hear it, no matter how distressing or offensive to some it might be. I particularly like an old quote that  says “history is always written by the winners” which means the truth is sometimes a loose article.

I think a lot of the concepts of education especially that of the classroom and schools is outdated and due for an overhaul. With that I would like to see more emphasis on  teaching our kids to be free thinkers, sceptical of the media narratives, inquisitive, entrepreneurial and dreamers. Too much emphasis is on forced-fed information and opinions and not enough on the screening  of this stuff. Not enough attention on the basics of reading, writing, maths and science. And certainly not enough on giving kids practical life skills.

Yes, I know this sounds old-fashioned but our kids are losing the ability to do stuff in their heads. Our world is so stimulating with all of the computers, TV, music and phone apps that are chewing gum for the eyes and ears. Kids conform without thinking critically to advertising, peer pressure, fads and “causes” never once realising they might be being  manipulated or mislead.

Which brings me back to funding. I say the focus is all wrong. Funding not’s the issue it should always be about results. Yes, we do need funding and even lots more should and could be spent on education. That goes doubly for health care. We could however throw 2 or 3 times more at education at all three levels but if the results are poor whats the point.

There have been many great men and women who stood up and educated themselves from the humblest of beginnings with little to no resources. Maybe we should be more into creating resources and infrastructure and let the public decide how to spend their money on what they see as their need. After all we do that now if we go into the private system looking for more stimulating and better education outcomes.

I say real reform will be in acknowledging the problems and seeing what a modern world truly needs. In my opinion the outcome should be a focus on producing flexible,  intelligent and free thinking individuals who can dream the big dreams the human race has been founded on. Not the small-minded, politically correct conformers who sit at home fed a steady diet of nonsense from so-called opinion leaders, spin doctors and advertisers. Re-enforced by a broken education system that says conform or you are a troublemaker.

Let me know what you think?

Cheers Michael

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