Updated: Jun 3
Why does the Government offer free education for which private schools charge on average about £14,000+?
An article published in the Telegraph (2017) reported that on average private school education in the UK costs about £14,102 per year. Whereas boarding schools could cost about £32,259 per year! The figures vary in different parts of the UK, in some parts the difference in cost being up to £6,000, but the point is that private schooling is suuuuper expensive! Contrast this with State-Maintained schools that are absolutely free! I could not help but ask, why?
In fact, this seems to be the trend worldwide. In some countries like India, the cost of Government schools’ education is about Rs. 25 or less (which is about 25 British Pence). Compare that to a good private school which could charge up to Rs. 10,25,000 per year, roughly £10,000/annum (Kamboj 2019). Why does the Government charge a paltry 0.0004% of what the private schools charge?
The story goes back a long time ago when computers were not a thing. Physical labour was necessary to earn the daily bread. However, in this age, people who could read and count had a considerable edge over those who couldn’t.
People who could count could do things like managing business transactions, and salaries, and understood profit and loss well.
Whereas people who could read could speak more eloquently, which meant they could convince, persuade, sell, and negotiate well.
Those who could do both could become rich very quickly. After all, if you understood the math in your profit and loss and could smooth talk passers-by to buy your potatoes - chances are, you would make an excellent merchant.
The more profits such people made; the more revenue or tax they had to pay to the monarch. And rulers loved successful and rich merchants and therefore encouraged trade in the kingdom.
More trade = more tax, and an incredibly happy King on the throne. (Or Queen)
Fast forward to the modern world where governments have replaced monarchs (at least in most countries).
Today, schools churn out thousands of children every year. These children become equipped with English (speaking skills) and Maths (counting skills) and go on to graduate from universities. Graduates earn higher salaries than non-graduates and more educated individuals earn higher wages. Higher wages mean higher taxes, and that boosts the economy.
This is why it is a really good idea to have more educated people in the country who can work and bring in more tax for the economy. So, this is why governments tend to invest in educating children and young people to make them employable by making state schools free.
This was, and still is, a profitable cycle. We call it the Economic Cycle of Education.
If the Government did not subsidise or make free basic education, majority of its people would sink into poverty, unemployment, and therefore taking the economy down with them.
But there had been a fundamental flaw in this cycle, one which the governments overlooked. Education prioritised the teaching of literacy, numeracy, and employment related skills over the instilling of moral values. There was little to no room for explicit character development.
Consider this analogy: Here are two models of the education system.
The first one has an immense focus on academic attainment. It emphasizes the learning of English and Maths and dedicates a chunk of its daily timetable to these subjects. It does not prioritize things like moral values or understanding inequality. It focuses on the acquisition of knowledge that would create young people suitable for employment.
A child enters this education system as a toddler and exits school having acquired proficiency in English, Maths, and Science. The child goes on to become a graduate. They study further and become a doctor. Since, the child never had much exposure to understanding empathy, humility, and other character qualities – when they start their practice, they think less about the quality of life of the patients and more about the quality of their own life, salary, and career. Similarly, if the child were to become a teacher, they would see their students as targets and grades rather than the future of the world. If they became a politician, they would serve in the best interests of their own self rather than the public.
Now imagine, if instead of this education system, this child entered a slightly different model of the education system. One which alongside knowledge acquisition lays a strong emphasis on character development. Where kindness, humility, and honesty are the fabric of its culture. One that helps this child unleash the power of their own moral compass. Then when they become a doctor, they value life. Then if they become a teacher, they instil integrity. If they become a politician, they serve the people of their country rather than their own pocket. They become a person of great character.
It is easy to see that the second model of the education system can bring a tidal wave of reform to so many professions like politics, medicine, sports, education, civil service, etc. It can solve so many of the global problems we see today and mitigate many inequalities that exist in society.
Simply because it turns children into adults who use their moral compass in whichever field they are. So many of the wider world problems like crime, anti-social behaviour, intolerance, racism, communal strife, poverty, and war would be mitigated through this model of the education system which emphasizes moral awareness from an early age.
We call it the Education for Heroism, the ingredients to which are kindness, honesty, and humility.
This is the model of education we propose at Being The Cure. Schools of heroism across the country that create real heroes. The ones we really need today.
Suter, L. and Richard, D., 2017. With Private School Fees Up 70Pc Since 2004, How Are Families Paying? [online] The Telegraph. Available at: <https://www.telegraph.co.uk/investing/funds/five-ways-to-meet-the-156653-cost-of-private-school/> [Accessed 25 December 2020].
Kamboj, S., 2019. 10 Most Expensive Schools In India | Ritiriwaz. [online] Ritiriwaz.com. Available at: <https://www.ritiriwaz.com/10-most-expensive-schools-in-india/> [Accessed 25 December 2020].