Tuition Fees are so progressive we should start charging 11 Year Olds to go to school
It’s only fair
Last week I read a Tab comment which changed my life
It was a response to an article I’d written in which, while ineptly attempting to bitch about the NUS, I casually mentioned how I didn’t think maintenance loans (or tuition fees in general) were a particularly good idea. Cans of worms can be so righteously indignant.
My first response was to shut down my laptop and burst into tears. Having got this necessary step out of the way, I picked up the courage to actually read the offending diatribe – so much work had, after all, clearly gone into it. And as I read, I found myself – against my better judgement – becoming more and more compelled.
I realised how foolish I must have appeared for failing to understand how, as a soon-to-be rich Cambridge grad, me paying for the benefits of my education is fairer than the general population forking out so I can spend three years wondering whether the Catholics or the Puritans were more important to a Queen who’s been dead for 400 years.
And it’s not like the increased fees are putting people off. I began to understand how my previous arguments, attributing continued attendance levels to the survival of a culture which has build up over four decades of tertiary education being free, were in fact misguided. Everyone knows how good our generation is at sound microeconomic forethought.
So enchanted was I with this new-found egalitarianism I thought, why not apply it earlier? Why should the younger sort of millennial get away with free, career advancing education at the expense of the taxpayer?
Obviously I wouldn’t want to exploit the little tykes. We’d want a system in which even Tiny Tommy the Urchin Boy, whose legs had to be amputated after a tragic accident in the cotton mill, could still attend.
We’d need something like a “special loan” which they only have to pay off if they ever begin working at a job which requires them to use at least 3 of their GCSEs. Obviously, this won’t apply to little Augustus Fauntleroy because his parents will be able to pay his off straight away, but well done them for working so hard, eh?
Some of you myopic leftist naysayers will throw around words like “education being a right” and vague assertions that a more educated population serves the economy better in the long run. I was once like you. But now I see giving people beyond the age of 11 free education is grossly unfair to all those in the population who don’t go to school at the age of 11, despite the fact they would then be entirely free to do so then, or at any later point in their lives.
“But they need those skills to get by in the world of work!”, they cry. You know what I learnt about in Year 7? Macbeth, the structure of a plant cell and quadratic equations. Yeah, real useful stuff. Sometimes whole hours go by when I don’t think about Assonance and the Gas Exchange.
I suppose the only qualm sensible folk might have is why I’ve stopped at the arbitrary age of 11 – why should being at an age at which the Star Wars prequels seem good entitle you to privileges people older than you don’t have? But I remind you: these are children – why should the decisions they make now straddle them with insurmountable amounts of debt for the rest of their lives*?
*Little Augustus Fontleroy notwithstanding
For those still in doubt, I point you in the direction of New Zealand, where these kind of reforms have already been implemented. The number of children opting out of school post 11 has barely dropped at all, with many claiming to have made the decision because it’s “where all my friends are going”, or because “in this economic climate I won’t be able to get a job if I don’t” or even that “they see no reason they should be denied access to an education system which benefitted their parents, and will continue to benefit the wealthy – massive payments be fucked”.
And think of all the good it could do. This year, the government spent £25.7 billion on secondary education. Below I have listed just a few of the ways that sum could be better used:
233 RAF Typhoons
“Education – what is it good for?!” amirite? Who’s got time for it when we all know the real future prospects of our country rest on our ability to bomb the Middle East.
More Nice Things for Old People
We all love old people, with their achey limbs and misgivings about the transgender movement. They deserve more than the 26% of the government’s budget spent on pensions, free dentist treatment, travel cards, a winter fuel allowance that many of them don’t need, and priority seats on the bus – and not just because they actually vote!
100 billion tins of Sainsbury’s Basics baked beans
Stacked on top of one another, they could reach the moon 26 times! This many beans would feed the three billion people living on less than £2.50 a day for the next 34 days at least, provided they could subsist on a diet consisting only of beans.
I hope this article has in some way Enlightened you about the state of our education system. Join me next time as I list even more public services we should turn into commodities for short term profit despite being totally unfeasible in the long run, beginning with the National Health Service.