The Rambles of Neil Monnery

Another pointless voice in the vast ocean that is the interweb

My Rambles on Education

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I have no idea how this blog will end up in time but I have a feeling it’ll be heavily politically themed. So I’m now going to take a few moments to jot down what I believe in. We’ll start with Education.

Firstly I believe squarely that we are all born equal. Whether we are the son of a Lord or the daughter of a coal miner. Every person deserves the same opportunities to become whatever they want to be. Yes when you are the son of a lord, the money may open up avenues that aren’t open to a daughter of a coal miner but who am I to not allow the Lord to use his money to help his offspring? So the best way around this is to create a state education system where everyone has the opportunity to learn and develop their skills as much as possible. So I think heavy investment is needed in young people and the education system.

I do however also think that a lot of people go to university on waste of paper degrees, when that money should be spent elsewhere. Ideologically I think that certain professions like medicine for instance should be funded solely by the state. Where the line is I’m not sure but there are certain degrees out there that as a country we will always need. I do believe that too many people go to university but it is everyone’s right to go but at what point do we fund everyone? I’d prefer to fund people studying for jobs that we need in the future than fund someone through a Media Studies degree that they are only taking to have three years of the university life.

I should point out that I’m a Journalism Grad who only graduated with a 2:2 at this point – although I’ll defend that by saying all my practical work was 2:1 or above. Damn essays and that bleedin’ dissertation…

More young people would do better to get more vocational qualifications so I think more alternatives need to be presented to young people. When I applied for Journalism there were apparently 200 applicants for every place. I find that stat quite insane and I’m sure it is not that high but that is what the tutors said at my interview for the university where I eventually studied. Back then there were only 18 fully accredited Journalism courses in the country, I’m pretty sure there are more now. So that meant if those figures are accurate that 99.5% of people who applied did not get in. What did they do next?

There are options to become trainees or apprentices on local newspapers, at local radio stations and with the explosion of the interwebs there are also many websites that want content. However with so many people wanting to do that, they often don’t even earn a fair wage. I used to work for a company whereupon some of the wages they gave their writers was quite frankly shocking, but as the boss said ‘I’m not paying them as if this was a part-time job’, when in fact that is exactly what he was doing. It was no surprise that our pool of copy writers dwindled from over 200 to less than 25, but still.

I digress.

My opinion on Education is that people need viable options. Not everyone is suited for university and moving on to a profession that is helped by a three or four-year degree. Everyone deserves the right to go but if you give people other options then they will look at them. University shouldn’t be about the whole experience, although that is part of it, it is about setting people up for the next stage of their careers and giving them prospects. We should invest in this but the B/S degrees are not needed and people taking them are in fact wasting their own time and years of their lives.

Everyone deserves the chance to be whatever they want to be but in the real world sadly we can’t always have what we want. I’m now not in the Journalism industry and in a way that makes me sad. However there are people better than me and I have had to accept that. I have however carved out a good career (so far) in another industry and I am content. I’m happy I went to university and studied Journalism as it did help in a way but when I look at my course of 40 people and as far as I know only three are still in the industry, I think it says a lot.

Whatever your background you should be able to try to become what you want to become. The state should help you fund this. I do not want to see working class kids not going to study Medicine for instance because they can’t afford to even though they have the grades and desire. This is not right. The state is there to help elevate equality but to do that money must be taken from elsewhere.

I would cut the number of university places and reduce the amount of courses that are offered. Then I would fund everyone who went to university and they are an investment in the future. Everyone else would be helped by a lot more funding in vocational courses that offer real skills to young people who may not be right for university. What we need to get over is that university is for everyone – it quite plainly isn’t.

We have to invest a lot of money in young people but not all of it should be in university based further education.

I have no idea if that made any sense whatsoever but heck that’s why it the title it says the word ‘rambles’…

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Written by neilmonnery

September 3rd, 2010 at 2:40 pm

Posted in Politics

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