First the key issue about student fees, then wider issues re education.
We shouldn’t have any. An alert, educated population and workforce is a public good from which we all benefit and which society as a whole should fund … as I explain in this video. We don’t fund students because the government wants to shed the responsibility for the cost of higher education. It is appalling to ditch the responsibility for this essential aspect of our nation’s life and to dump the cost on future generations and educate young people to consider overwhelming debt as normal. It is transferring power to banks who presumably fund the loan company since they create almost all our money these days.
Video 4:53 min
The essential point about education, I believe, is to see the point of it which is two-fold.
1. Being. Who we are to be. For our own personal formation as happy people with good relationships, interested in the world around us and its people and in things of beauty.
2 Doing. What we are to do. It is so we can be useful and do a useful job that society needs. Mind you, doing something that is needed helps make you a happy person with self-respect and stable relationships. … so there is a blurring between being and doing. But what I am trying to say is that education in a healthy society is not only about making people who are useful as production line fodder or the like. Being happy and wise matters and being useful in the attainment of an honourable goal matters too.
I think technical education can be held in high regard in a society that appreciates the contribution of all team members to an honourable goal and techies certainly are needed in doing what we need to do, so let’s esteem them accordingly.
Each young person should have an education in keeping with their needs and ability. So there’s no shame about being fitted for a type of education that is fitted for you and the role you can fulfil. So let’s have plenty of grammar schools to feed the lively minds of the more academic of us and technical education (as they give in Germany) for those heading that way with their lives and abilities. There’s no shame. There’s honour all round. and let’s have fun getting there.
Teachers, same as other professionals, should be trusted to do their job and be given much more freedom than the current checking up and naming and shaming regime allows. School inspections should generally be unannounced and less threatening and heads given more authority to keep tabs on what is going on in their own institution and keep it ticking over well by a light kind of use of authority.
Universities should be funded once more by the state and steered thus towards the studies that the nation needs to be good at: and it should take a long view of the national human resources needs such that engineering is promoted and other physically necessary fields but also humanities are not neglected and honoured since we don’t want to be a utilitarian society of Philistines. ie Higher education with a long view. Research should be well funded by the state with the nation retaining the benefit of the intellectual property of the discoveries so made.
Special education needs protecting since many young people with special needs may well be more suited to attention that a special institution may be able to provide.