A change in culture? A couple of issues with the capitalist privatisation of public services…

Aside

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It is common knowledge that during the consumerist age that we live in institutions such as healthcare and education have slowly (like everything else it seems) become more ‘privatised‘ and less ‘public’, but what possible negative effects are these changes having (or potentially having)? Below I have summarised two points, please comment and add more

A less localised institution – as institutions become more consumer focused within their approach to working with people (or ‘for’ people) it is a very real issue that services are likely to be made more ‘for the masses’ and the aims become generalised rather than for local individuals who receive the service on a face-to-face level. This could further enhance the globalisation process that we are currently in and be more likely to change local cultures to be more ‘global’ friendly or ‘market’ friendly (or perhaps a mixture of those things?) Is this what we want people to be learning from our health and education?

A reinforcement of capitalism – with privatisation comes competition for services and although competition can be a very good thing (for example development comes from healthy competition) competition for the right to produce services such as healthcare and education will surely focus work more around targets, statistics and agendas than around people, and their ‘needs’ or ‘wants’. Competition for these services will enhance the statistic war of who can provide the most ‘cost effective’ and ‘results based’ service. Those of us who work in the field of health, education, youth or community work can compare this to the current trend of ‘results-based accountability’ which has positives and negatives of its own.

This privatisation is a global topic, some people may be endorsing it and others may be trying to reject it (see attached picture!) it is a very real thing that is happening all around the globe with positive and negative results. I hope that through sharing knowledge and discussing the topic we may learn from each other.

References

Information learnt and paraphrased from: Peter Jarvis, 2007. Globalisation, Lifelong Learning and the Learning Society Sociological Perspectives. Oxon: Routledge. It can be found in google books here:

http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=l8iPetH_os4C&printsec=frontcover&dq=Peter+Jarvis+Globalisation,+Lifelong+learning+and+the+learning+society&source=bl&ots=bVMrY6bjFh&sig=xeEkoWemCsTc41x6lyTUS4Cn1SU&hl=en&sa=X&ei=zC6CUIzJGKnD0QWEpICIBA&ved=0CDMQ6AEwAA

Photograph taken from: The Guardian (Sri Lanka) http://www.srilankaguardian.org/2011/11/privatisation-and-keeping-standards-in.html all credit goes to the photographer and the individual who made the sign!

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In-case anyone noticed I haven’t been on here for a while, due to the fact that 1) I have been studying and working hard and 2) I haven’t actually had the internet for a couple of months!!

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Reanimate Education

Video

Taking this info directly from the youtube link
‘This animate was adapted from a talk given at the RSA by Sir Ken Robinson, world-renowned education and creativity expert and recipient of the RSA’s Benjamin Franklin award.
For more information on Sir Ken’s work visit: http://www.sirkenrobinson.com’

It refers to American education but can be applied to other industrialised countries educational as well.

Thank You

What did the newspaper say about British Education today?

Well I haven’t blogged for while as I’ve been busy in my family life over the holidays, just thought I’d get back into the habit by commenting on a couple of stories that caught my eye in the Metro newspaper.

The First:

Was about accusations that teachers have been bribing pupils to stay off school and out of the way during inspections. Allegations (which have been made to the Educational Times Supplement) stated that pupils have been paid sums of money to miss the day or have even been taken on theme park trips so that inspectors do not witness their behaviour. Ofsted are treating 38 complaints as a ‘handful’ of ‘possible misrepresentation’ of schools positions.

All this makes me wonder, first of all who in their right mind as a teacher prioritises hiding badly behaved young people during inspections so much that they’re willing to risk bribery? How do these young people feel about being hidden from school inspections? And what does it teach people about behaviour, consequences and accountability? It would be interested to see whether this has actually been happening in schools and how it can be combated in the future. It’s sad that teachers fell this much pressure to achieve during inspections, and I think if these allegations are true it may be because teachers ultimately want their school to have a good reputation.

The Second:

Cases of teaching misconduct and incompetence are too be abandoned due to unavailable scheduling of hearings before the General Teaching Council for England is ‘abolished’  (metro). Cases seen as highest priority will still be address, but lesser cases will have to remain unheard and unresolved. If this is true I wonder what kind of justice this offers the people who are involved in the cases. Mostly you can assume a lot of the reports against teachers will  have been made by pupils as they are the main witnesses to teachers during the school hours (although they will not be the only ones to complain). If a person has taken the time, effort and confidence to question a teachers behaviour and complain about it then it’s a shame that the cases may not receive hearings and be resolved/have appropriate action taken. Also it’s a shame that where allegations have been falsely made teachers will not have the opportunity to be heard and to prove their competence, which would make it harder to combat any rumours which may arise from the issue.

If anyone has any information or insight into these  issues please fell free to comment as I’d like to be further enlightened on them

Thank You

Referrence: Metro Friday, January 6th 2012. Front page and page 5.