The Merkel over at The View from Benambra is drawing up The Blogosphere Party Manifesto. Of course, he has named himself benevolent dictator. Now, I will have you know, dear members of the polity, that I challenge this. As you can see from the photograph above, I have been shopping for the inauguration. We'll leave that to one side. With all the accusations of branch stacking and a round of preselection in Victoria's ALP, it's all too much for Miss Eagle and she has an attack of the vapours. So arguments about benevolent dictatorships can take place later - comments, though, are welcome on the topic of BBD (Blogosphere's Benevolent Dictatorship.
Miss Eagle has long standing policies - usually articulated after a substantial intake of champers or, coz originally I'm a Queensland girl, Bundy and Coke.
Education would be regarded as a lifelong pursuit and would be free to all Australian citizens from childcare, through preschool, primary and high school, to TAFEs and Universities. Admission would be firstly on merit, then free to citizens. Overseas students would have to gain entry on merit, together with significant English language testing (please ensure they know the difference between singular and plural!), and would be fee-paying. Measures would be put in place to ensure that the powers-that-be at any educational institution did not put considerations of money and placement of overseas students before impartial marking and assessment of high integrity.
Apprenticeships would be eliminated and measures taken to avoid any training or training rates of pay which smacked of an excuse for cheap labour. Education of all types would be fully articulated so that people could access the training they needed as they needed it throughout life.
Instance: What is now a building trades apprenticeship would be superceded by modules. Someone might access one or two of those modules now but have no wish to commit to long term study. There would be easy return to further modules at a later date because there would be no apprenticeship commitment and no fees and no apprentice pay rates. The building trades modules would be able to be articulated to something like an architecture degree - because it too would be in modules and there would be no fixed term commitment to complete a formal degree. Along the way our building trades-cum-architecture person might articulate into design, fine arts, or computer science and technology.
Most university subjects would be taught through distance learning - thus avoiding the need for huge capital expenditure on buildings at TAFEs and Universities. For many subjects, there would be no face to face lecturer contact. For those subjects needing a high level of face to face contact for practical teaching, i.e. medicine, this would be done in intensive blocks. Between the internet and videoconferencing, other tools can be used without the geographic and time restrictions of regular travel to a campus. Money saved on building could be spent on library, information, and technology access.
Now, dear subjects of the blogosphere, that is enough for to-day. Have a think about that and chat among yourselves and let me know what you think.