Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Education, children and the State

In the midst of the manufactured pre-election furore in Britain at present over political patronage and Ofsted, where the Secretary of State for Education has been accused of plotting to appoint like-minded people to positions of influence -exactly what the last Government did on an industrial, even Gramscian, scale (all of which could remind us of the actions of 'liberals' in another walk of life - correction: in what areas don't 'progressives' act like this?)  - comes another spirited debate on government plans to extend the school day and drastically reduce the length of holidays.

This raises several interesting questions: given the largely 'progressive' bias of British education over the last few decades (not to mention the resistance of the present educational establishment to change) in what way can it be thought a good idea for our children to spend even more time being indoctrinated in the worship of the contemporary secular gods of 'equality and diversity,' and less time with their families, having what used to be known as a normal childhood and, given good fortune,  being encouraged to experience situations and ideas which may be outside the narrow educational curriculum but essential for the development of a well-rounded personality... ?

Add to that the extremely heavy handed and illiberal approach of the state school system (the imposition of fines without any system of appeal) towards parents who dare to take their children out of school on vacation [here], we have to ask the question as to the desirability of the increasingly unhealthy intrusion of modern government into our lives: does the State now believe it owns our children? 

It beggars belief that this is happening under an administration which is at least partly, if debatably, 'conservative' and, one might think, likely to be open to more traditional ideas of the raising and education of children and young adults. 
However, it is becoming increasingly clear that modern conservatism (now almost exclusively 'economically' - that is, classically liberal - rather than philosophically conservative) is as inimical to Christian ideals of education as is the secularist left. For our political masters of right or left, education seems to have become merely another means by which the national economy can be helped to compete more efficiently in the global market place. 

"The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which."

1 comment:

  1. It saddens me that so many people want (?or need) to put their very young children into the care of others as soon as they can.


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