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Author Topic: WHY NOT END THE MODERN CAST SYSTEM DIVIDING INDIVIDUALS?  (Read 6327 times)

Offline Karen W.

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Why should money keep our children from going to college?

Shouldn't college educations be subsidized and free for those who are interested in receiving and education?

Is there a better use of public money, then for the education of our youth?

What do you think?


 

Offline eric l

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WHY NOT END THE MODERN CAST SYSTEM DIVIDING INDIVIDUALS?
« Reply #1 on: 20/08/2007 09:46:35 »
Good morning Karen,

I'm afraid that it is not just a question of funding that keeps some children away from college (or other education).  Of course, I can only speak for our situation in Belgium - elsewhere in Europe it may be slightly different and I'm not familiar enough with the situation in the US.

Starting with my own situation.  I'm 60 now, and for most of the children in my class in the primaries, school was over at the age of 14.  Meanwhile, school is obligatory till the age of 18.  But many children are completely fed up with schools before that age, and either fall in that cascade of general --> technical --> vocational schools, or choose to combine school and apprenticeship.  This is not always due to lack of talent, but rather because they move in circles where "school is for sissies".

For those going to college (as a matter of fact, we call that "university" and use the word "college" mainly for church sponsorred high schools) or other forms of higher education, there are scholarships.  Such scholarships cover most of the school related expenses - even lodgings - but do not include things like pocket money.

Funding is one thing, but convincing children and parrents alike that school is both important and possible is an other matter.  (In fact, many of them see more possibilities in a career as professional sportspeople than in a college degree)
 

paul.fr

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WHY NOT END THE MODERN CAST SYSTEM DIVIDING INDIVIDUALS?
« Reply #2 on: 20/08/2007 09:53:39 »
Sorry to go off topic, Karen. But Eric, i never realised your age. I always thought you were a student!
 

Offline Karen W.

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WHY NOT END THE MODERN CAST SYSTEM DIVIDING INDIVIDUALS?
« Reply #3 on: 20/08/2007 10:00:25 »
Morning Eric!

We have a very similar system as you. I certainly agree that it is not the only issue but for very many it is. School here is also mandatory until 18 with younger grade school age children advancing around 14 years of age and moving into high school for 4 more years. We have Universities as well as you. College around my neck of the woods is both but primarily community college. We have a university Humboldt State Uni.

There are a lot of similarities.. I was more concerned with children who do wish to continue, but lack the funding to do so.  Perhaps their parents do not have the means to pay for tuition and such.

We also have grants and many other alternatives but the cost of education here has become a huge issue.. The cost of classes and tuition is quickly putting school out of reach for many of our youth who are truly seeking and education!

Technical schools are very popular here also. A large percentage of children go to another state to learn a particular trade etc. It is quite common.

« Last Edit: 20/08/2007 13:39:54 by Karen W. »
 

Offline Karen W.

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WHY NOT END THE MODERN CAST SYSTEM DIVIDING INDIVIDUALS?
« Reply #4 on: 20/08/2007 10:00:54 »
Sorry to go off topic, Karen. But Eric, i never realised your age. I always thought you were a student!

It's ok.. I thought so too!
 

Offline eric l

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WHY NOT END THE MODERN CAST SYSTEM DIVIDING INDIVIDUALS?
« Reply #5 on: 20/08/2007 10:14:02 »
Sorry to go off topic, Karen. But Eric, i never realised your age. I always thought you were a student!
I take this as a compliment.  My age has never been a reason to stop studying !  Besides, since I give computer initiation courses (as a volunteer), I can not stop studying, just to keep up.
 

Offline Karen W.

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WHY NOT END THE MODERN CAST SYSTEM DIVIDING INDIVIDUALS?
« Reply #6 on: 20/08/2007 10:20:40 »
 Boy oh boy do I hear you! LOL I never want to stop learning new things..
 

another_someone

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WHY NOT END THE MODERN CAST SYSTEM DIVIDING INDIVIDUALS?
« Reply #7 on: 20/08/2007 12:34:53 »
As Eric says, many kids are fed up with school by the time they get to their late teens (as the saying goes - you can take a horse to water, but you can't make him drink).

It is not just about school being sissy.  I always found school very frustrating, but I loved learning, I just felt that school was more about discipline and conformity than about learning (I would comfortably go off in a corner and read a science book, but I just never found that learning was rewarded within the school system so much as conforming was seen as the priority - but then to be fair, when you have a production line of over 1,000 pupils in a school, then this can only work if all the pupils conform to a common standard).

The other problem I had is that while I like learning, I also wanted to put things into practice, to be creating something with my knowledge, not just to be being fed knowledge in a vacuum.  This is why apprenticeships sometimes work for some boys, because even though it continues their education (albeit apprenticeships are generally only available for less academic studies), it does so in an environment where what is learnt can also be seen being put into practice.
 

Offline Karen W.

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WHY NOT END THE MODERN CAST SYSTEM DIVIDING INDIVIDUALS?
« Reply #8 on: 20/08/2007 12:51:04 »
I agree with pretty much all of that but must say I was speaking of children and young adults who do want to continue their education but cannot because of there financial status etc.

