Ruth Kelly, the UK Education Secretary, announced this week that she wishes to extend school opening hours from six and a half hours per week, to ten or eleven, and this to include the normal school holidays, in order that parents can effectively almost entirely offload their responsibilities towards their children onto the state.
Ho hum. Now these poor kids will have to accept the savaging of affectional bonds with their families. Who says that when children get to school age, that they suddenly stop needing the special love and attention that can only be provided by the closest of ties? One only has to recall the misery of boarders during the first week back at senior school, and remember the appalling defence mechanisms that they employed in order to override the grief - the narcissism, the borderline personality disorders, the simple straight-forward depressive tendencies...the list goes on, to see how damaging and stupid this sort of thing is.
This new generation of children will also have to tolerate the intellectually degrading diversity agenda, the moral and cultural relativity and the political correctness that underpins the current UK educational curriculum as constituting the entire content of their day.
They will have to accept all this, along with all the petty restrictions, the coercion, the boredom, the inability to take genuine risks, the unlikelihood of finding out what they are genuinely interested in doing, and the impossibility of learning to deal with that which is censored within the school environment.
How are these children going to learn to engage with the real world outside the confines of the school gates: to see how the world of work really functions, to mix with people of all ages, to care for babies and animals, to cross new roads, to climb real mountains, to play GTA, to find out what it is like to choose one's friends freely and to run naked in the snow? What can we possibly expect of such a generation of children?
Hopefully, this generation will see that all this, the breaking of family bonds, the multi-cultural diversity agenda, the intellectual censorship and all the other limitations that are imposed as the straws that break the camel's back. Perhaps there will be a shift in the ethics underpinning education as young people are allowed to get real again. Perhaps they will just walk and Ms Kelly, far from extending school hours, will find that she has nothing left to extend!
Well, OK but I can but dream. At the very least, I hope that it will make prospective parents think again. What these people should be thinking is, "If we really are going to abandon our children to the state, what is the point of having them in the first place?" Given that we are already concerned about the lack of UK babies, perhaps government would wise up and do something far more constructive, like giving parents tax breaks to pay grandparents to HE their grandchildren!!!