Thursday, 12 September 2013

NEETional Service

Although a third of Guardian readers agree with him, Philip Hollobone is not quite right. But he is not quite wrong, either.

We need universal and compulsory – non-military, but uniformed, ranked and barracked – National Service, between secondary education and tertiary education or training.

As much as anything else, this would send people to university that little bit worldly-wiser, which would not only be good for academic and behavioural standards, but would also drain such swamps as Marxism, anarcho-capitalism, and the marriage of the two in neoconservatism. No one who had been around even a little bit would ever fall for such things for one moment.

Of course, that is also a very good reason for broadening the social and socio-economic base from which students, and indeed academics, are drawn.

Instead of “widening participation” by abolishing everything in which one might wish to participate, and then only letting in the offspring of the upper middle classes anyway, on the smug assumption of having done one’s bit.

1 comment:

  1. May I suggest a middle way? The school leaving age is raised to 19, so that GCSEs are Years 9-11 instead of Years 10 & 11; and A-Levels are Years 12-14 rather than Years 12 & 13. This would allow examinations to take place in February and March instead of May and June, thus allowing the university application process to proceed with real rather than projected grades. The "long summers" at the end of Years 11 and 14 would be filled with community projects and volunteering, and in the latter case with the applications process.