Knowledge is Power: it is time education changed for the better – Conservative Article
Do you ever remember sitting in class asking why you were learning a certain topic? Will it help in the future? Or is this something I will just learn and forget almost immediately after? I am sure many adults would agree that most of the things they learnt in school they haven’t used since. That there are so many more things school could have taught them that would have been more helpful. The education curriculum should be so much more than English, Maths and Science.
I have no complaints with the primary school system. They provide a base layer in terms of all subjects, this allows the individual to work out what they like and are good at. However, secondary schools must refocus into teaching skills that will be necessary after education. Children are taught to memorise information for exams instead of learning these critical skills. The school system leaves it up to young adults to work out some of the most important aspects of life on their own.
Basic economics, business, accounting, answers on how to manage your finances or credit scores. Cooking, a skill that is essential for every adult to have some level of knowledge. This is not just cakes, but meals that will be able to be used when living independently. Politics, what are the policies of the parties that they will be asked to vote for in the near future? In the era of fake news, this would be a start to promoting a healthier democracy.
The onus has been on the family unit for far too long to teach these skills and provide this knowledge. What about those with a less stable family background? It is here that the system fails. How can we expect less fortunate individuals to know about the process of getting a job or managing their money when they have never been taught?
The best way to learn is to make mistakes. However, when the risk of mistake can be minimised through education this opportunity should be seized.
Admittedly, this is easy to say having studied most of the topics that I deem necessary. Yet I recognise the importance of the information that I have been taught. I am not advocating that they have to take this as a qualification, but that there should be compulsory lessons about these unspoken topics. We need to better prepare teenagers for the real world.
Knowledge is Power. We must ensure that the knowledge that we give to the youngest individuals ensures they have the best opportunity to do well in the harsh reality that faces them.
Written by Chief Conservative Writer, Fletcher Kipps
Point of Information
I could not agree more – a Liberal response
I am in total agreement with Mr Kipps. Education, no matter what political party you align with, is important. It develops our talents and broadens our knowledge. It is also supposed to prepare us for a future, an area that needs development.
During my time at school, I completed the International Baccalaureate (IB). Unlike the A level system, you taken on 6 subjects, broadening your learning. However, I believe both systems fail to teach young adults what life after school is like.
I may know the quadratic formula, but I was never taught what electricity provider offers the best value deal. Although every young adult is in a different financial position, we must be prepared to face real-world challenges.
Although life skills shouldn’t be an independent course you take, it should be brought up earlier than later. Many people, like myself, struggle to manage a variety of aspects in life, such as finances and career choices. Younger generations should be taken out of their comfortable school environment early so that they are not scared to take on the world. School systems need to develop a method that not only offers the correct education academically but also enhances understanding of life afterwards.
Written by Liberal Writer, Charlie Papamichael
Abolish Eton, not children’s educational horizons – a Labour response
This week, I agree with some of the points that Mr Kipps raises. Our school system is in dire need of reform. The solutions that my colleague proposes, however, will only suck the life out of school even more.
I wholeheartedly disagree with the notion that school should just provide training wheels for the workplace. Education should convey far more than providing people with a set of skills that make them useful cogs in the Neoliberal, precarious workplace. Education is about so much more than moulding obedient workers.
I do not disagree with teaching non-academic skills at school. However, I believe too many children today miss out. Not learning in areas such as Philosophy or Classics because of the size of their parent’s bank account.
This is a much more pressing matter. It is this type of narrow-minded thinking that has taken over the imaginations of people across the political spectrum.
If schools are too narrowly focused on technical matters, then the children of the rich will have an even greater chance of succeeding in creative industries that were once a place for the fulfilment of working-class aspirations. The fact that 44% of top actors come from private schools despite only 7% of the population having attended one exposes the lie behind meritocracy.
It will be the wealthy who will benefit from even less competition for creative jobs if drama classes are cut to make way for interview preparation.
Our school system, which is already an engine of class privilege, would only further crush the ambitions of state school students if they had less of an opportunity to fulfil their creative potentials. My colleagues endorse the notion of preparing children for ruthless competition with their peers. Yet, I believe that we should abolish private schools, redistribute their assets to the state sector, and eliminate the intellectual division of labour.
By ending an intellectual division of labour, I mean that I would like to see everyone taught Shakespeare alongside gardening or philosophy in the morning and woodworking in the afternoon. Very few people in secondary school know what career path they want to follow. We should endeavour as far as possible to expose them to all the areas of knowledge that are out there.
So, while I am not against teaching practical lessons to students that might help them later in life, the context this must take place in should be a schooling system where private schools have long since been abolished and their assets put into the state sector. As Nathan Robinson and Sparky Abraham put it in Current Affairs, children “should be finding out about all of the fascinating things in our big, wonderful world, not being fitted and measured for future drudgery”.
Written by Labour Writer, Jack Walton
I am a second year student currently reading International Relations and Modern Languages at the University of Exeter.
I am an incoming third year undergraduate currently studying Politics, Philosophy and Economics at the University of Exeter. I am socially liberal, fiscally conservative editor here at POI. I have been fascinated by politics for many years, from PMQs to late night election results all which has led to the desire to study this at university.
My beliefs in libertarian socialism were adopted gradually. Since a child I was immersed in the language of social justice and liberal politics from my membership of a progressive Jewish youth movement.