Saturday 14 June 2014

Education, education, education

This week I started a three week course in Creative Writing with the WEA. It's taster sessions really but none the less very interesting, and more importantly it has made me think. Someone asked me why I was doing it and my reply was, because it's there. It's sad but true that in this day and age the majority of people seem to think that one needs a reason to want to learn; an end goal usually based on some carrot of hopeful financial gain. The concept of education purely for the sake of education is an abstract that most find hard to grasp. It's very sad that, to many, our only reason for being is to make money, and that anything that doesn't actually further that cycle is worthless. I kind of think that's why as a country we are in the state that we are. Any society that puts greed before intellect is truly bankrupt.

In 2010 I wrote this blog posting that started with these words, which sum up how in my opinion education should be viewed:

"It is my belief that education should exist for the enlightenment, enrichment and stimulation of all. It should not be confused with training and it should not be considered the domain solely of the young. Education should be a life-long experience. That doesn’t mean that you have to permanently on a course or always studying for exams. Education is much broader than that. It can be studying for a degree but equally it can just be reading a book. Education should be for education’s sake and not be about producing candidates for jobs."


  1. Wow, you've been busy, Paul; or I've been too lazy to comment. Either way, I'll try to catch up in the next few days.

    I've taken creative writing courses before, as recently as this spring. I can tell you from personal experience (although you've undoubtedly already figured out) that they can be life changing. In the good way, that is, not the "traumatic mental/bodily injury" way.

    I agree wholeheartedly with you on the value of education; knowledge is the greatest treasure of all.

    One line in particular struck me very, VERY hard: "Any society that puts greed before intellect is truly bankrupt".

    I have to politely disagree. A society that does that is not bankrupt; it's in debt. To the tune of several trillions.

    Capitalism is starting to sicken me, Paul. It's starting to sicken my friends, too.

    (By the way, would you mind if I used that quote from you in the future?)

  2. please feel free on the quote usage :-)
    Education is vitally important but doesn't work in vacuum. It needs a society around it that is conducive.