Education: The Worker Factory

The policy of the higher levels of the Conservative Party, with regards to education, seems to have a pretty clear pattern. They focus on “practical” subjects, STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) justifying this position by arguing that these are the subjects that will most likely result in a job for a child [1].

The education system, to me, has a very clear and simple purpose: To provide individuals with the mental skills necessary to allow them to pursue whatever makes them happy. People should be, ideally, allowed to pursue whatever career they want. It’s the responsibility of policy makers to then figure out how to integrate these careers into a functioning society. The reality seems perfectly reversed. According to the Government the purpose of education is to fabricate a workforce for industry. These policy makers dictate what course our lives should take so that we fit into their vision.

It’s worth noting that the subjects considered practical are those least likely to grant a person access to policy making. You will rarely see an engineer in high level office. At least not anymore. Conversely, those subjects considered not practical happen to include subjects like political science or law or history, subjects that facilitate a career in politics. Of course, only kids with the right parents can pursue such impractical subjects.

But, it is ironic to hear government ministers talking about qualifications:

Rt. Hon. David Cameron MP

Studied Politics, Philosophy and Economics at Oxford.

Rt. Hon. George Osborne MP

He studied Modern History and Oxford. He’s in charge of fiscal and monetary policy, of a country, despite having no relevant qualifications.

Rt. Hon. Nick Clegg MP

He studied all over the place, eventually getting a 2:1 in Social Anthropology, got a scholarship and wrote a  thesis on Political Philosophy.

Rt. Hon. William Hague MP

Studied Politics, Philosophy and Economics at Oxford.

Rt. Hon. Danny Alexander MP

Politics, Philosophy and Economics… Oxford.

Rt. Hon Theresa May MP

Studied Geography at Oxford. She has been Secretary of State for Education, Employment, Transport, Local Government, Regions, Family, Culture, Media, Sport, Women and Equalities. Perhaps the degree in Geography helps her find her way to work.

Rt. Hon. Philip Hammond MP

Studied Politics, Philosophy and Economics at Oxford. Is charge of National Security. No education in logistics or anything to do with actual strategic defense.

Rt. Hon. Vince Cable MP

He studied Economics and Natural Science at Cambridge. I’m not sure what that could possibly entail. He must have had a confusing time. He then got a PhD in Economics. He is, at least on paper, qualified to be Chancellor of the Exchequer; which, of course, he isn’t.

Rt. Hon. Iain Duncan Smith MP

This is brilliant. The Government website says he was education at Stranieri University in Italy. Actually he didn’t really complete any studies there. He just showed up for a bit. Originally he claimed to have studied at The University of Perugia (perhaps this is a better university), but he made that up. Lying on your CV is usually a sackable offense. He is in charge of pensions, employer policies, family and children, and is unqualified.

Rt. Hon. Chris Grayling

Studied History at Cambridge (Bachelor Degree).  He’s in charge of Justice, Judiciary policy, Criminal Justice, that kind of thing. Doesn’t seem to have any specifically relevant qualifications. He could at least do a Law top-up module or something.

Rt. Hon. Michael Fucking Gove MP

Got a 2:1 in English. He became a reporter, then a writer for a bit, now is in charge of Education. Has literally no relevant skills.

Rt. Hon. Eric Pickles MP

Studied at a Polytechnic in Leeds. I can’t find an details beyond that. That could well mean he failed completely, but who knows? Now he’s in charge of Local Government, Planning and Housing. Doesn’t seem qualified.

Rt. Hon. Jeremy Hunt MP

The Government website says he was Educated at Oxford. That’s it. According to Wikipedia he studied… Politics, Philosophy and Economics.  He’s in charge of Healthcare, Long-term conditions and aging, despite having no formal eduction in any of that.

Rt. Hon. Owen Paterson MP

Studied History at Cambridge. He’s in charge of Biodiversity, Climate Change, EU Relations, Food, Rural Affairs etc. Has no formal education in Biodiversity, Climate, Food or any science even related to any of that.

Rt. Hon. Justine Greening MP

Has an MBA from the London Business School. She’s in charge of International Development. Do you think that ‘international development’ is a problem, primarily, of business management?

Rt. Hon. Alistair Carmichael MP

He is a qualified Solicitor. In charge of something to do with Scotland devolution. He might have relevant qualifications for that role, no idea.

Rt. Hon. Edward Davey MP

He has a Masters in Economics from London University. He’s the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change. A climate science degree might have been handy.

Rt. Hon. Patrick McLoughlin MP

Studied at the Staffordshire College of Agriculture… a technical qualification! Shame he’s the Secretary of State for Transport.

Rt. Hon. Maria Miller MP

Studied and the London School of Economics. She is, however, in charge of Culture, Media and Sport.

Rt. Hon. Theresa Villiers MP

Studied Law at Oxford. She is in charge of Ireland devolution stuff.

Rt. Hon. David Jones MP

Studied Law at University College, London. Is the Secretary of State for Wales. Seems like the government likes these devolution secretaries having legal backgrounds.

Rt. Hon. Lord Hill of Oareford CBE (a.k.a. Jonathon Hill)

Studied History at Cambridge. He’s the Leader of the House of Lords and the Chancellor for the Duchy of Lancaster. He organises the house and the Duchy thing means he gets paid for nothing, as far as I can tell, so he may well be overqualified.

[1] Of course the difficulty associated with finding a job isn’t the fault of children entering the education system.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: