Student protest is a farce

Reading this little sentence from Universities Minister David Willetts, which says: “Most new students will not pay upfront, there will be more financial support for those from poorer families and everyone will make lower loan repayments than they do now once they are in well paid jobs.” “Students, like other citizens, have the right to participate in peaceful protest.”

So I do not understand what these student protests are all about because there is no rational argument that these protests are about the tuition fees because if fees are not to be paid in advance and the repayments are lower, so why do students protest? The only people who are probably worst off, initially are the very rich ones and nobody poor should have reason to support them.  I think that whatever this new government has implemented has not properly been marketed and some individuals exploit that fact to mislead others to find a reason for a protest. 

Please consider the facts and stay at home if you do not really want to protest, dont’ let yourself be drawn into a protest that is not really yours.

It is quite obvious that the police’s first and foremost job is to keep essential order and if the protest gets out of hand they are allowed to use rubber bullets. We already have the tents around St. Paul’s and now we get the students, some of which already occupied some campuses.

I am starting to think whether our current university elite is actually all that clever because if they were they would not participate in that protest and I am also starting to think whether university education is selective enough. I do know that among young people communication works not around what people read but what they tell each other and social networking makes a huge chunk of that communication.

I know all those dreadful strings of nonsense that is constantly spread on Facebook for example when it comes to Facebook Fees and people ask each other to copy and paste it onto their walls. A lot just do it without thinking whether what they spread is actually a fact or not, they do it just because somebody asked them to do it.

Ironically next week the Lord Mayor’s parade also will use the St. Paul’s route to get to the High Court. That will be a ridiculous ceremony when the Lord Mayor has to make his speech among tents of protesting demonstrators.

But as we do have a justice system, that is not ideal and as I have experienced it myself, cannot deliver justice effectively we will see a fair amount of discontent going on because people simply cannot cope with irrational leadership. Yet I could not blame the government for the student protests but think those protests originate elsewhere and fees are just a reason to have a protest. People are quite sensitive to illogical behaviour and since justice is used as a political weapon instead of just what it is supposed to be the current system that should hold itself up, is crumbling away with widespread protests. We have judges sitting in the highest court who disrespect justice and that is the route of the problems I think.

I think that the policy makers should look at the source of the discontent and put justice right before they consider getting any peace for the government.

But just for those still unsatisfied with the student loans on offer here is the student loan calculator from the BBC website. Looking at the fact that a GP now earns around £100.000 per year, where is the problem?

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TUC strikes already (sort of) announced

It’s a Sunday morning and I am trying to get the family ready for church but think that this article on MSN is quite important. It talks about a prospect of further strikes towards the Christmas period, which is quite an appropriate time for people on low incomes to put a spanner in the works if they have no money to spend for Christmas presents.

Workers complain about a reduction in the standard of living, due to a below the rate of inflation rise in incomes and wages.

First of all I belief that the standard of living is relative to what is available and what can be afforded under which payment conditions. I think the main problem for many workers is the fact that their debts continue to rise whilst they still need to buy essentials just to get to work and do their jobs.

The current austerity measures are reckless and aimed to hurt the working classes rather than to achieve common good for this country. The government has made loads of money available for new schemes they like to progress. Millions for the prevention of law breaking, millions for free schools, which are all luxuries when a country is hard up. And of course the borrowing has risen instead of fallen as Mr Osborne and Mr Cameron promised.

From an environmental perspective I favour less consumerism and spending as it curbs production and therefore produces less carbon. However this leads to unemployment and more poverty because governments just do not even try to come up with viable alternatives to keep people busy. All we got from the Conservatives  this time around is the BIG SOCIETY, which saw an annulment of the voluntary hours regulation,that gotten rid of the 16-hours rule, so that we now can rest assured we can work for free endlessly as long as we still look for work.

What is the essential oversight that so many governments these days make, is the fact that they do not come up with alternative arrangements to help people lead more organic lifestyles with an emphasis on crafts and making things for themselves. Of course that is not taxable and does not stimulate the economy in the classical sense but that just shows how wrong current financial and fiscal policies are, which simply aims to promote industrial growth so that fiscal purses can swell to bolster public administration and the purses of those in government.

People cannot pay back their debts and that makes them feel bad, they cannot buy what they see in the shops and that makes them feel worst, it is as simple as that.

I think David Cameron has given the game away when he admitted that he is jealous of the achievement of some Comprehensive inner city schools in that he sees his constituents and himself as a sort of us and them scenario and that he wanted to disrupt good excellent poor kids by putting money into another eduction model to help his privileged friends to achieve better as they didn’t do so well with the same system that those poor inner city kids do. This is plainly wicked and unforgivable.

