Sunday, 22 May 2016

We don't need no [private] education

We already know a lot about Australian private schools. For example, we know they often get more tax payer money funding for each of their students than state schools in the same area do (and that's aside of the money parents pay out of pocket). It's getting to the point one can argue one is saving tax payer money by sending their kids to private schools.
The number one question with regards to private schools remains the same, though: is it worth it? Can this huge parental investment of around $20K out of pocket per student per year (Catholic schools cost less) show a decent return on investment? After all, there is a whole galaxy of private tutoring one could purchase with that same amount of money.


We recently got some sort of an answer from Brighton Grammar, a prestigious private school in the Melbourne area. It published a guide on bullying which claimed, among others, that kids who get bullied have themselves to blame. I don't think there is a need for me to go on and explain just how bad a claim this is; suffice to say it reeks of the same victim blaming we tend to hear with rape cases, stuff along the lines of "she brought it on herself by wearing a short skirt".
The school itself, a boys only affair, only provided a half hearted non-apology following all the protests.
If Brighton Grammar hadn't already demonstrated where it is standing by virtue of it being a boys only school, this latest educational message clarifies affairs firmly: it is stuck some hundred years or so ago, providing an education system not unlike that depicted in Pink Floyd's The Wall. It does so in a very flashy manner, offering Olympic swimming pools and precision cut grass on the oval (it is truth universally acknowledged that the standard deviation of the grass' length requires NASA grade laser tools to measure). But it is still archaic.
This is what parents, as well as tax payers, are getting for their money. A status symbol that has little to do with 21st century education.

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