Brian Phillips in an article in today’s Capitalism Magazine online uses a supply and demand argument to support a case for abolishing public schools.
Education is always going to be a sensitive issue. We are told that we need public education for the greater good of society. Government tells us that only they can do it to provide the way forward for society, especially to uplift the poor. However, it is very clear to most everyone, that the failed program/experiment of government run public education is taking society in the wrong direction. To make matters worse, the poor in cities and in rural areas are provided with the worst government schools of all! We see that right here in Jamaica.
In Jamaica, about 25% enter high school illiterate, 40% of high school entrants fail to reach Grade 11; and over 90% who students who sit CXC/CSEC do not achieve more than 3 subjects. Of course, the solution by the liberal/progressives on the left is for more money to be spent on education. It is interesting to note that the former Minister of Education and Prime Minister, now Leader of the Opposition, home-schools his children.
In an earlier article on this blog, I wrote about the (widely known) superior results in non-government administered vs. government-administered school in Jamaica.
The Govt of Jamaica spends over J$70 billion every year on a failing system. Recently, evidence from the Caribbean has shown that government spending on tertiary education has heavily favoured the wealthy. So why do we tax everyone (including people without children) to provide a sub-standard education for society and benefits the “well-to-do”? I would argue that this is just another way for government to maintain control of our lives and deny us the opportunity to be in control of the education we would want for our children in an education market place, to chart a future of our choosing. Education costs money, less taxation would mean that we could afford to pay for our children’s literacy and training, and if we don’t have any children there would be more money in our pockets.
Do we need to abolish public schools? I think this is a direction we should be heading in, because what we are doing is not working. Education should be for sale. We need government to stay out of education to improve its standards. Read Phillips’ article and see if it what I am saying is making sense.
Kavon Fiennes is creator of the RightFromYaad blog. He is a 30-something year old ‘Black’, sometimes ‘Brown’, Jamaican. He is a former socialist, nationalist and Democrat, turned Libertarian and semi-conservative since his mid 20′s. He still holds lingering left-wing views on the way society ought to treat the destitute and elderly.