Thursday, July 21, 2005

Encouraging education

A few months back, John Quiggin had this to say about a study which suggested kids consistently underestimate the qualifications they will need for a particular job.

This is why it is so important to encourage study, whether to the end of year 12, HSC, whatever you call it, or further into tertiary education. Given how few year 10 kids (16 year olds?) know what they want to do in life, why would we encourage them, by way of policy, to stop studying whilst they worked it out?

I know some kids are not suited to study and that is fine. However, for a lot of people, finishing school at year 10 is folly. Whilst I do not necessarily think we should have such a vast range of university courses available either, there is a middle ground for those who wish to end up in trade, without forcing them to endure 3 years of university, or cut off most of their options by failing to complete a secondary qualification.

Surely we should be encouraging people in general to be as widely educated as possible. Nobody should be denied the opportunity to finish year 12. We should probably not force them to either, but there must be a policy mechanism which encourages those on the borderline to complete as much study as possible.

That way, everyone has the widest range of options possible when they leave whatever education in which they participate.

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