Workers are suffering because they are told to keep on working on less money whilst they do not get any more time to make things for themselves and they cannot pay back their debts. This jus shows the restrictions that Capitalism has put us under and is not able to adapt to other forms of communal living and the development of alternative economies and more organic lifestyles.

unfortunately the answer of the unions is going to be striking and that is the only way the workers have to go and express their dismay. The government won’t step down, the economy is locked in a battle with the balance sheets and the workers are driven to work without adequate money supplies. It’s a recipe for disaster.

Of course business is already fuming that they will have to take yet more of the brunt of inefficient political action and prepare themselves for the shortfall by engaging short-term Christmas staff that can break any strikes that are planned for the near future. Christmas shopping, disrupted by transport strikes  will be substituted by Internet purchasing that will be delivered directly to the consumers doors. It’s a lock-down situation that sees the Capitalists trying to save their economic principles and the workers who are fed up with them. It’s going to be interesting.

Yet the UK economy will get some stimulus through Olympic bookings and the OLympic authority was carefully allocating tickets to foreign visitors who could also book hotel rooms. But the Olympics will also give the unions a good leverage on bargaining power because if public transport doesn’t work, the Olympics will be severely affected. So the Unions are on a winner here until the Olympics that is.

Personally I am just interested that the time ahead remains on a civlised level, so that public order stays unaffected and we do not see those looting incidences again. People if you want a jumper knit yourselves one, don’t break shop windows to steal them.

The law of averages

This little article makes me smile a lot and I feel glad that I use a variety of browsers and it depends what I use it for. But to say that users of Internet Explorers have lower intelligence is puzzling especially when I read how that result came about.

If you make a public consultation and ask 100.000 people what web browser they use and the majority use Internet Explorer then their average IQ has got to be the lowest simply because you have to divide the number by the highest digit.  The lower the overall number to be divided the higher is the resulting number.

I think that in some cases people are just not that good at maths and so we are getting things into the public sphere that should not get passed the public threshold at all. I think that such a test result should have failed a GCSE test but why do we have to read about it? It is quite bizarre what kind of people run companies and get to have a public influence in the first place.

Pay and learn

It seems as if the Consrevative Government has taken over the pay and display system, that is usually for parking cars now also in education. Just that pupils are not mechanical machines but human beings. The TLC Education Group will set up in 5 Secondary schools to sell education to schools. Who pays, the tax payer and Unions say this is an unethical use of public money. I agree.

The quality of education was not talent based before but now to sell education to schools and pay for it with public money just beats all the criteria we usually know. No wonder that all the old members of the Conservative cabinets have pulled out of active politics and left the new administration to muddle along some weird new agenda. When Labour changed into New Labour it was mocked, but what the Conservatives did, was merely change the logo of the party into a tree.

Apparently the shadow symbols they use now are very unpopular with children, who really like to see colour and structure to an image but what the Conservatives display are shadown. I think it is an expression that the Conservative Party is now a mere shadow of its former self.

It is very questionable in my view to make extra tuition available for those who need to catch up instead of making education better from the start, so that they won’t need to catch up. What is wrong with a system that year after year produces so many pupils that cannot adhere to expected standards. There is no solution to lower the standards and it is no solution to throw more money into those who had all the chances but still couldn’t meet the curriculum.

It would make sense to bring in extra tuition for those who have special talents that cannot be addressed by the slow laborious standard education but so far I have failed to see that included. Why do it via private educationalist, the state school system can provide extra tuition. It was paid for by state funding, but now that same funding shall be channelled into private companies who make a profit out of tax payer’s money and where does that money go? Are they under any obligation to re-use the money to better education or can they just run off with it and what happens if they make a loss.

That is another ill thought through concept and does not properly explain what standards are used to prevent abuse of the system, in that only those rich enough to pay can make use of the system or who says that selection for extra tuition will be fair in any case?

But Martin Freedman of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers criticised the arrangement.

“ATL knows that individual families can make a decision to buy private tuition for their children – but for a state-funded school to allow a private firm to use its premises to make money, and for the school to buy in cheap tuition from that firm instead of employing teachers, seems both unfair to those parents who can’t afford the extra lessons and an unethical use of public
money.”

It’s all in the head

That’s what we are being told when we look at the problem of failing Primary Schools. The way to go around it, is thought to turn failing Primary Schools into Academies and 200 of England’s words performing primaries are to get the Elite treatment from next term. The b

It’s good to see some action taking place. There is no place for complacency with children, as they say, you are only young once, and there is no time to loose.

