Thursday, 9 December 2010

Student fees.


I have blogged on this subject before and make no apology for returning to it. Up until the second world war there was desperate unfairness in society on all levels. Those returning from the war determined that a new way of life should be established and two amazing pieces of legislation were put forward. One was the National Health Service and the other was the 1944 Education Act, both of which set out to deliver free health care and free education.
Its all gone horribly wrong since then. Thatcherism started the rot by abolishing the Butler Act. Rab Butler was of course a Conservative minister .Fees were introduced and then the Labour government did nothing to make them fairer but actually put the fees up!
Now the coalition is following a well trod path and despite all their protestations it seems desperately unfair.
If I was a student today I would be out protesting.
Education should be free at the point of delivery.
If its such a good idea to charge for education then maybe we should go back to the dame schools where they all took their pennies in at the beginning of the week in order to pay the teacher who might have had 40 children in one large class.
Intelligence as well as creativity arrives and grows in the most unlikely places and its to be fostered , encouraged and rewarded, not by hanging a great debt around the necks of those who are going to be our future teachers, doctors, lawyers and MP"s.
Not everyone is suited to further education and once the myth was announced as an ideal that all children should receive a University Education why did no one see that it all had to be paid for?
This generation of students is not to blame. All three parties need to sort out a properly fair policy to deal with what is a growing feeling of unease in the country.
Lib Dems particularly are letting their voters down and will I am certain live to regret their actions.


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1 comment:

  1. It is a real mess. I agree that education should be free at the point of delivery, and first degrees should come into that category. How it could be afforded, I don't know.

    I also hear the argument of those who will not have the opportunity for whatever reason of going to university, but will be required to work and subsidise those at university from their tax payments. Again, this seems a little unfair.

    I never had the opportunity to go into further education, I left school in 1966, worked for nearly two years and joined the Army. All of my education and training came through work related requirements and ending just before retirement with a Masters level qualification in leadership and management*which I paid for). Not a bit of use for the process I am in now.

    There needs to be a middle way, where those who can afford it pay, and those who can't are provided with an education of comparable value, free at the point of delivery, but with some payback, perhaps by studying the sciences, engineering, technology, which appear to be those in demand, and which will enjoy continued funding in the future.

    The thing that I feel is a real shame, it that the Arts and Humanities will no longer be funded, which will have a major impact, out of proportion to the cuts. We need culture, beauty, dance, drama, art, music etc, as they are intrinsic to our culture.

    Off course, this government is not about fairness, it is more about dogmatic politics, without any humanity. My only thought it that I voted Green, therefore do not spend time beating myself up for voting for any of the main-stream parties.

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