It seems clear to me that the National Government’s most recent proposition in Education (i.e. less public funding for teachers, leading to larger class sizes) was aimed at making elite schooling stronger, and lower decile schools weaker. The whole argument kept going in strange directions, though, focusing on job loss and other bizarre sidelines from the issue of ‘education for all’. If schools don’t start making democracy a more important feature of their curriculum, though, how can we expect such elitist ideas to be challenged? Who will represent whom?
Ritchie and Ritchie once wrote: “If people are not empowered to participate meaningfully in the political process, their rights may be violated and their sense of oppression will increase.” (p.77 Violence in New Zealand)… Surely, NZEI and other organisations responsible for education success need to look further afield for solutions to the Government’s top-down approach to education? How can NZ even claim to be democratic unless democracy is a key feature of the education received by each child? (I learned about it at home – as did, I suspect, most NZers who vote!)
Some discussion of voting and democracy:
Listen to this programmeInsight for 29 April 2012 – Getting NZ’ers to Vote(duration: 28′00″) Download: Ogg Vorbis MP3 | Embed
Submissions are due in the coming week to a Select Committee inquiry into last November’s elections, including the level of non- voting. Nearly a third of all those eligible to vote didn’t. Philippa Tolley looks at why people are not taking part in elections and at what can be done to turn the trend around