Silly Things
Schools and

There are two main types of schools (by "school" I mean those things consisting of classrooms, blackboards, and a little flag at the entrance). Some of them might pretty well be called academic institutions while the others could be regarded as centers for social support.

No dichotomy exists between one group and the other, however. Actually, it is a continuum of many intermediate graduated grays... but trying to identify both ends helps in tackling dozens of educational issues.

Schools of the academic kind are fertile ground for pedagogical discussion: it's all about what should be taught, how it should be taught, the better way of learning, and so on. Essentially, how to meet the required universal academic standards aimed at starting tertiary education and entering university.

Socially oriented schools' main aim is rather different, though so laudable and necessary in the current situation. Some public institution had to get involved in the fight against social degradation. Providing a glass of milk, some lunch, as well as a caring environment in order for children to get prevented from wandering streets... all this was -and remains to be- a hard task that the public educational system had to undertake, though so priceless a benefit to society as a whole.

The bad thing here is to deny the differences between both types, to refuse to admit that roles are twisted. And to deceive parents and students into believing there is no discrepancy in teaching, that it is at all equivalent no matter which kind of institution it comes from, that demands are the very same. And that a high school diploma, whatever the source, is just enough to fulfil the minimum entrance requirement for university.

This so-called education (no matter if it is public or private) has ended up being a collective fraud that will cease to exist only when we get things straight. What institutions should take the charge of social support? Clubs? Hospitals? Socially supportive, differentiated schools? New types of centers specially designed to succeed in playing the social aid role? I'm not sure... but while schools go on shouldering this burden as if it were their own, without even unmasking the actual status... please, Messrs. Pedagogues, quit bugging me.

Some Rights Reserved. No reproduction in any form is authorized unless fully attributed. Last updated Dec-08. Buenos Aires, Argentina.