Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Education is NOT a right!

Education is NOT a right. It is privilege. 

I have had many a debate with my dear wife, who as many of you may know was raised in a different country: Japan. Her thoughts about the education of our son (to continue the close-to-home example) mirror many in this province: Education should be comprehensive and complete and should be the responsibility of the "State" until a certain level (Canada has traditionally been to grade 12, Japan till grade 9). I agree to a certain extent, however, I cannot see that this system has worked. If the curriculum had improved over time, then we should have seen a vast improvement in our lives. This has not been the case. The curriculum of our elementary schools has slipped. I find that we are teaching the boy more things at home than he is getting at school. Which isn't such a bad thing, but as my wife likes to put it, "It's the School's Job to teach!" I have noticed that Hyo loves to go to school! For him, it's an entertainment. Recess, lunch, Field trips and the like. His day is filled with stimulation. I imagine that my grandkids' version of school will be an Oompa-loompa teaching the benefits of a sugar-filled diet, while daily Sing-alongs teach them every Disney-cum-Wonka song. 

Don't get me wrong, true education is a vital thing. You know, the three "Rs", Readin', 'Rithmetic and Rhythm 'n' Blues. Common sense stuff... oh hey! Let's have the schools teach that... COMMON SENSE! Things like Family, Respect and Pride! If all the kids learned those things before they could read, I'm sure that they all would become good citizens of whatever country they were in. 

The only thing that I hope the "Boy" will glean from his vague tutlege in our mediocre school-system is an "Ability to understand human nature and to discern between the two (human and nature)". I'm sure that by the time he's in grade 11 I will have re-learned algebra and started on the calculus that I should have been in contact with. I will probably write 14 book reports and do some theoretical analysis on the crystallization of potassium and such with him. But at least I'll have the satisfied feeling that he actually might learn something.

I guess my point is: You can't trust anyone (or governmental body) to do anything for you or your family. Take control of your own destiny. Learn the rules, and use them. Finish what you start and don't give up.

As far as Higher education goes (university etc.), I'm all for it as long as there's a purpose. Doctors, Lawyers , Teachers and some other academics should be taught. But not anything under the sun. Underwater basket weaving, early morning bird calls and the like should be left for Happy after work community classes, not Universities. And going to University is not for everyone. The financially feeble should not be allowed. Period. The rest of the population has been stuck with the bill of many a defaulted student loan which usually coincides with a half-completed university degree. To what end? Over-filled Universities. Immigrants with education not able to work here because Canada "Doesn't Recognize their Qualification", and more and more High-end jobs seeking such specialized education that a simple Bachelor degree is becoming the High-school diploma of the past.

When Higher Education was first born. It was exclusive. Wealthy, fun-(and boy) loving Greeks sat up on a hill and discussed life, math, the arts and hemlock. All these "educated" people had slaves working to keep them fat, full of wine and clean. When education became a right, I'm not sure, but sometime between one extra-strong hemlock tea and today we have managed to go over the edge. I hope (for those of you who went to statistics class) that this is a simple bell-curve which will be swinging back towards a more sensible norm.

Just as NOT EVERY Doctor who passes their final test deserves to be a Doctor. Or every Lawyer who sits at the Bar should have passed the Bar (think of Mchungry, Famished and Sheister on late-night TV). We don't need to educate everyone who was born. 
Are there some who deserve education who can't get it? YES! 
Are there some who go to University who are wasting time? YES!

This said, I hope that someday my offspring become highly educated, productive and wise. Not necessarily Hyoga, but his kids, or his Grand-kids. The best way for me to ensure that this happens is to take control of my own Finances. Making them more secure than my parents' were. All the while teaching the Boy to have pride in his accomplishments and self. Ensuring that he has a deep respect for every aspect of the world. And by doing this, he WILL find a stronger family.

ps. good lord, I sure get preachy after a dozen beer.

No comments:

Post a Comment