For profit education.
The idea of “for profit” education and why we need to be concerned.
One of the responsibilities of any society is to educate their young. Knowing the best way to do something, where resources are to be found, and how to live within a community harmoniously is something any society needs to teach its youth. Without education they risk losing their identity, their culture and beliefs as well as their members through hazards and accidents.
Failure to educate the next generation brings such risks as to be unthinkable. It is not something we should consider jeopardising in any way shape or form. Government has legislated in order to ensure an education system exists. There will always be calls to “drive up standards” and to have “the basics” covered. Everyone who has had an education will have a view about what a “good education” system should provide and how it should be delivered. Politicians will draw comparisons with other countries in an attempt to show how concerned they are about education and how important it is to them and to the nation that we have the best. We will have a curriculum, subjects, assessments, accountability, and qualifications. A lot of things will be done in the name of education that are logical, reasonable and sensible but where does making a profit come into this?
It appears to me to take a service and turn it into a business at a stroke. It changes the moral ground on which the needs and reasons for education are built. To me it also says that a society, a government, and those elected to be responsible have decided to neglect their duty to provide an education system that will ensure the survival of the society they serve. They have delegated their responsibility for the most base of reasons – money.
I know the education budget, like any other budget generated through taxes, is finite and there are limitations as to what can be made available and that there will be conflict and competition as to what to spend it on and how to spend it. This has to be accepted but how does the equation add up in a way that there is enough of a surplus already to allow a profit to be made? What knowledge, skills, experience, and resources are unavailable to any government that are available to a business that allows for savings to be made and a profit generated?
Surely any competent government will already be running an efficient and effective system. To hand it over to a business and for business to accept the responsibility and moral obligation to the nation to do it better and to make a profit whilst doing it suggests one of two things.
Firstly there is sufficient poor financial management structures and cost controls in place now that it is easy to make better use of the funds to provide the current system and have a surplus as a result.
Secondly, if the moral responsibility is not taken seriously, then there are ways of making savings that generate a surplus.
There is also a third option and that is the government we have elected does not believe in the same education system that its people deserve, one where there is equality of opportunity and provision.
In any of these cases I think we ought to be concerned, very concerned.