The General Secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers supports the move, though he acknowledges that schools make progress from often poor starting points. Turning a school into an Academie seems to be the way to get a change of head teacher because it is always the head that is responsible for performance in a school. And if a school failed to improve for 5 years running, then its literally, off with the head in with the Academie.

Under-performance currently is very mildly assessed. All a school needs is less than 35% of children getting 5 GCSE’s at grades A* to C. At last the bar is being raised to 50%. Yet the whole point of the Academie strategie is to ensure that children do not arrive from Primary unable to be secure in the basics of English and Maths.

A wake-up call for Cameron

Whilst Osborne is bathing himself in the glory of the recent IMF findings on his economics policy, academics in Britain are not so sure that the changes to education and in particular university funding are equally well thought out. It must be a concern to any government if no less than 175 Oxford academics put forward a motion of no confidence in a policy. Even the biggest enthusiast has to take this into account. There is a talk of a funding gap, that figures were miscalculated. But having this happen at such a level is a bit above the joke factor really.

I think it is merely an inflationary policy to raise uni fees that much, leading to price rises all around and helping to create that untouchable academic elite, the chosen few, who cannot even be sued by the little man any longer because legal aid is withdrawn simultaneously. It literally then boils down to being one of the chosen few and its history in the making. A selection process will take place to ascertain who is worthy of being on the top of the pie. How fair that is going to be is another question.

Labour hugely inflated student numbers with an even more inflated number of subjects to study whilst the Conservatives now drill it down to a minimum number of students with less subjects to study. It’s again a case of swift changes that have not properly been thought through. I became aware that posts of such policy making powers pay consultants up to £300 per hour and that is a lot of pay for being able to continue playing your Facebook games like Mafia Wars and FarmVille. Why is it that people in key jobs cannot do such decisions themselves but have to pay others in to do the work for them. Why are jobs not given to those who are able instead of having to purchase the talent in at huge prices?

There is talk  that the whole funding model is wrongly calculated and wow that is more than embarrassing. The question already arises how have the people to decide that funding model been chosen? I think the whole of the UK upper crust in academic and political terms is highly selective and the should be overhauled to allow better talents to be discovered and get a chance to sort out the mess properly. It really is a matter of elitism to get to a stage whereby leaders simply tap each other on the shoulder, praising each other’s mess as if it was the best thing to do. They have to listen to the voices of so many Oxford academics who should know what they are talking about. I blame the 5 yearly elections for such situations arising because that is the pattern in which changes have to take place. There is no open dialogue and a very small number of people are responsible for large scale changes that affect all of us and are not properly thought through.

There must be a fundamental change in attitude to even consider who the people are who devise such changes. I think the UK has to have less secrecy and more open dialogue and fairness all around. During the run-up to the elections all we ever read was about Michael Gove’s ideas and no indication was made to the general public to submit ideas on education policy and proposed changed. It was a sudden decision that had been dreamed up by a very few select few people literally overnight. I think such fundamental matters must be more transparent and more people involved into the decision making process.

Tory teacher sacked in renewal bid

I am absolutely appalled to learn that a teacher who spoke out at a Tory conference about classic teaching methods, could even have been suspended over speaking her mind and having a political opinion.

This should be against all laws that any person can be sacked for having a political opinion. I however understand now that Katharine Birbalsingh, Oxford graduate who obviously took critical thinking for what it was, is now starting her own free school with the support of the headmaster of some famous school. (name to follow asap).

She aims to support disadvantaged children and wants to free them from the claws of the bossy middle classes. Well, I cannot see the differentiation as being helpful but I am grateful for any attempt to help underprivileged children achieve their potential because any child, regardless of talent or background is entitled to be educated to fulfil their best potential in live. However having said that I do not think that it should rub off on a child whether the parents pay for dinners or not or whether the parent is successful in a job or not.

Obviously the strong financial support schools got for the last few years did not help a lot as despite that money injection results in many schools were still not satisfying. I think it is a matter of simply being cost-effective and employ funds where they are needed.

I cannot understand arguments that say free schools take away funding from established state comprehensive. What is important is that children get an effective education and not what model is used to achieve that. It is plainly wrong of Labour Party supporter to turn the schooling of children into a political stumbling block, it is as wrong as sacking a teacher for speaking at a Tory party conference in the first place. Labour has made education  a weapon and pushed teachers in a position where they are no longer able to speak out what they think. That is very bad indeed and is about as bad as banning newspapers from libraries as it happened in Newham.

students go up north soon

Since Alex Salmond from the Scottish National Party promised free education for Scottish students, I reckon many already start to pack their bags to move the Scotland. Perhaps Scotland is going to be the next educational capital of the UK.

