When those in power talk about education too often they mean getting people to think what they think, or to accept their existing ruling class. Currently, much of education is about learning collections of so called ‘facts’ rather than providing the knowledge and skills needed to live satisfying lives in a fast-changing world. If our education system is to prepare current and future generations to respond positively to the vast changes ahead, their education must include the means of securing their livelihood and the power to retain control over their own organizations, including the state. The education system ought to provide young citizens with the skills that empower them to take control over their own lives, which means providing an education that results in them having the know-how to make sound decisions as individuals and as citizens.
Understanding how democracy works and the systems that this requires, needs to be part of the curriculum, which also needs to include how to recognise the kind of leaders that are only interested in gaining power for their own-sake and how to prevent those that seek to manipulate them. People need to learn how to design and run their own organizations and how to develop the systems required if their organizations are to serve the people rather than those that run them. Also, developing an awareness of how to participate effectively within democratically controlled organisations.
We need to halt the process that is transforming our educational institutions into profit-driven businesses. We must encourage a public debate about the future priorities of our education system, how it can be democratised, funded and turned into a service that supports life-long learning for all generations. And, how the education system can best foster self-responsibility, self-help and mutual action.