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Last updated on March 6th, 2018 at 12:30 am

John Howard on education and opportunity:

We went through a generation in this country where parents discouraged their children from going into trades, and they said to them, “the only way you will get ahead in life is to stay at school until year 12, go to university.” Year 12 retention rates became the goal, high year 12 retention rates became the goal. Instead of us as a nation recognising there are some people who shouldn’t go to university, and what they should do is at year 10, decide they are going to become a tradesman. They will be just as well off, and from my experience and observation, a great deal better off than many others. I think we have to change that, and it’s a very big challenge because 30 years ago, we started getting this foolish bind that everybody had to go to university. Everybody doesn’t have to go to university, and a lot of people will be a lot better off if they don’t go to university and they recognise that at age 15 or 16, and go down the technical stream.

Seems reasonable enough; why should people gifted enough to join the workforce at a young age be forced to undergo the years of tertiary education required by slower learners? Yet Howard’s mild views have provoked much hostile opposition.

(Via J.F. Beck)

Posted by Tim B. on 03/07/2005 at 08:10 AM
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