Class divides, poverty of long-term thought, make-or-break exams that stifle talent… one Mook vents their disgust at UK student funding cuts.
I am angry. Im not often this incensed, but the government usually doesnt bother me so much. New Labour went out with an ineffectual whimper but the (nearly) triumphant Tories are just reminding me why I have sworn never to vote for them. And then there is the disappointment with the Faustian pact the Lib-Dems made to allow them to bring down their axe of privilege.
I am a student, though self-funding, I still have sympathy with other students over the student cuts and raised tuition fees. I am sad at all the jobs that are going to be lost. I even accept that ‘belts have to be tightened’ because a few greedy white men couldnt control their lusts. Now the Tories want to reform education.
Back to one exam, one day, one chance and very little chance to undo any mistake.
So if you are dyslexic, have hay fever, flu, suffer from exam nerves… you dont stand a chance. All an exam proves is a good memory and the ability to demonstrate it. No marks for research, creativity and you will be marked down in all disciplines for bad grammar. In other words let us backtrack twenty odd years back to what happened to me.
I failed everything but History and English Literature. I got my English language fourth time lucky. I am also doing my second degree with a group of people that would have struggled to get to this stage if this had already been in place and of course if the uncapped tuition fees were in place.
The government are writing off all the bright, talented working class/middle class children. Bursaries help, as do scholarships but they with not make up the huge gap of the haves and have-nots that will remerge in higher education. And those who will be spat out the system earlier because of one bad day. And the extra measures put in to help the poorest students are a joke. It means there will be a two tier system in universities and a massive class divide.
A whole generation of frustrated, underemployed people does not make for a happy efficient workforce. Condemning all but the very brightest, who dare to be born to the great unwashed, to banging their heads on the lowered glass ceiling at the tender age of eighteen. That is a lot of chips on a lot of shoulders and an awful lot of waste as one of those may have had the solution to all this.
The Coalition have forgotten how New Labour rose and got into power on: Education, education, education: Yet as the Coalition made their limp handshakes on the patchy no 10 lawn. This was forgotten and Clegg dropped his big promise on to the pyre of his precious Proportional Representation. We understand Education; we were made (or broken) by our education. A new voting system, however fairer, is nothing against our own actual memories good and bad as we were crafted into the people we became.
Mr Clegg: you might get your referendum, you might even get the system in place, but you will never get to be Prime Minister, on your terms, because you sacrificed the one thing that made you and your party different and electable.