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EYE-BALL Opinion – Education … A white Elephant – Politicising the future of young Australians –

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– Education … A white Elephant –
– Politicising the future of young Australians –
| Author: EYE-BALL Opinion | 1st Nov 2012 |
Education is a big deal – early education is most important … however – higher education has resulted in a Nation of over qualified students who have little or no opportunity to work in their chosen fields.

When Politicians talk about Education as the ‘silver bullet’ – it is a statement that has need of explanation.   In an expanding economy and in a technological world – people with education qualifications need to upgrade their education requirements for on the job advancement on a yearly basis.

An example – more and more workers are being forced to work as casual employees, and have more than a single income to support their lifestyles.   A student out of high school having to make a decision about a career that’ll take 4-6 years of higher learning to become qualified for, is subject to all the workforce modifications and economic ups and downs before they even get to become eligible to apply for work.

What happens when employment opportunities in the chosen field has altered and necessitates further education, or a decision to forgo the time spent on a higher education because the workforce needs have changed?

Lumping education as the answer is fine if the workforce becomes non-specific – i.e. low paid workers, and on the job training becomes a part of the education process.

Spending $10’s of billions in building education infrastructure, continuing that investment into the future in modules of curriculum needs – all dependent upon an ever-changing dynamic of global trade all subject to the import of goods produced in low-cost economies – renders a population out of work because they have priced themselves out of the market.

America did it throughout to 80’s and 90’s when they willingly let go manufacturing jobs to low-cost economies and target a technology age of education.  20 years later America are finding that not everybody can do the higher education job – and are now trying to win back those blue-collar jobs.

I’ve read parts of the Gonski Report – linked here – and the recommendation of an extra $5 billion be spent is an expected outcome.   How that $5 billion is spent is another matter.

When employers hire – work experience is the most relevant factor in 90% of employment.  Higher education in the other 10% of jobs becomes a factor when professional careers are being pursued.   And then even in those jobs work experience becomes more relevant when the gap between an education certificate and understanding the job requirements become an issue.

I see no point getting excited in the higher education debate – now if the $5 billion was to go to early learning and helping mothers, or stay at home parents stay at home and take care of their kids then I would be a big fan.   Nobody will take care of a child any better than a parent if they have the means to do so.

Yes we need doctors, nurses, dentists, no so many more lawyers, or politicians, but real qualified people who have a vocation for their chosen field.  They should have every opportunity to pursue their goals – but to throw $5 billion at education in higher learning areas when the future is based on whether there will be jobs for many of the higher paying jobs is not the answer.

If the World had a single currency, and a single standard of living – then equal and higher education for everyone would have more relevance, as opposed to an economy like Australia where everything is fast becoming too expensive for the rest of the world.

We are 23 million people – that money could be better spent educating Chinese in China and then giving them residency to come and live in Australia to do the job they’re educated to do.

This education debate is all arse about … early learning is more important than the higher learning …

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  1. November 1, 2012 at 8:39 pm

    OECD data on unemployment in the EuroZone reached its highest level at 11.6% according to the latest report …


    What is interesting is that for people under the age of 25 – the rate is above 23% … all those qualified and accredited students being turned out over the last 4 odd years have had no work … what was the use of the education …

  2. hillbilly33
    November 2, 2012 at 5:46 am

    A very good article. I you can find a link, have a look at the transcript of self-made mining man “Twiggy” Forrest addressing the Press Club a few months ago. He has instituted a marvellous program for potential indigenous employees based on having a job available and then specifically training the selected applicant for that job. He has had a spectacular success rate and the idea has much more widespread merit than the usual Government shot-gun approach of simply throwing money at education or job training regardless of prospects .

    A survey of say, the last 30 years, of how many University trained professionals have actually obtained work in the field for which they trained may provide some very surprising results and perhaps give some direction to future spending on education.

  3. Gerry Hatrick
    November 2, 2012 at 11:07 am

    My great Grandmother emigrated to Australia as a school mistress before compulsory education. Her son was the first Headmaster of Wyong High School. My Grandfather. My cousin represents a fourth generation of educators.My grandfathers most central philosophy was to find good in the boy, don’t always need to crush the bad.

    Dr Kim Jagger was on Lateline a few months ago posing “how do you educate for technology change?” Example a child leaving High School in 1980 entered the work force after university at the dawn of the micro computer era. PC’s revolutionised all industries. How can you prepare for that? Most schools have access to computers in the last 10 odd years. Technology moves so fast, brand new technology is redundant in the time of undertaking an undergraduate degree.

    There are so many truisms. We hardly scratch the surface. Gonski report rightfully highlights that Teaching is not a profession of choice. Students leaving University with a worthless degree drift back into the schooling system. Teaching does not attract high calibre entrants, schools can not compete against well paid sectors like law, business and advertising. Medicine is different.

    Most University professors have never left school. Same for all teachers. From primary to secondary to tertiary, they go back to those same life stages and never really grow up. You meet most wonderful and dedicated teachers. Often they are child like in their attributes and mentalities, and are not adequate administrators should they be promoted to leadership positions.

    Within the University system, it is a sub culture within itself. There learning is textbook and research based, not real world. Some choose lecturing because it is an easy life. They have beat the system (high grades) and teach how to obtain high grades, rather than how to think. The axiom “teaching to think, rather than teaching what to think”. That is a problem often expressed by industry. I want motivated employees rather than brain washed employees.

    I ask that you look at who is the Federal Minister for School Education, Early Chiilhood and Youth? A rockstar, who failed dismally as Minister for Environment Protection, Heritage and the Arts.

    Who is the Minister for Higher Education? Any Guesses? We have now slipped into DEEWR. Bill Shorten, Kate Ellis, Julie Collins and Jacinta Collins. All the problems of never had a real job. What might a character like Dr Kim Jagger offer to such a capacity?

    The zeal of the Federal government front bench to play the education trump is really quite sickening. As the author above notes, kids entering university with little prospect of employment at the end.

    Part of the issue is Australian wage rates? Yes but we also undervalue master tradesman and engineers. What is wrong with a person wanting to be master of a manual trade? A Maestro, a perfectionist, a craftsman?

    Simple answer it is a hard life, and not well paid. Our kids are not encourage to follow a dream, be practical.

  4. November 2, 2012 at 11:26 am

    Thanks Hillbilly … I have the Forrest article you mention and whilst it was presented as a ‘horses for courses’ program, I think the media lost the message in translation … these days they have to be hand fed and read bedtime stories for them to get the subtle messages …

  5. November 2, 2012 at 11:30 am

    Here … Here … Gerry … your comment goes to what is so wrong about Ministerial appointments – Garrett has some type if underwriting that he has to serve on the Front Bench as a high profile Labour recuit … can anyone shed light on that?

    The debate raised by Wilkie on Lateline last night about the lack of commercial experience with MP’s is a debate that needs to be let lose and have the fingers pointed at those who have not been educated in the ways of commercial reality … only about 90% of all MP’s … Failed Lawyers don’t count …

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