So today the schools in England are shut. I find it funny how so many parents complain when teachers strike about how they will now have to take care of their children. Surely they have to do the same on a bank holiday or an INSET day? I think it is the government who merely try to present the striking teachers in a negative way so that they can continue with their budget cuts. Of course it is inconvenient but the strike is announced many weeks before. Other strikes are much more problematic such as tube drivers or the 1980s miner’s strike.
However, the teachers striking tomorrow have more of a right and a claim to strike than those tube drivers because they are protesting against not only the below inflation pay rise that they have received for many years but also against the repressive cuts to education being made by the government. They claim they want to inspire students to study more, that they want to improve the skills of the UK workforce, that they want to improve the economy, yet they are suppressing the very source of growth. There are many other departments which can easily be cut, especially the military budget, instead of the all-important education of students. The government has cut EMA, cut the budget for Connexions, the value of over-18 students and the pay of teachers. Why?
It is claimed that the government are pushing us towards the privatisation of education which would be a terrible idea. Unregulated education will only enhance the division between the rich and the poor further while ensuring the rich rise higher. Furthermore, it is hard to see what other benefits it would bring to the nation at large. Tax cuts? Yes maybe for those in the higher tax bracket or with a headline grabbing yet shallow rise in the amount of income before tax is applicable. So the teachers who are fighting for students tomorrow, well done and those who are not, shame on you.
While for me, the elation at hearing college will be closed has been tainted with the realisation that I have to visit my future university today, which is not something bad, it just means I do not get to enjoy the STRIKE!