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Entry 440, on 2006-12-08 at 16:32:35 (Rating 4, News)

Our local paper had a commentary by a professor of education on a new emphasis being put into teaching here in New Zealand. The change is to try to make school students more business oriented and more entrepreneurial. Apparently, several donors, including business pressure groups and some anonymous contributors, have been helping in resourcing this new trend.

The writer was scathing about the idea. He likened business people to parasites who just invent new ways to extract money from their fellow citizens without putting much back into the community as a whole. He also questioned how much the consequences of business would be examined: for example the environmental and social effects.

I actually agree with the broad perspective he presented. I know that our economic system relies on successful businesses to drive it and provide employment, but that doesn't mean that it is the way it should be. And I agree that many entrepreneurs are just inventing ways of extracting money from other people. This isn't the case for everyone, of course, there are some entrepreneurs who make a genuine contribution to society, but they would be in the minority, I would suspect.

The real progress we make as a civilisation comes from science and culture, so why aren't those being emphasised in schools? Also we have a shortage of skilled scientists, technicians, medical professionals, etc. Is it not important to encourage more education in those areas instead of business?

We need balance in our schools. We need to value the contributions to society of every type of person. And we need to throw out this crazy idea that people who make a lot of money are to be admired for their contribution to society as a whole. In many ways the complete opposite is true. A report from the BBC said that 2% of people own 50% of the wealth. Why should we admire people who are stealing the bulk of the world's resources from the majority?


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