Thursday, June 18, 2009

A passion for learning

David Blunkett, who promoted the Green Paper on Lifelong Learning, The Learning Age in 1998, and who himself was a beneficiary of adult education, has joined the fray with a cautious, though explicit, criticism of government policy.
Education can transform lives. It fosters dignity, confidence and capability - and investing in it makes sense for individuals and for the health (economic and physical) of the nation.
He even thinks it is more likely to help you stop smoking.

Then there is this interesting line, "But the bigger challenge facing the new department is to trust people to make their own decisions about what they need to learn".

At any level? Because the government has effectively barred people from studying for an equivalent or lower qualification than one they hold already, a crazy policy that has wreaked havoc with university lifelong learning departments. Is Blunkett coming out against it?

I would like to think so, but one little fact nags away at me. When the proposal was debated in the Commons, he voted with the government. Ah... Party loyalty trumps principle and sense every time.

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