Michelle Hanson joins the chorus of disapproval of the changes to the funding of Adult Education.
...what does the modern world need with little old ladies learning medieval history and GCSE Spanish for fun? Or people retraining, or getting their qualifications up to date, or anyone who can only study in the evenings or weekends, which is mostly women?
She doesn't get the details of the changes quite right, but is only too aware of the sentiment behind them,
...lifelong learning and flexible or part-time courses suddenly aren't so important after all. All we really want now are courses that increase "employability, career prospects and earnings".
It is heartening to see the mainstream media taking up the issue. However, the Government is showing a grim determination to persevere with this awful policy against all the opposition and evidence of the damage that will be done. Hanson puts it a bit too strongly when she writes,
If they proceed as planned this time, adult education will go down the tubes, together with all those universities and colleges, like Birkbeck and the Open University and Mrs Fielding's college, which have, until now, poured their souls into supporting lifelong learning.
Some certainly will survive, but she isn't that far off about the consequences of this act of vandalism. She concludes, "Optimists may still petition our government at petitions.pm.gov.uk/ELQFunding/". If you haven't signed yet, please do so now.
As of this morning (5/12) there were 11,768 signatures on the petition. NOW over 12,000 have signed.