Filed under: Comment
So when I went home recently, I found out that the college at the bottom of my street – the college I attended that is attached to the comprehensive school I attended that is attached to the primary school I attended – is closing down.
Despite it having provided free excellent further education to tens of thousands of students for decades, it recently got sold – by Nottinghamshire county council – to a private education company.
Because they have other campuses around the city, they have decided that all the current students can go to one of their other campuses, freeing them up to and sell the land to housing developers for millions.
I cannot tell you how upset and angry this has made me.
First of all, the fact that Nottingham County Council think it’s OK to sell a place of education is bad enough.
I know they’re in huge debt, but that debt is due to years of greed and stupidity and the fact they think it’s OK to try and cover their mistakes at the expense of future generations education is a disgrace.
Then to sell it to an organisation who view education as a profit centre – something I passionately am opposed to – is hugely upsetting, because they have just screwed over Nottingham’s young on 2 levels.
However the fact Nottingham County Council then allowed this company to sell the campus so they could profit by allowing even more houses to be built on the land just blows my mind.
I know England is supposedly massively short of houses, but to sell a place of education to solve this is despicable.
But the bit that seems most fucked-up of all is that by building more houses, there will be a greater need for a place of education for all the kids of the new young families who move there … which will place even more pressure on infrastructure and environment and drive the cost of education even more beyond the reach of many.
I appreciate we live in financially challenging times – which, let’s not forget, to different degrees we are all responsible for – but if we classify education as an expense rather than an investment [both in terms of helping people achieve more with their life, not to mention increasing the chances of them identifying and creating new industries and opportunities that can help millions economically and socially] then local councils and Governments are even more short-sighted than I feared.
I know it’s much more complex than this.
I know I am responding to this with an emotional, sentimental bias.
I know that having other college campuses to attend means people aren’t without options.
But this ‘sell land to developers’ to try and balance our economic mistakes of the past has many implications and if we’re not careful, we’re ensuring the next generations have even less chance of creating a better world for themselves and others.
Unless they come from very rich families.
Another reason why communism might not be so bad after all.
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