All your points are well taken.. but not all children fall into that category. We as parents of three I am embarrassed to say could never have afforded to send my children to university or college we could barely afford my 1 or two classes a semester for me to get my teaching credentials and permits in place.  I cried many a night both my husband and I working our tails off and still not being able to get them into school. They would have to do it themselves with student loans, grants scholarships which two of my three earned, but they never used them as the other costs were overwhelming! There are many families in this condition and I wish things were set up differently but here we keep loosing funding for education libraries and things of this nature, Our county library has cut their hours as well as days down to very few. A ton of money was spent to build a very big beautiful library but then they had not enough funds to keep it open regularly! Thats sad!
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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« Reply #9 on: 20/08/2007 13:30:35 »
This is a subject very close to my heart. When I was lecturing I saw many students leaving uni with debts of more than 12,000 (some as high as 20,000). Add to that the outrageous cost of housing in this country and the fact that the average wedding now costs 14,000, and you get the unacceptable situation where a person would need to have in the region of 40,000-50,000 taken from their salary before they can start a married life.

I was fortunate that I got a grant for my 1st degree and I self-funded my psychology studies. But the debts that many students find themselves with these days is a disgrace.

What really angers me is that if we were to scrap our nuclear weapons ambitions (which are a waste of money anyway as we've got no-one to aim them at except the French  :D ) we could fund all the hospitals we need and higher education could once again be free.
 

Offline Karen W.

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« Reply #10 on: 20/08/2007 13:38:58 »
YAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY! I LOVE YOU DOC!

I so agree. It is frustrating that we as a society put our children's education so low on the scale.. If we spent half of the money spent on the stuff you spoke of what could that mean for our children our futures. Our children are our futures, we need them to be educated bright smart we want them to survive in a world that is harder to survive in every year!!  [:X] :) :) :) ;)
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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« Reply #11 on: 20/08/2007 13:51:20 »
Our children are our futures, we need them to be educated bright smart we want them to survive in a world that is harder to survive in every year!!  [:X] :) :) :) ;)

Too true. That's why I'm so much at odds with the PC brigade who want us to mollycoddle kids so they're not exposed to even the slightest risk or disappointment.

Risk & disappointment are part of life and I believe kids should be prepared for what life is going to throw at them. Mum is not always going to be around to stop nasty things happening. If kids aren't prepared they'll be lost as to how to handle adult life.

I had many rows with Social Services about this over the 2 kids I was raising for my friend (she's an alcoholic & couldn't look after them). The SS told me we should never argue in front of the kids. I totally disagreed. My view is that if kids see you can argue and then make up & still be friends afterwards, that's got to be better than them growing up thinking everything in the garden is going to be rosy and then finding out otherwise when they grow up & not knowing how to handle it.
 

Offline Karen W.

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WHY NOT END THE MODERN CAST SYSTEM DIVIDING INDIVIDUALS?
« Reply #12 on: 20/08/2007 13:59:48 »
I hear ya... It is sad that this happens.. and frankly I don't like being told how to raise my kids, I do appreciate their capacity to help children in abusive situations and families etc.. but where should that authority draw the line?..

Anyway Education Education is always important...honesty in life matters also but with guidance!
 

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WHY NOT END THE MODERN CAST SYSTEM DIVIDING INDIVIDUALS?
« Reply #13 on: 20/08/2007 14:31:34 »
You cannot make kids smart, you can only enable the smart ones to use their smarts.

Nor should you assume that academic education is the only kind of education society needs.  A society full of brain surgeons, but nobody to carry away the garbage is not a functioning society.

While I agree that creating a situation where people start life saddled with thousands (or tens of thousands) of pounds worth of debt is not at all an ideal situation; I also believe that Tony Blair's intended target that 50% of young people should achieve a university education is folly (and is part of the reason why the government cannot afford to pay for that education out of taxes).
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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« Reply #14 on: 20/08/2007 14:33:32 »
George - unless degrees are dumbed down, less than 50% are capable of getting a degree anyway.

A few years ago a degree was something to be proud of. These days they're as common as muck &, academically, don't mean a thing.
 

Offline Karen W.

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« Reply #15 on: 20/08/2007 14:39:02 »
Again I am speaking of kids who want to continue their education and I don't think that education should be limited to gust science math etc.. I mean to create funds to help children be educated in their choice of education.. it could be trade schools etc.. but just that it be available to help those who do want to be educated . Certainly not forced...

My boys wanted to go to trade school but failed to do so because of funding!

Thats why it is s o frustrating..
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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« Reply #16 on: 20/08/2007 14:47:53 »
In a lot of countries, tradesmen & artisans are regarded as highly as academics. Unfortunately in the UK that is rarely the case. But when you consider that an apprenticeship lasts as long as a degree course, I can't see why that should be so.
 

Offline Karen W.

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WHY NOT END THE MODERN CAST SYSTEM DIVIDING INDIVIDUALS?
« Reply #17 on: 20/08/2007 14:53:22 »
Yes that is a long time!
 

