Recently, a man who works for the government told me this: “to be honest with you, there is the theory that the government don’t want you to study. It’s just a numbers game to them and they’d just rather you work, they want to you know, keep everyone dumb.” I was in his office being helped in my search for a job, because I don’t do enough hours of uni each week to qualify as a full-time student and so am forced to try to find 40 hours of work a week. Don’t ask. A friend of mine was told something similar. A woman sent in a letter to the editor to our local newspaper claiming to have been told by the government (we have a system called Centrelink here in Australia that provides fortnightly payments to people who are students, carers, pensioners, disabled people, injured people etc) that she needed to leave her study and go back to work if she wanted money for childcare; she was a single mum to a 4 year old boy and was studying to become a nurse so that you know, in a year or two’s time she could have a better paying / more stable job and become a taxpaying member of society. But, whatever government, nurses ain’t important we all know that.
Unfortunately, the government doesn’t care too deeply about your future or your plans. I do wonder about the theory that the government wants to keep the poor poor, and the rich rich, and in order to do this they need to keep the poor people uneducated and thus, stupid. Today it was announced that more money will be cut from university education. Hmm.
That’s right kids, the book says your dreams of being surgeons and vets on your families economic backgrounds are stupid, and so will you be.
Let’s have a think about university and TAFE: these are the pathways people take to become many important things. Nurses, doctors, mechanics, hairdressers, horticulturists, psychologists, counselors, lawyers, businessmen, and er, that’s all I can think of. Oh! And people like me – editing and publishing, which is totally important to the function of society…. right? Ha ha. Even now in Australia a lot of the advertisements for jobs as waiters and waitresses (the fallback of all young people that previously never required anything but personal hygiene and arms) now often require RSA’s (not so bad, days study) but also certificates in hospitality and retail (wait, I have to study for 6 months for one of those…) Basically, everything is becoming certified while at the same time, gaining a certificate / diploma / degree is getting more expensive. In 2010, the diploma version of my degree cost $200, last year it cost $2000 (rounded figures) Huge jump in price!
People need education if they want to be part of a functioning, safe, bright, creative, workable society. Unfortunately, society is run by a lot of people who are solely interested in their own position of power and not the struggling masses. They’re ‘masses’ after all, not ‘real’ individuals.
Congratulations! You now owe the government the rest of your lives in student loans. Happy debt to you!
They say that this is ‘for the future’, but what kind of future does a country have if the people are taxed more and more, and educated less and less? We’ll all be dumb peasants slaving away to keep the powerful in power and struggling to eat and maintain our shelters. I er, just read 1984 so am feeling extra passionate, you see, and though that was a work of fiction, the lessons in it apply to all society I think. There comes a time when you realise things will only get worse, never better, no matter what the governments and media tell you. You may as well buckle down and live a simple life of struggle. They say they want us to build up the work force – what work force? What jobs? We can’t all work jobs that don’t require qualifications, there aren’t enough, and think about it – we could be robbing someone of a poorer background who happens to be incredibly intelligent the chance to get to university and cure cancer / invent conservation techniques that ensure our survival.
Not only the problems with education, but now we will probably have Tony Abbot as PM and well, I don’t fancy a guy who would like to ban abortion, is anti-gay and wants to cut the funding to government supported sports and arts. Julia is doing more for his campaign than he is! I don’t have political preferences really, so don’t worry if I’ve said something you disagree with because I’m not tied to one party forever. Maybe when we’re super cold and poor we will revolt. Maybe one day Australia will have a leader that is intelligent, compassionate, bright, creative and brave. If you fit that description and live here, study politics (if you can afford to) and become one of the leaders of this society. We could be great, but it feels like we’re going backwards right now. Education is the basis of moving forward, so we will never move on if it continues to have it’s funding cut.
Side note: jobs that do not require degrees are also important, and I hold no ill-feeling towards anyone who does not need a qualification to work or be happy. I acknowledge that you don’t need a Ph.D to be happy. Both aspects of working life are important and needed.