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Posts Tagged ‘student’

Subtitle: The state of the nation

Today, John and I were joined on our walk by our friend Nick Jeans (@njeans) who had driven over from Sheffield to join us in Denby Dale, today’s starting point. I’ve tried mapping our route via Google Maps, as I usually do, but found it very difficult this week as we were mainly off the road and following no ‘Googled’ footway. Come on Google – get those cameras strapped to your backs and get walking the highways and byways so that I can illustrate exactly where we’ve walked to others.

Anyway, we pretty much walked around the Deffer Wood and Cannon Hall area seen below. Denby Dale is just off the map. It’s been a really pleasant morning. The sun was shining; last week’s snow has pretty much gone completely now and apart from the mud we had no trouble at all. It’s an interesting time of year to be out walking; you see the birds scuttling around looking for food and defending their territory, you see what nature has left for the wildlife to eat, such as the rose hips seen here and you often see much further as there is no or little foliage to obstruct your view. At one point we could see Barnsley in the distance and at another, the main road into Wakefield.

And we get to talk on our walks. We talked a lot and about a whole range of things, but one of things that exercised my mind was this week’s student protests. [These are my views]. I remarked that the police used some pretty uncalled for tactics whilst dealing with the rowdy crowds this week and the horse charge down Whitehall seemed particularly uncalled for. Those riders and horses are well trained to control crowds and there is no need to drive straight into such a human mass at speed. Although I wasn’t there and am only fed a diet of what the television shows me, I didn’t see an awful lot of thought going into the way in which the student crowd was dealt with. I know that, as always, there were ‘criminal’ and disruptive elements active there and there abouts but these were, again as always, in a minority. It didn’t look to me that there was much discrimination between who was beaten with police batons and who was not.

And why all this fuss? Because the Tory government (this time hiding behind the skirts of their Lib-Dem puppets) want to put up the cost of attending university. For me this is just the thin edge of a long wedge. It can only be a matter of time – if you follow the Tory doctrine that these students will earn a lot of money in later life – before these students are older and demanding a much higher wage to pay off their university debts and to secure mortgages etc.  How long will it be before even more public services are lost as such services become privatised so that these increased wage demands can be paid? What future the NHS?

I really don’t ‘get’ the idea that “these students” should pay more for their education as “they are the ones who benefit” from it. I must be pretty obtuse! I’ve always been of the believe that Education benefits the whole of society.

Society needs many layers of people in its make up. It needs higher level education to teach and train doctors, lawyers and the like; vocational education to teach and train engineers, plumbers, electricians and the like and schools, to prepare these learners for their adult working life. Yet, vocational education is treated like a leper whilst higher education learners are now being made to pay through the nose. And, at the same time schools remain indoctrinated with a curriculum that has little relevance to the real life young people will live.

Having said all that – our walk was unaffected and we talked of many other things too. 🙂

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