Friday, 30 March 2018

EDUCATION WOES

They have a multi-million dollar deficit, so U Wisconsin at Stevens Point examines ways to augment student enrolment. First, they intend to ax English, Spanish, History, Philosophy and a host of other majors.


   March, 2018. Students protest the school's proposals                      photo: Washington Post

How do we live without reflection?

In Argentina 1966, the dictatorship went on a rampage, shutting down the University of Buenos Aires labs and libraries, and taking control of our curriculum. They forbade the use of the new computer named "Clementine" an NCR job the students were using to recalculate the Fibonacci sequence, then they took the big machine apart and kicked the technicians out of the country. By the way, Clementine was Latin America's first computer.


 July 29, 1966. Students and faculty are arrested as the dictatorship takes control of the
      Universidad de Buenos Aires.                                                                             Photo: Educ.ar

Students and faculty rebelled, the authorities retorted with extreme violence and Argentina lost its brains: 1,378 professors resigned, 300+ emigrated, 200 scientists were fired, 86 research specialists were sent back to their countries.

If that didn't set us back, I don't know what did.

I respect Wisconsin U's decision to provide practical knowledge and new career paths for students but, what about balance? If the majors mentioned above fetch low or no enrolment, educators might reduce the budgets or include social sciences and the humanities subjects within other majors.

Point is, progress stalls when we ignore our own story.

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