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WHY NOT END THE MODERN CAST SYSTEM DIVIDING INDIVIDUALS?
« Reply #18 on: 20/08/2007 15:01:53 »
The trouble is that Governments cannot just 'create funds', they have to alloacte taxes.

Certainly, a massive defence expenditure on an unnecessary war in the Middle East does nothing to make available funding for other purposes; but most of the decisions about education policy in this country were made before the Government realised it had to budget for a prolonged war.

The reality is that the Government is bankrupt, and is trying to find ways of reducing its financial commitments in all areas.  Even the war, unnecessary though it is, and expensive though it is, is still underfunded for what it aspires to achieve.  Commitments for old age pensions are being cut back (both Government commitments, but also commitments that companies are willing to make for the pensions of their employees - so this is really a problem that effects society as a whole, not merely the Government).  We have made promises (as politicians always do) that simply do not stand up to financial scrutiny.

I think the answer for education is a greater emphasis on part time education (if one looks at the way accountants gain most of their education, it is mostly undertaken alongside their career, rather than expecting them to be fully qualified accountants before they even enter their first job).
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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« Reply #19 on: 20/08/2007 17:33:09 »
You've raised a good point there, George - on-the-job training.

A lot of companies these days aren't prepared to put in the resources to do it because they can get kids ready-trained from college. Why should the company pay when they can leave it to the general public to pay through taxes? From the company's point of view it makes financial sense; and shareholders like it as it means more money for them.
 

another_someone

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WHY NOT END THE MODERN CAST SYSTEM DIVIDING INDIVIDUALS?
« Reply #20 on: 20/08/2007 19:53:56 »
Why should the company pay when they can leave it to the general public to pay through taxes? From the company's point of view it makes financial sense; and shareholders like it as it means more money for them.

So maybe we need to tax companies that take on ready-trained employees, and pass some of this money on to companies that are willing to invest in training (don't pay them simply for doing the training, because it is too easy for companies to claim to be doing training when nothing useful is achieved; but pay them for the future success of the people they have trained).

Ofcourse, one problem with this is that it requires long term planning and long term investment (companies have to pay out today for income achieved in 5 or 10 years time).  The problem is that we do not have long term planning in this country any longer - we cannot be sure from one month to the next which company will go bankrupt, or which company will suddenly have is shares going through the roof.  This goes right back to the politics of the country, where, as Harold Wilson said, a weak is a long time in politics; but the politicians set the tone for business, and if politicians are only looking for quick results, and will vacillate from one policy to its opposite, then how is business to make long term plans.
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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« Reply #21 on: 21/08/2007 09:05:09 »
I've often wondered about a tax on ready-made employees. To me it seems a fairly straightforward idea; but it probably isn't.

As for long-term planning, I totally agree with you. Everything in this country now seems to be geared towards making a fast buck & there is no thought to the future. In countries like Japan & Germany, the situation is very different.
 

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« Reply #22 on: 21/08/2007 12:50:46 »
As for long-term planning, I totally agree with you. Everything in this country now seems to be geared towards making a fast buck & there is no thought to the future. In countries like Japan & Germany, the situation is very different.

I don't know about Japan.  It certainly used to be true of Germany, but Germany is succumbing to outside pressures (the trouble is that long term planning is often indistinguishable from protectionism, at least at a superficial level).

At present, the real long term planners are the Chinese.
 

Offline Bored chemist

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« Reply #23 on: 21/08/2007 21:08:28 »
My understanding is that for some reason they decided that more people, perhaps 50%,should go to university.
Before they did this the small number of perople who went were paid for by the governemt (typically local govt. but that's beside the point).
When I was a student in the middle of the 80s I got my university fees paid and I got a grant of 2000 or so a year to live on. The grant was means tested so actually my folks paid most of it but, if they hadn't had the money  the state would have paid.
You could get by on 2000 a year the- just. Most people I knew left with debts but typically only a few K.
Since I then got a job that paid about 10K a few grand of debt wouldn't have mattered much.

Now many more people go on to study at university and the taxpayer can't or won't pay the bills.
Many of these students are doing less achademic courses
(here's a list of cuurently available places for "media studies")
http://search.ucas.co.uk/cgi-bin/hsrun/search/search/StateId/RubXcwDMow_LwcIBtQDlZx4iVbhj1-4l5l/HAHTpage/search.HsKeywordSuggestion.whereNext?query=1450&word=MEDIA+STUDIES&single=Y


It's not easy to imagine that these people are all going to get decently paid jobs but it is clear that they will all end up with significant debts.

Can anyone remind me why it was a good ida to get so many people into university anyway?
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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« Reply #24 on: 21/08/2007 21:41:45 »

Can anyone remind me why it was a good ida to get so many people into university anyway?


Because that way they don't show up in the homeless or unemployed statistics.
 

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WHY NOT END THE MODERN CAST SYSTEM DIVIDING INDIVIDUALS?
« Reply #24 on: 21/08/2007 21:41:45 »

 

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