This is a bit of a topical one, isn’t it, eh? I’ll try and steer clear of too much politics, as I don’t know enough to make formed, educated (ha) opinions on this. Wouldn’t it be nice if everyone did the same…?
I loved primary school. High school, however, not the best time of my life. Teenage girls have it hard – I can’t speak for teenage boys. One minute you’re leading the gang of nasty girls, the next you’re being picked on by it – what goes around comes around. My second year of senior school was by far the worst, socially, and I spent every lunchtime in the library hoping everyone would leave me alone. But I got through it, with decent enough grades to get to university…
Which I loved even more. But don’t get me wrong, in the UK university is NOT about education. it’s about spending tens of thousands of pounds on learning to be a fraction more adulty than you started as. And I mean a VERY SMALL fraction. But it also gave me the ability to spend more time on the things I actually wanted to be educated in – having picked my own modules.
But university isn’t the right choice for everyone – not all vocations or careers need (nor should they) a degree. My Mum (a nurse once upon a time) is of the mildly controversial opinion that nurses shouldn’t need degrees, as on-the-job is the best place to learn. Apprenticeships are on the rise over here, as they offer practical skills for your vocation, as well as an income. Which immediately sets you up to be a functional adult in society – more so than spending 3 year drinking, partying and eating baked beans. (Not me though, I hate baked beans).
Edd and I quite often have a discussion about whether we’d want to send our children to private school or not, and I have to say in the UK I don’t think it’s worth it. If you can find a good school in your local area, you’re actually throwing away money by putting them in a private school. Money which could be better spent on their future – helping them to buy a house (which an education DEFINITELY won’t help you to do), or to spend time finding the right career for them, or to bail them out of a massive hole if they ever need it.
Don’t misunderstand me – education is hugely important. But I think we should prioritise what we educate our children in – budgeting, “life skills” (a horrible term, but things like mortgages, insurance and tax should fall in here!) and putting their bit back into society. And obviously reading, writing and arithmetic. That kind of goes without saying.