Tuesday, 6 November 2012


Girls Coming From School

Altogether, my son is one of a group of six kids moving from his current kinder to start prep next year at the public school closest to us. All six are boys.
This does not seem to be a geographical coincidence. Girls, according to the list at our kinder, get sent to private schools at a much higher ratio than boys. Multiple explanations can be offered, but I would put my money on this one: I would say it all comes down to the perceived need to protect girls from the general public.
Just in case you were wondering how chauvinism gets itself entrenched in society even during this, the 21st century.

Image by jwinfred, Creative Commons license


Sarah said...

I think your sampling process is a little faulty! Out of the 26 at my son's kinder boys and girls 0 are going to private schools. Considering we are are in the eastern suburbs which are close to a large selection of private schools you would think more would go. The go around here seems to be to do state school for primary and move to private in the secondary years.

Moshe Reuveni said...

Obviously, it would be very stupid of me to claim my statistical sample here has any meaning beyond the anecdotal. It was just an cheap & dirty way for me to introduce a thought I've had anyway.
In case it comforts you, the "go around" everywhere I know is to send the kids to a private highschool because "that's where it really counts". As I said before, there are some reasons for sending your child to a private school that I consider legitimate; this one isn't. I see at as a mirror to people's fears and anxieties.
Than again, what do I know? I'm just a stupid idiot that's a product of a public schooling system.

Sarah said...

I think it is a very valid point that people put very little thought in their final choice and go with a private secondary school education because they think it is somehow a better education just because everyone says so.

There are great state schools out there and imagine how much better they could be if they received some of the funding the private schools get from the government. There also some great catholic schools which as they aren't governed by the Dept of Education have the freedom to do some innovative stuff (if you can get past all the religious stuff of course!)

Having just gone through the process of selecting a school I am a firm believer in looking at each school on it's own merits of the culture, values, curriculum and community and how that meshes with my child's needs rather than whether it is state, catholic or independent or has the best NAPLAN results. However I realise not everyone is like me and they just want either to be able to walk and don't care about the rest or they want the best according to what everyone else says.

BTW - Some of the best people I know are the result of the public system myself included!

Moshe Reuveni said...

My views on this matter are slightly different to yours. First there's the view that private schools need not exist in the first place, because what purpose do they serve in the first place other than creating divisions in society? Second, and closely related, schools should help create a society where everyone is equal with significant attempts towards equal outcomes. The whole concept of private schools is to give those that can the ability to get a better outcome.
Obviously, there are special needs and special circumstances around, but the public system should be able to handle those.