Monday, July 16, 2012

The Public Education Predicament

If someone were to come up and tell you that the education provided in the United States is one of the best in the world, you would most likely nod in agreement because this is after all the United States of America we are speaking of, a country which can afford to give its students the latest technological innovations to aid them with their education and some of the best and the brightest minds to educate their younger generations. But the truth is often very different from what we can imagine.

If you are residing in the United States and are one of the lucky few who can actually afford Private schooling, there is a very higher chance for your child to complete his/her education in a timely fashion, but if you fall amongst the other majority who have to opt for Public schooling, your child will have to face a system where teachers are not mandated to provide the right education and where students have to be accepted regardless of their behavior.

The problem - public schools are complicated, underfunded operations greatly influenced by political whims. Financed through federal, state, and local taxes, public schools are part of a larger school system, which functions as a part of the government and must follow the rules and regulations set by politicians. And if that wasn't enough, the Teachers Union also enjoys considerable control over the regulations set on public school.

Friday, July 6, 2012

How Did Colonial Rule Restructure the Gender Relations of Colonised People?

This article aims to evaluate the impact of colonial rule on the restructuring of gender relations with regards to Africa, paying specific attention to Ghana as a case study. It is widely agreed amongst political scholars that colonialism did significantly contribute to the reconstruction of gender relations in Africa. It is somewhat easy to make generalizations in the case of Africa, due to its vast continental size and several nation state divisions that each has its own background and religions. Moreover, Africa was not colonized by a single colonial rule but by a variety of European states that each had their own unique cultural backdrop and therefore left different impacts on distinctive regions of the continent. I wish to pursue the argument that colonialism did influence gender relations and most remarkably culminated in the demeaning and degradation of women's status in many spectrums.

Colonial rule reinforced the portrayal of women as being substandard and subservient, and depicted images of purity and propensity for child-rearing that did not have as much prominence prior to the influx of colonizers. Such exploitative gender relations were imposed during colonial rule with unfavourable outcomes for women. Unfortunately many of the prejudices have been maintained after decolonization, resulting in the discrimination of women in nationalist movements and in modern African institutions.

This article deals with analysis on how colonizers perceived the representation of women after arrival in Africa and how they went about restructuring and reinventing 'traditions' of social, economic, political, and sexual relations between the two sexes. In particular, I will investigate effects of altered gender relations in Ghana as a case study, with specific focus on women's perceptions of gender inequalities. Furthermore, I will explore the repercussions of the reconstructions in gender relations in Africa and furthermore the subsequent impacts on the status of women in post-colonial societies and the weakening of women's political institutions, and an examination of the work of nationalist movements to ameliorate gender relations of colonized peoples.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Education Taxes and Government Schools

School levies will once again be on the ballot in various districts around my home state of Washington on February 14 (Valentine's Day). The education establishment learned some time ago not to put bonds and levies on the regular November ballot as they often fail at elections where larger numbers of voters turn out. In recent years, such levies are nearly always voted on in a so-called "special election" at an off season when nothing else is on the ballot and few voters participate. If the education establishment can get its base of support to turn out, and if few voters participate overall, then an ever-increasing flow of revenue for the bloated education bureaucracy will much more likely result. Never mind the waste of taxpayer dollars spent on a special election - "it's for the kids!"

I'm sorry to have to say it, but those of us who identify ourselves as Christian, conservative or Constitutional, tend to spend more time complaining than taking action. We've become too preoccupied with talking about how big the education establishment is, how much money they have and how much power they have. We've convinced ourselves that there's nothing we can do to stop the Godless, humanistic, socialistic brainwashing of a generation by the all-powerful government education establishment. But I beg to differ. In fact, I dare say that there are few if any problems facing America today that we couldn't lick if we had the courage of our professed convictions and were willing to endure a little hardship and make some sacrifice.

For example, I'm persuaded that if Christians, conservatives and Constitutionists were to act on their professed values, we could demonstrate for all to see that there isn't even a need for a government-run education system. If the large percentage of the population that identifies as Christian were to place their children into Christian private schools, or homeschool (an equal or in some cases even better alternative), the government-run schools would become virtual ghost towns. The injustice of taxing all the citizens in order to prop up the establishment bureaucracy that serves only a few, would become evident for all to see. The people would soon demand their tax dollars be returned to them to be used on the education option of their choice. The government education bureaucracy just might be put out of business altogether.