It had been a considerable part of Labour Party policies for the UK, whilst Labour was in power to make education a main source of business for the UK, that of course since we have little space for farming or industry left, that is because all available space has been taken up by immigrants for housing.  Yet even Labour’s plan centred around selling education and not giving it away for free.

I just wonder whether Gordon Brown had anything to do with this decision making process, when his constituency is in Fife, in the heart of Scotland.

It sounds like a good little deal, move to Scotland and get a free university education. I am just not sure what for Scottish students means because Scotland does not have passports, so I assume it has only to do with residency. I reckon Scotland is going to be busy when that goes through. I consider moving there myself, I love the cooler climate.

However how is that going to pay, how can Scotland reap any fruit from this scheme when education is for free and students cannot be contractually bound to stay in Scotland after their education has completed?  It is often already a problem for many companies that they train staff who then go off with the knowledge and get a better paid job elsewhere.

The only way to earn revenue out of this scheme is from the extra spending students do, like accommodation and living expenses. Maybe there is a little hope that with increasing earth warming people will eventually move further up north but that is a rather futuristic plot. Maybe Scottish landlords could make a few Scottish pounds by charging high rent to students.

teachers under scrutiny for corruption

I think only the comments made by some teacher in reaction to a Daily Mail article keeps my belief into the good of humanity alive and make me belief that still non corrupt teachers exist. It says parents rather spend hundreds on gifts for teachers than spend up to 35k per year on a private school place. I take it, that those teachers, accepting such presents are not employed by so-called failing schools, but those teachers described must be working in those exceptionally good state  comprehensive.

I find nothing more disturbing than a teacher taking in gifts of parents before school starts in front of everyone. I think that, never mind how fair a teacher is,the memory of that wonderful gift, or holiday in that villa must weigh heavy on a teacher’s mind when writing the school report, when describing how pupils where not such perfect learners after all or even when marking grades.

The Daily Mail article gives teachers’ pet a new meaning and it should lead to measures, which make it compulsory for teachers having to declare expensive gifts or more than 2 gifts per pupil per year and not just for tax purposes. Teachers have a communal responsibility not dissimilar to MPs and must stay objective and fair at all times.

Labour ruined education

The full extent of the damage that the previous Labour government did to education over 3 terms in office becomes clear with this new report, which compares the quality of education internationally.

Britain was once the vanguard of knowledge, a leader in academic thinking but now has been reduced to a backroom establishment because education has become so bad. It seems Labour likes it this way because they fight an increase in tuition fees with false and misleading arguments. Haven’t they done enough damage to this nation already, do they have to bring forward further false reasoning.

The increase in tuition fees does not stop anyone from going to university as there is nothing to pay up-front. Students get loans and have nothing to pay unless they earn £21.000 per year.  So why does Labour go on and on about the price rises, its just to make a nuisance argument against improving quality.

Labour really loves to see this country on the bottom of the pile for reasons that I cannot really understand and I suppose nobody in their right mind can.

The UK has fallen as far as 28th place in maths and 25th place in reading and 16th place in science. Is it any wonder that our unemployment is so high and that companies do not want to settle in this  country anymore.

During the last Labour reign the UK has fallen between 2000 and 2009 in maths,from 8th to 28th and in science from 4th to 16th.

The top 10 education systems by reading skills are

  • Shanghai (China)
  • South Korea
  • Finland
  • Hong Kong (China)
  • Singapore
  • Canada
  • New Zealand
  • Japan
  • Australia
  • Netherlands

How can Labour’s Andy Burnham seriously try to tell us that education has improved and more pupils leave with good reading skills? Why does Labour succeed in constantly pulling the wool over our eyes? Why are they allowed to blur their lies over public media and mislead the electorate?

Now after reducing education to sub-zero standards Labour wants to oppose an increase in university fees when it is the only way to improve education and help us to pull ranks with other countries.

If we go on as we are the UK will become a small island in the northern European hemisphere without any significance whatsoever. We don’t really want this to happen.

The OECD survey found that  the “best school systems were the most equitable”, in which pupils could succeed academically despite a disadvantaged background. This is a case for Grammar style and academy type education, which focus on academic achievement and a case for allowing students who are not academically gifted to drop out at 14 to enter a vocational career path.

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