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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume 33 No. 4. 7 April 1970

Education: National Prosperity or National Suicide

page 8

Education: National Prosperity or National Suicide

Mr Muldoon has raised, we hope, much more than a storm in a teacup.

That there is a much needed and well considered investigation required as to just where we are going with education the taxpayer will agree. That educationists have for too long lain on a bed of roses sweet-cented with the taxpayers' money cannot be denied.

Mr Muldoon has pushed the first thorn into this bed of roses. For year's the taxpayer has listened to the now familiar cry a higher pay for those in privileged places.

For years the majority have had the thumbscrews put on them in order to provide for the favoured few.

Is it not high time the question was put—just what are we getting out of education?

One wonders if educationists are like the brewers of beer, the speculators in land or those creators of nebulous nothing called religion. Who, like the shark that has strayed from the sea of human conscience are dead bent on seeing that its own stomach is well fed first. It may be justifiably asked is much education necessary in an agricultural economy such as ours.

Situated within chains of this magnificent edifice, the Victoria University, are acres and acres of gorse-covered hills. If every student was given a grubber instead of a pen, and put to grubbing this gorse, one wonders which would be the most profitable to all those people situated between North Cape and the Bluff.

Take the business tycoon, a very well educated gentleman he. Sitting in his office and ordering that this be sold now and that be sold some other time. One wonders just what part he plays in the ever increasing cost of living. Let's be very definite about it, he is the polished product of education.

In this fair city in which we dwell exist many thousands of so-called public servants. All well educated gentlemen these, producing nothing of what they eat wear or use. They too are the product of education, the ultimate end of education. One wonders just what part this hive of drones plays in the ever-increasing cost of living.

Just what is the aim of education? Is it to give the educated abilities to parasitise on those not so well endowed. Many millions of the taxpayers' money are spent on making men good industrialists who, when they pass out of the doors of universities, find they are living in an agriculture economy and nothing is available here for their new-found skills. Overseas they go and the cost of their education goes with them. Have education institutes become like a damp, dark forest?

Full of thin, rotten timber, badly in need of Mr Muldoon's pruning axe. If this axe was put to good use would not the forest produce some good and worthwhile trees of timber? The taxpayer may justifiably ask what return he gets out of the teaching of Greek and Latin.

Photograph of Robert Muldoon

Prestige, is this the ultimate aim of education? Is this what the taxpayer has the thumbscrews tightened down on him for?

Is education endowing us with a new aristocrat? If so, it may be in for a rough journey in the future. An ability to give itself class over those less endowed. That much of this class distinction exists cannot be denied, but it would be very unfair to credit all educationists in this manner.

The criterion at issue is just how much harm is derived nationally and how much good derived. That education has many hidden cancers, the ultimate end of which are not so easily discerned by the taxpaying public, cannot be denied.

Mr Muldoon, you have the brains and the public conscience at heart I am sure. You have put your hands to the plough, do not take them off, Mr Muldoon, until you have turned up the whole dark furrow to the taxpayers eyes.