An article on The Register entitled ‘Stealing songs is wrong’ lessons head for UK schools seems at very first glance, and I mean very first, a worthy idea – that is, don’t steal. But looking beyond it, it’s a mess and a nasty one.
So a child is educated that downloading music from p2p networks is wrong. In essence this is arguably a good thing – I’m ignoring a lot of the p2p arguments right now – except for one bit.
Why is this being brought into schools ? There are plenty of ‘warnings’ about this issue already, so why spend time – educational time – telling young children ? Why is the medium of mass media not being utilised for this task ? Don’t you find it scary that the Govt is using a tool over which they have almost complete control to educate a group of people who not are the majority of illegal downloaders ? I certainly do….
How long before we see a headline where a kid, pissed at his parents for some reason reports them for the mp3’s that are on Dad’s computer ?
To me, and I know it could be seen as an exaggeration, it’s like the Govt is not just trying to teach these little people, it is trying to use them as a tool – and that’s wrong. Now call that daft, but as soon as this sort of ‘Big Brother’ tactic starts to be used, so the slippery slope into the blurring of the purpose and nature of education begins. The nature of education has been decided overall by educators, by parents, by society. Sure the Govt may have always had the final say, but they are not, and should not, be the arbiter of what must and must not be taught – just look at the stupidity of Section 28 (the forbidding of the promotion of homosexuality by local authorities. BBC Link) for a prime example.
Do we want our children to be educated in the way that our Govt ultimately wish, or the way that our teachers decide is the best use of a child’s time in school ?
And with the way Govt’s work, if this is deemed a success, what could be next ?