Saturday, October 01, 2016

Is Education at School Apt for C21?

The answer to the question posed in the this post's title is according my computer expert older brother a definite no.

Superficially his view has its attractions. For example  huge savings in buildings land and staff costs  would be made if schools were closed. 

Internet and  electronic advances have been so rapid in C21 that computer screens and other remote learning devices, could be supplied by the state to each person under 18 at far less overall cost than the current costs of the  provision of premises teachers ancillary staff and school buildings for the nation's young people.

However the points above have little depth to them and take no account of the other changes in society that have taken place certainly since WWII. 

Thus most parents today have to go out from home to earn a living. Children need to be supervised and provided with meals quite apart from aspects such as discipline. Many children left alone with a large electronic screen on say a warm sunny day are unlikely to resist the temptation to go outside rather than remain couped up in learning mode. Many children only have one parent or are disadvantaged by poverty or inadequate housing.

Perhaps as significantly is the need for young people to learn to interact with others. Living as many do in C21 almost cheek by jowl, life would be almost intolerable if the young grew up alone and without the learning camaraderie that generally is part of the process of a school education. Then issues such as sport arise. Schools can  provide teams and children may  become great rugby, football or hockey players through being inspired by the activities of their school days. Equally and perhaps in its way as importantly, they may come to appreciate through life at school that such activities are not for them.

Most significantly though is the dedication of individual members of schools' staff. The chemistry teacher for example who inspires his pupils to go to great heights in that subject perhaps going on to specialise further at university. Take the European Rosetta probe's successful mission to a comet 400 million miles away. Could  people who when young  had not worked with others and not been taught by enthusiastic teachers of science, have  grown up to work in  a team to  launch, then oversee, this astonishingly successful mission for over 20 years? Frankly I doubt it.

Much the same could be said of ballet dancers office and factory workers and many of today's agricultural scientists and farmers.

More simply, last week whilst attending a school's PE class with two teachers, it became clear how difficult very young children found learning such tasks as skipping, without the care patience and assistance from their school's staff.

Add to the above the need for young people to learn such concepts as generosity, care for the vulnerable, support for the under privileged, law and the police, all of which careers require inspiration and encouragement by and from others, education at school is a fundamental human right and in my humble opinion, duty as well.

The true answer to this post's title question therefore, is a resounding "yes".

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