What they should be teaching at school now

For a number of years now some enlightened people in the academic world have questioned the value of the current curriculum in our primary and secondary schools. Any rational, forward thinking person would concur with them.

The function of schools is hopelessly out of date. They were originally designed to produce literate workers for the offices and factories of post industrialised Britain. We have long since got past that stage and what was needed next in our schools was the facilitation of creativity and happiness so that communities could be strengthened and maintained.

I use the past tense because I suddenly realised today that in order to stay ahead of the curve, such laudable subjects have now become secondary to a far more urgent subject; survival in the coming century.

I was listening to a discussion on the radio where an advocate of nuclear energy was stating her case. She pointed out that even with more fuel efficient devices, power consumption continues to increase. She gave the example of someone buying a new refrigerator which, because of its efficiency, would use less energy. Unfortunately, the buyer then tends to move the old refrigerator into the garage to keep their beer cold and so their overall power consumption increases. That was when I realised education was the key in helping our children survive the coming decades.

Power consumption has to level off and then decrease if current civilisation has a future. That means a completely new way of thinking about consumerism. For this new way of thinking to work, it has to be inculcated, from the earliest age into the next generation. It is too late for the adults. Too many of them are indoctrinated with the mantras of growth and disposability. Putting the old fridge into the garage may seem like a positive contribution to the environment but it is not. You don’t throw it away either. You dismantle it and reuse whatever parts you can before recycling those parts which cannot be utilised in other devices. The mindset has to be; ‘what if this is the last refrigerator that will ever be made?’

Children are malleable enough to accommodate a new template for living. It would be so much easier for them to make a controlled deceleration into sustainable living through education. But this won’t happen. No-one in power will have the foresight or integrity to implement such a radical shift. Politicians want power, not a sustainable future. Our children will have to take a baptism of fire when the economy implodes and they are left with only the useless information given to them by an antiquated education system to deal with the massive problems they will face.

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