#BEDM14: Teacher, Leave Those Kids Alone

Education is important.

School is important.

That much is something that we all agree on.

It’s so important that it is quite often one of the big issues bandied around as we approach election time.

But I want to talk about how sometimes – sometimes – we over emphasise the importance, not of education, but of the education system in this country.

Cards on the table, I didn’t go to university. The reason I didn’t go was the combination of two things.

1)   We couldn’t afford for me to go to university

2)   There was nothing I wanted or needed to do at university.

I love learning new things. As I mentioned in a previous post, I’m currently reading Bill Bryson’s Short History of Everything, and it’s taking me forever.

The reason it’s taking forever is because I’m researching more things on the internet when I read a little bit about them – I read all of two paragraphs the other night, before I then spent an hour on the internet learning about Halley’s Comet.

My point is, I would have absolutely gone to university if I’d always wanted to be a doctor or a lawyer or a teacher. I would have found a way to make it work.

But I didn’t know what I wanted to be, and I didn’t see the point in putting myself – or my mum – in that much debt for something that might never come to anything.

So I didn’t.

Instead I got a job in a shop. I worked hard and I was given more opportunities. I took those opportunities and worked harder.

I was lucky that the company I worked for had their offices based in the town where I lived. I transitioned into a desk job, and again I worked hard. I’ve worked hard for the last eleven years of my life, and I’ve got a DECENT job. I make a living wage, more than a living wage in fact.

My life is ok. I’m comfortable. I didn’t get to where I am because of university.

I have no issue with people who go to university, or people who want to go to university. But what infuriates me is being made to feel ‘less than’ because I didn’t go.

The amount of jobs that I see that are ‘degree required’ that I know I can do. If my job were to be advertised, it would likely be advertised with the words ‘degree required’.

And at the last General Election there was a lot of talk about the number of people going to university. There was a lot of talk about increasing the percentage of people going onto higher education, as if 100 per cent was some holy grail.

We shouldn’t be looking at the number of people who are going to university, we should be looking at the number of people who want to go to university but can’t.

It should be made available to everyone, but at the same time, people shouldn’t be judged or discriminated against for not going.

There are certain things that people can have a natural talent for, but I don’t believe there is nothing that education can’t teach you.

I do believe, however, that there are some things that our education system can’t.

 

Prompt: Education can’t teach you that

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