When did this country stop trying to enrich its children? This is a question that becomes more important with every new cohort of children that passes through our education system.
Education for British youngsters is no longer treated as an experience. It has simply become a production line that moves kids along the exam conveyor belt until they are neatly deposited at the other end into the world of work with a polished, hefty CV.
Theoretically, it’s an efficient and effective system. Unfortunately, efficiency and effectiveness is not what education should ever be about.
The job market is in such a mess that everything young people are told places continuous emphasis on how difficult it will be to find work. As a result, actual learning and experimentation is placed on the back-burner in favour of an omnipresent focus on employability.
Nothing that anyone does at school is done with enrichment in mind. Years of education focused entirely on passing examinations, writing resumes and acquiring jobs have taught this generation that unless something can go on your CV, it probably isn’t worth doing.
As a university student, it’s horrifying to see a generation of young people who don’t care about politics or engaging with the wider issues of being a student.
As long as they walk out with a degree to put on their LinkedIn profile, their university experience has been a complete success as far as they’re concerned. It’s just another step on the production line.
I was stunned the other day to see a post on the website of a UK university newspaper that rubbished the idea of politics at university as something that’s not what the university experience is about. This couldn’t be more wrong.
In fact, politics and university have always been closely entwined. Academia provides the perfect forum for political views to be shaped, challenged and championed, but modern students don’t seem to have any inclination towards having an informed opinion.
It’s clearly easier to party hard and glug down the tenth Jägerbomb of the night instead.
This isn’t the type of scenario that the education system should be encouraging. Education should not aim just to turn people into good, compliant employees; it should mould the youth of today into well-rounded human beings with interests, aspirations and goals.
That simply isn’t happening. Under the guidance of the last Labour government, and now radical Tory reformist Michael Gove, the education system is simply a conveyor belt of identical robots built to enter the job market. The production line just goes on.
And when that’s the case, no one stands out.