Saturday, November 29, 2008

Learning Matters

My mate, Terry, who runs the Teltales Blog on the link to the left is not a great blogger as he doesn't keep it up to date so give him a bit of a hassle. One thing he does is post his regular newspaper columns on his blog for us to read. This seems like a good idea which I am adopting, especially since my articles are more interesting than his!

Every fortnight I will post my Opotiki News Learning Matters column and the frist of the postings is here!

Learning Matters

4 December 2008

The recent election result and the economic crisis sweeping the world are both likely to result in a wave of change in the education area. There are some exciting possibilities, but also some fearful prospects.

I am really angry about the economic crisis as its very existence, which will have a huge impact on the ordinary citizens of our community and the world, is a direct result of the behaviours of those people who will not experience the same level of pain.

Uncontrolled financial institutions who have been driven by corporate and individual greed and who have rejected the idea of state-imposed controls on their activities have led the ordinary citizen to accept their media-driven campaigns to accept more and more credit until it has become unsustainable.

The response of various governments has been to bail these corporations out of trouble, most probably so that they can continue to carry on the same way. In the meantime, citizens face unemployment and, in many cases, the loss of their assets such as their homes.

Many economists and politicians are arguing that they way out of this situation is to spend more to keep economic growth moving forward. Examples of increased spending they have been talking about are largely what they call ‘infrastructure’, such as roads, buildings etc.

I agree that spending must be maintained, but that the investment must be in the ‘social infrastructure’. We must make sure that the most vulnerable are not left to pay the price and that our social and community organisations are strengthened so that people and communities can be supported.

However, the main area of social infrastructure that requires the most investment to get us through these troubled times is education. We are no longer in an industrial age, but we are in the knowledge age. We must invest in the creation and sharing of knowledge so that we have strengthened capacity to solve not only the economic problems that we are facing, but also the myriad of other problems we will experience in the 21st Century. An obvious problem includes sustainability of our planet, but the truth is that the 21st Century will produce problems that we don’t even know are problems yet.

Don’t let our politicians concentrate on spending on industrial age infrastructure; make them invest heavily in knowledge infrastructure so that every citizen learns, increases their capacity to learn and contributes to the learning of others and the whole community, because, even more so now, learning matters!

1 comment:

M said...

Nice one, Terry hasn't been too active on Blogger but it's probably as he's in China at the moment ... but you knew that !