Monday, November 23, 2009

Why state schools are like prisons

I was listening to a British state school teacher recently bleating on about how they are thinking of introducing more roster calls into their school to help 'fight' truancy. I sat back and couldn't help wondering about how much British state schools seem like German Prisoner-Of-War camps, such as that seen in The Great Escape, and how the language of British state school teachers seems so military, with words like 'fight', 'control', 'authority', 'make', 'compel', and other words of aggression constantly being used. Let's examine the similarities:

-------
In Stalag Luft III, attendance was compulsory, for the inmates, and it was free (i.e. paid for from state-acquired funds).
---
In a British state school, attendance is compulsory, for the pupils, and it is free (i.e. paid for from state-acquired funds).
-------
In Stalag Luft III, there were usually two, though up to four, roll-calls a day to check on escaped prisoners.
---
In a British state school, there are usually two, though up to four, roll-calls a day to check on truanting pupils.
-------
Most Stalag Luft III prisoners looked forward to their final day of release from the camp.
---
Most British state school pupils look forward to their final day of release from the school.
-------
In Stalag Luft III, infractions of the rules often led to a period of detention in a solitary confinement unit known as 'The Cooler'.
---
In a British state school, infractions of the rules often lead to a period of detention in a solitary confinement unit known as a 'Rehabilitation Unit'.
-------
Many of the guards in Stalag Luft III were hated by the inmates.
---
Many of the teachers in British state schools are hated by the pupils.
-------
In Stalag Luft III, most of the prisoners spent most of their time bored out of their minds, with only thoughts of escape stopping them from going insane.
---
In a British state school, most of the pupils spend most of their time bored out of their minds, with only thoughts of the daily home time bell stopping them from going insane.
-------
Many activities in Stalag Luft III were mandated centrally from Berlin, to keep the prisoners occupied through the day.
---
Many activities in a British state school are mandated centrally from London, to keep the pupils occupied through the day.
-------
In Stalag Luft III, the prisoners were constantly trying to think of new ways to 'work' the guards, and make their lives a misery.
---
In a British state school, the pupils are constantly trying to think of new ways to 'work' the teachers, and make their lives a misery.
-------
In Stalag Luft III, most of the guards hated it as much as the prisoners, but it was easier than fighting on the Eastern Front.
---
In a British state school, most of the teachers hate it as much as the pupils, but it is easier than earning a living in the white collar private business sector.
-------
The buildings of Stalag Luft III were cheap and temporary affairs, with not much thought given to long-term occupation
---
The buildings of a Britist state school are often cheap and temporary affairs, with not much thought given to long-term occupation
-------
In Stalag Luft III you were never free of the constant message that you were under the control and direction of the German state, with even precious 'free time' being filled with sanitation work and endless inspections.
---
In a British state school you are never free of the constant message that you are under the control and direction of the British state, with even precious 'free time' being filled with homework and endless exam preparations.
-------
Although poor, the diet in Stalag Luft III was controlled and monitored for basic nutritional needs.
---
Although poor, the diet in a British state school is controlled and monitored for basic nutritional needs.
-------
Special units of German soldiers were trained to hunt down and capture escaped British prisoners, and lock them up back in the camps.
---
Special units of local authority staff are trained to hunt down and capture truanting school pupils, and lock them back up in the schools.
-------
For good behaviour, inmates in Stalag Luft III were granted luxuries.
---
For good behaviour, inmates in a British state school are granted top-set attendance and GCSE exam passes.
-------
Most prisoners left Stalag Luft III with an abiding dislike of Germans, though with fond memories of their friends who went through the hell with them.
---
Most pupils leave British state school with an abiding dislike of teachers, though with fond memories of their friends who went through the hell with them.
-------
Although families could contact prisoners in Stalag Luft III (at the camp commandant's discretion), it was quite clear for their term of confinement, that their lives were strictly under the control of the camp authorities (for instance, with red cross parcels from home being strictly monitored by camp guards).
---
Although families maintain close contact with pupils in British state schools (at the discretion of the school's social services liaison officer), it is quite clear during the school day during term time, that their lives are strictly under the control of the school authorities (for instance, with permission being needed from the school for pupils to go on holiday during term time).
-------
Some prisoners became so traumatised through their confinement in German POW camps, that they later became institutionalized and incapable of operating independently in civvy street, without some kind of support from the state, such as taking jobs in British prisons as jail warders. (Something they would never have dreamed of before entering the camp.)
---
Some pupils become so traumatised through their confinement in British state schools, that they later become institutionalized and incapable of operating independently in adult life, without some kind of support from the state, such as taking jobs in British state schools as teachers. (Something they would never have dreamed of before entering the school.)
-------

I think by now we have the picture. British state schools are prisons, with each passing year bringing ever greater regimentation, personal intrusion, and a vice-like control of the state over the minds and lives of individuals, via national curriculum authorities and the thought police in Whitehall.

And let's just go back to where this started. Education was a service paid for by wealthy medieval people to make their children's lives richer and more informed. Teachers were often household servants, under the control certainly of the parents, and increasingly under the child's control as the children grew older. These teachers certainly knew their place, as paid tutorial servants, and they made sure that their pupils were happy and well-rounded to avoid being sacked and put into the street without references.

And now look at life in a British state school, as a teacher. You have to hector unwilling crowds of sullen inmates around from one dilapidated building to another, constantly trying to cajole them to do homework and to prepare for an intolerable treadmill of tests and exams, which are fairly meaningless anyway due to grade inflation and Britain's rapidly approaching status as an economic basket case.

If you have to spend any time at all with the children's parents, you try to restrict this to five minutes a year, in which you tell them all of their child's faults before pushing them on to the next teacher, before they can reply. This solitary travesty of a Parent-Teachers meeting, each year, is thus like a giant zoo, with everyone leaving the hall feeling frustrated, especially the parents, who usually have no idea what their children are doing each day and no means of finding out.

