27 April 2008

Full-time adult coercion: the virus spreads

Googling “raising of school leaving age” leads me to discover that Bermuda has just decided to imitate the UK government’s plan to force young adults to spend an additional two years at school. Clearly inspired by the example of our own Labour Party, Bermuda’s ruling Progressive Labour Party seems to think that improvement of a coercive state system, which is creaking under the weight of existing unmet targets, is best achieved by expanding the aims and powers of that system still further.

Education Minister Randy Horton announced yesterday … the dates of a series of meetings he plans to have with parents, students, principals, teachers and Ministry of Education officials. Mr. Horton said those attending would be told of a number of amendments planned for the Education Act, including raising the mandatory school leaving age from 16 to 18 and giving the education board more power ...

The Minister was asked if the idea was to reduce youth crime by keeping youngsters occupied. He said: "Certainly, we hope that that will help in that way. The important thing is improving the quality of teaching and learning at schools."

Government pledged to bring about improvements after UK professor David Hopkins and his team carried out a review of public schools early last year and concluded that the system was on the "brink of meltdown".

... Mr. Horton also spoke about claims from the Bermuda Union of Teachers that classes were being left uncovered due to staff absences. Union leader Mike Charles shared internal memos with The Royal Gazette — as reported yesterday — showing how one school had three classes uncovered on two consecutive days this month.

Perhaps Bermuda will implement their ROSLA scheme before we do, giving us a chance to back out once we see what the initial effects are.


Anonymous said...

"chance to back out once we see what the initial effects are."

Don't hold your breath.

We've had fifty years of disastrous performance from the NHS; enough time, you'd think, for anyone with half a brain to see what inevitably happens with state-provided healthcare, yet it seems that the US may sleepwalk into something similar.

Statists don't learn from experience.

Carlotta said...

Just like to point out that I fully support the objective of this blog, (educational coercion being poor epistemology), but I also felt I should point out that there seems to be some confusion in some posts whereby education and schooling are conflated...eg: from Parlance Musing:

"No one would argue that the law says your children have to go to school until the age of sixteen."

In fact everyone should argue with the above statement because the law actually says that children below the age of sixteen should be educated, whether this be at school or otherwise. (Section 7 of 1996 Education Act).

I suspect that many of the problems that exist in schools for the under 16s (such as those mentioned in Perpetuating Poor Standards) would be removed if parents were more aware of the options and didn't imagine that schooling is compulsory.