Monday, 9 June 2014

Faith Schools and the bigger picture

As night follows day, the news from Birmingham has a grim inevitability. The corruption - and the word is chosen carefully - of Oldknow School, a non-faith school adopting reported extreme Islamic practices, is a condemnation of ideologue Gove’s drive for academies. Other schools are reported to be in thrall to their governing bodies, who have used their position to impose a strict religious theology into their schools. 

The thrust towards Academies - so ingrained in Gove’s dogma - without sufficient checks and balances - is exposed for what it is. An idea sketched out on the back of a fag packet without any sign of middle or long term consequences. The idea that an official sitting behind a desk in Whitehall will keep an eye on what goes on in the nether regions of the UK is quite simply absurd. The local education authority were well versed in picking up vibes from their heads expressing concerns about the goings on at a neighbouring institution. That they have been marginalised and their influence removed is a shaming and shameful aspect off this sorry affair. 

Why should we pay through our taxes for fundamentalist nutters to corrupt young minds? In case anyone thinks this is an anti-Islamic rant, read on. The existence of Catholic Schools is also an abomination. This is the same organisation who not only turned official blind eyes to priestly paedophiles but also engaged in a systematic cover up. The latest revelations from the septic tank graveyard of nearly 800 children in Tuam, Galway, Ireland simply reinforce that stance.

Why also should we pay for Orthodox Jews to brainwash their young at our expense. And why should we pay for the mumbo-jumbo merchants of the C of E to have free rein over impressionable minds?

On a practical level, the fiasco at Birmingham may eventually end up doing some good. A population overwhelmingly secular should not give succour, cash or support to the lunatic,deluded and the barking, who believe in imaginary friends and oppose rational thought.

John Harris, writing in the Guardian, concluded his article with the bigger picture:
“Ultimately religion is a second order issue here. What's most important may be one of the most toxic legacies of this awful government: the fact that from plummeting morale among teachers, through a mounting shortage of primary school places, to the glaring failings of the free schools programme, and now this latest controversy – we have a state education system in a complete disarray. In a story replete with smokescreens and diversions, no one should forget that.”

Commenter ‘Lochaber’ went further:
“This Tory administration will,within 5 years, have irreparably damaged every institution that they supposedly cherish - the courts, NHS, state education system, police force, royal mail...........
The Libdems unlocked the building and the Tories went to work with their sledgehammers, passing anything of value out of the back window to their city pals.
'Britishness' my arse!”

Another, calling themselves teaandchocolate, said this:
 “I have been away from the UK for 3 years now and reading this is so depressing. Instead of academies, free schools and so many other types of schools, provided by parents and whoever, the actual solid original state system could have done so much more for the children of the UK.
On the continent there are state schools providing international gcse and international baccalaureate and languages and classics, ICT and technology.
No country, to my knowledge, has let their state system be so totally destroyed as the UK has over the last 30 years and so finally in the last 4.

Michael Gove has effectively delivered the last blow to something that could have been made fit for the modern child. Now it is a bloody nightmare.”

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