Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Upping it

The school leaving age has been raised to 17. I wonder whether this is really going to be of any advantage to young people who have no desire to be at school.
One of the problems is that we did away with the 'technical high schools'. It was done because of a philosophy that said ' all children have the right to go to university' - and then translating this into another philosophy which said, 'all children should (or even must) aim for university'.
This sort of foolishness meant that many trades were seen as inferior in the world of employment. We are now paying the price. We are short of tradespeople. We also have a sizeable group of disillusioned young people with no skills who are unable to obtain employment and are also equally unable to entertain themselves in a constructive fashion. Add new fears of litigation, imported largely from the United States, and we have an impssible situation.
Kevin Rudd seems more concerned about putting computers in schools than about education, especially the sort of education which might allow Australia to develop as a nation.
I would like to see far more emphasis on technical skills, the arts and languages such as Spanish. We need to acknowledge that by no means all children are academically inclined or interested in an Asian language irrelevant to their background and life experience past, present or future. On the other hand almost all children do take pride in creating something - the one thing that schools appear to discourage.

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