Schools also often contain hard-core groups of bitter individuals who hate the school so much that they have to be almost permanently confined in 'Cooler' units. However, the thought never crosses anyone's minds that these people should be allowed to go free and kicked out of the school. You hate the job yourself, and you are constantly badgering 'the authorities' for shorter work days, more training days, and longer holidays, to escape this hell-hole, often feeling suicidal on Monday mornings when you have to re-enter the war zone. Unfortunately, because you read The Grauniad each day, you believe that this is the best that this situation can be, and that only if you had even more control over these inmates' lives, and yet more taxes from their parents, would things improve.

Unfortunately, despite being a highly intelligent Grauniad reader, what you cannot recognise is that you are helping to build a fascist system of mind and society control, that is turning this country into a giant Gulag.

The reason that state schools are like prisons, then, is because both institutions are run by the state and are designed to make their inmates conform to the needs and wishes of 'The Authorities'.

Just where 'The Authorities' gain their authority from need never be explained. In fact, one of the chief purposes of both state school and state prison is to stop you asking questions like this and to stop challenging their 'right' to rule over you. If they achieve this, then they have succeeded in their aims.

What a nightmare.

Unfortunately, as with all the things that the state does, they are spectacularly unsuccessful with state prisons, usually taking slightly wayward people and turning them into hardened criminals.

This concomitant failure that we can always associate with the state also means that in the state schools there is a constant air of rebellion. Most join this rebellion by working to rule, failing to comply to all instructions, or actually fighting against the system and refusing to be taught by truanting. A few even dare to ask the question: "Where does your 'Authority' come from, Mr State-Drone-Headmaster?". What's even stranger these days, is that many teachers themselves join in with the rebellion, in a strange case of Stockholm's syndrome gone mad, with teachers advising their pupils (usually very privately) to 'Fight The Man'. Sadly, many 'Fight The Man' by turning to communism and other dreary brands of socialism, without ever reaching the realisation that socialism IS 'The Man'. They confuse this horrible system that they are enduring with 'Capitalism' and 'A Strong Right-Wing State', whereas those of us who are real capitalists, rather than state mercantilist fascists, are as much on their side as they are.

Fortunately, there is a way out from this madness. The entire British state education system should be immediately privatised and all government control taken away from anything to do with education. All tax monies currently spent on education should be reimbursed to private citizens and all laws on mandated compulsion in the education field should be immediately revoked.

Give the schools to the teachers, if you have to, in a giant act of homesteading, so they can start running them for their own profit in the free market. But get them out of the dead hands of government, as soon as possible.

Yes, the entire virtually unsackable British state teaching profession would be up in arms, but we have to ask ourselves a basic question. Who works for who, here? Do teachers work for us? Or do we work for teachers?

The reason our schooling system has turned into a prison system is that we have been answering the question wrongly for over 100 years. It is time that control was returned to the people who pay for it all. It is time we brought freedom back to education and abolished the British state's involvement with it, and all of the grinding force and the nauseous waste that the dead Mafia hand of government always brings.

Privatise all British schools.

Do it now.

UPDATE: Readers are invited to draw their own comparisons between state prisons and state schools.

UPDATE II: For more on this subject, try the following Lew Rockwell link, as recommended by Paul, in the comments:

=> 'Why Don’t Students Like School?' Well, Duhhhh…

18 comments:

Paul said...

Child psychologist on this issue: http://www.lewrockwell.com/spl/why-children-dont-like-school.html

Can't help the gloating: I suggested this article to Lew Rockwell 8-D

www.comparelaptopsbrand.com said...

I’m really appreciate by making my site one of your reference. It’s a good choice or initiative. By keep visiting this site you can have more information about the things that you need. Keep posting

Mie said...

custom logo design
california logo design

Jerome Ponce said...

RENTA OFICINAS

salman khan said...

An experienced SEO consultant will make sure to protected your interests because he is not looking for the extra cash, but a constant customer that will be satisfied and recommend him to other companies. It's generally outstanding organization. one good reason

Umar Siraj said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Muhammad Yasir Khalid said...

These are extremely tough workouts but when you push yourself and finish, you’ll be left feeling more than accomplished. Learn More

Umar Siraj said...

These are quite challenging exercises but when you force yourself and complete, you’ll be remaining sensation more than accomplished. I loved this

Umar Siraj said...

These are quite complicated workouts but when you power yourself and finish, you’ll be staying feeling more than achieved. a replacement

Umar Siraj said...

These are quite complicated workouts but when you power yourself and finish, you’ll be staying feeling more than achieved.
killer deal

Umar Siraj said...

These are quite complex exercises but when you energy yourself and, you’ll be remaining sensation more than obtained.
more learn

Мухаммад Ясир Халид said...

These are quite complex exercises but when you energy yourself and, you’ll be remaining sensation more than obtained. important source

Мухаммад Ясир Халид said...

These are quite challenging exercises but when you force yourself and complete, you’ll be remaining sensation more than achieved. additional reading

Umar Siraj said...

These are quite complicated workouts but when you power yourself and, you’ll be staying feeling more than obtained. continue reading this

Umar Siraj said...

These are quite complex exercises but when you energy yourself and, you’ll be remaining sensation more than acquired. see page

Umar Siraj said...

These are quite complicated workouts but when you power yourself and, you’ll be staying feeling more than obtained. Read Full Article

Umar Siraj said...

These are quite complex exercises but when you energy yourself and, you’ll be remaining sensation more than acquired. click this

Umar Siraj said...

These are quite complex exercises but when you energy yourself and, you’ll be remaining sensation more than acquired. More Info