Friday, 2 July 2010

'Leave them kids alone...'

There's been a regime change at my daughters' school. Dressed up in modern management speak about 'outcomes' and 'milestones' it seems to be a profoundly reactionary attempt to turn educational values back thirty years. Most visibly evident in a new uniform code that requires pupils to wear blazers and staff to wear 'smart office dress'.

Rather more sinister though is the creation of a biometric database of the pupils. To allow cash-less payment for meals in the school canteen. For fuck's sake! Whatever happened to 'dinner money' ? Or, if the intention was to save the humiliation of those pupils who get free school meals - then how about a pre-paid swipe card system ?

As I get older I get more paranoid about the creeping pervasiveness of authority's surveillance and control. Collecting and digitizing kids' fingerprints to create a database  suggests a normalisation of this kind of thing under the guise of a seemingly  innocuous pretext. In a couple of years we will probably next see an introduction of RFID tagging of pupils on the grounds of monitoring their  health and safety. 

Education has always had a large component of socialisation  - and it seems that kids are now being conditioned in their formative years to accept the Big Brother state. 

Judging by the small minority of parents who have opted to take their kids out of the scheme it looks depressingly like that sinister shit is working.

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