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Education - Public or Private?
Publication date: 2002-07-05

There is Much Fuss in the Media about Private Tuition, but the Real Issue Is ...

Tony Blair has his children tutored privately. So what?

But the media have made out of it a big issue.

There is a big issue in it, but not Tony Blair.

The issue is that public education is “political”.

The main driving motive behind the development of the public education system in Britain has been the doctrine of ‘social justice’ (or simply — envy), exemplified by the following:

“Nobody should have better education than my child.”
“If I cannot afford private tuition, then nobody should be allowed to have one.”
“It is unfair that some people can afford to send their children to a private school, while others can”'t. Private schools should banned.
“If the children of the rich have riding lessons, so should those of the poor.”

It is this type of logic that has been fashioning the British public education system and has made it what it is now.

Had it been the product of honest government, rather than ‘left‐right’ politics, then the approach to the public education system would have been different.

To begin with we would have to establish, whether there exists a need for such system at all. Because unless there is a clearly established need for a government activity, then such activity is misuse of public funds, and is a criminal act on the part of a government.

The determine whether there exists a need for a system of public education one has to ask, what would have happened, if it did not exist?

The answer is: “some children would have no education at all”.

The result would have been that some of these uneducated children would have become a burden, a nuisance, and a danger to the society. And it is this reason, and this reason alone, that justifies the existence of a state education system financed out of public funds.

Does the present system of public education ensure that every child, who has passed through it, is a self‐supporting law‐abiding citizen and not a burden, nuisance, or danger to the society?

It is common knowledge that the answer is: “No!”. And this means that the present system of public education is a failure.

And it is this issue that the government and the media should address, rather than pandering to envy.

The very existence of this envy, is a proof of the failure of the present system of public education.

And what about private education?

Private education is a non‐criminal private activity. And for that reason should not be interfered with by the government. It is a private matter.

If a person is free to spend time and money watching a football match, then why should he be forbidden to spend time and money to educate himself or his children?

So, how to achieve a system of education that produces self-supporting law-abiding citizens, free from envy and not prone to be manipulated by politicians?

Observing people in different countries at different levels of society I have noticed, that the most successful people, judging by any standard, are not those who spend the longest time in educational institutions, but those who have the right attitude to life, and who have the ability to acquire knowledge required by the circumstances of their life as they go along.

It is quite common to see in the business environment, a chap with one or more university degrees doing an under £20,000 p.a. “white collar” job next to a self‐educated consultant earning 10 times that much, while the business owner for whom they are working has no formal education at all, but has succeeded in creating a business that feeds them all.

There are also quite a few drug addicts, alcoholics, common law criminals, and even “politicians” with university degrees.

There is no hope of making the present public system of education work, until it is freed from “politics”, and unless the purpose of it is clearly defined from prime principles.

Unless and until this happens the public education system will continue to be expensive “party political football”, churning out “social cases” rather than self‐supporting law‐abiding citizens.

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