There’s more to life than university. And although we’re investigating it here for our latest teen I’m no more hoodwinked into believing the propaganda that it is the only route to a successful and prosperous life than I’m hoodwinked into believing school is the only answer to an education. As a home educator we have proof that it’s not.
A few years ago we came across the Edge Foundation. http://www.edge.co.uk/home An organisation ‘dedicated to raising the status of practical and vocational learning’. Such an inspirational concept, we got involved and they used us as one of their ‘success stories’ which illustrate paths other than the purely academic.
The snobbery attached to the academic in favour of the vocational or practical can get me riled enough to rip up prospectuses in anger. There are far too many young people pushed forward into academic degrees simply because they have an aptitude for it, or make the school or government Stats look good, or probably more common; their parents want the status in their social circles. Or, also very common; they don’t know what else to do. What a reason for deciding a career! I think it’s more sad that young people leave school without ever having realised where their vocation lies than it is them leaving without qualification. It says something about schools’ failure to identify and develop children’s potential; to ‘lead them out’ as is the real meaning of education, rather than just fill them up with academics.
So it’s really good to know that there are organisations out there that herald and applaud the vocational qualification and practical skill. So much so they even hold a vocational qualification day. Here you’ll find the details of it for next year; www.vqday.org.uk
The world needs practical skills possibly even more than it needs academics. I wonder how long it will take for the academics to stop looking down on that fact, for the practical to be truly valued. And what an uninspiring place it will be if we have a society made up of people who have no true passion for what they do, who have never discovered their vocation. Maybe that’s why we have so many young people not bothered about having a job. Because it is vocation, and the sense of achievement, that truly motivates people to work.