21 September, 2007

John Howard’s War on Edjerkation.
Er, sorry… "Education".

...... Howard gears Education to Business, not to the refinement of the Mind.

One of the high prices Australians pay for limping on with John Ducklips Howard’s ultra-conservative government is the GREAT EDUCATION SQUEEZE. Howard follows the usual mold of right-wing mindset by withdrawing public funds from the Education sector, knowing that the private sector will be pressured to make up the difference.

It reveals Howard’s constipated priorities. An educated public is capable of thinking logically and assessing both sides of an issue. By contrast, conservative dinosaurs like Howard prefer a public (sorry: 'workforce') that is unable to think so clearly – and is therefore gullible, obedient and more easily swayed by one-sided propaganda and whipped-up nationalist sentiment.

The public has conveniently forgotten how much money Howard siphoned away from universities in the late 1990s. The universities haven’t forgotten, though. Now, at election time, Howard is trying to claw back some ‘merit’ by returning a small portion of it. He’s got much more of our GST money stashed up his budget surplus sleeve, but hey, folks, he’s got several useful wars to fight.

Better education might generate more dissenting progressive blogs like FunkyPix2. Heaven forbid. Better to get such public enemies deleted from the electoral roll – like was done to me. Such people resist the conservative state and should be eliminated from the production line of society:

Having worked as lecturing staff in a money-starved ‘gum-tree’ university in a Labor electorate, I’ve observed first-hand the grisly razor-gang results of Howard’s Great Education Squeeze. Fewer subjects, fewer staff, reduced teaching hours, no paperclips. Suffocating resource cutbacks. Course co-ordinators are forced to dumb down course content and appeal to populism in order to get bums onto seats… especially fee-paying bums. Students learn more and more about less and less, so that they eventually know everything about nothing. Then they go out into jobs and schools and perpetuate their own mediocrity.

………….............…...….. Preparing for a stressful career.

I was therefore appalled – all over again – to read the article UNIVERSITY FUNDING AMONG LOWEST IN O.E.C.D. By coincidence it was published on the same day that a report grape-vined out of Burma telling that the illegal Burmese military junta had entirely shut down the technical university in Rangoon (allegedly because it could no longer afford to run buses for the students, but I note that it can, however, afford to spend money – a lot of money – fuelling tanks to fight a guerilla war on its own people). Ultra right-wing governments like Burma, Afghanistan and Australia simply don’t value Education. Howard’s Ejerkation Minista Julie Howard should be required to repeat Grade 10. George W. Boosh shud be forsed to pronunciate NUCULAR more betterer– Amerkins need a Prsdnt who is competent in at least ONE langwidge.

In Howard's Australia of 2007, everything comes down to dollars, unfortunately. Universities were first established, ironically, by Arab civilizations over a thousand years ago when Brits were still muddling around as feudal serfs in the Muddle Ages. The universities’ main aim was to impart a broad liberal education in the Arts – how to think, how to be culturally cultivated, how to become a better all-round ‘renaissance person’. In fact, if someone told Howard about the historical origins of universities in the Arab world, he’s probably rally his ASIO anti-terror goons to inspect all mortar-board hats at graduation ceremonies, especially in Labor electorates:

Under this extreme conservative Howard government, Education has been downgraded to become a means of getting a job – literally a meal ticket – rather than cultivating a genuine in-depth refinement of thought processes. Drone workers who don’t object to mistreatment are the most desirable type, according to Howard’s anti-liberal ilk. Universities are now forced to propagandize to potential students that their undergraduate Music History course is going to make them highly employable. That was the sort of cynical crap I had to rationalize at staff meetings:

................... The late 1990s saw serious cutbacks from Arts courses…

.......... …unless they had novelty value with an attached job-ticket.

Universities entered the open labour market rather than being independent Ivory Towers of pure learning and research they ought to be. They need that distance to retain integrity. Professor Howard would argue otherwise – the last thing he wants is a bunch of independent THINKERS, let alone having to allocate MONEY to them. Crazy liberal lefties who'd probably vote Labor or Green.

... Arts courses have dumbed down and popularized as a result of funding cuts...

................... …but Military courses still get bulging fat budgets.

"JOKE" TIME: Johnny Ducklips Howard hired an academic to support the case for the dumbing down of Education to meet the requirements of the Business sector.
Here's the proof she came up with:

Postulate 1: Knowledge is Power
Postulate 2: Time is Money

From Physics, we know that:

Power = Work / Time
If Knowledge is Power and Time = Money, then by substitution, we get:

Knowledge = Work / Money
Solving for Money:

Money = Work / Knowledge
Thus Money approaches infinity as Knowledge approaches zero, regardless of the work done. What this means is "The less you know, the more you make."

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