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October 15, 2010 / douglasac

Me on Private Schools

For English we were required to write an exposition on anything of our choice. I, being one of the people against government funding in Private Schools, thought that this would be an excellent thing to write about. So I did. And it’s below for your reading pleasure.

Private schools. I hate them with a passion. Why, you ask? For starters, the students are snobby, “uppity” and irksome for the most part, as are, quite often, the parents. But the main reason is, plain and simple, they receive government funding when in reality, they should not.

Government schools work on the basis that they are run by the Government and offer education to Australian residents for free, although some schools charge fees to cover materials and related items. This is fair enough; their budgets are stretched as it is. Now that’s a nice deal, I think. At the end of it, you get a good education and you’re set for whatever you want to do: university, TAFE or whatever else it is that you want to do.

Private schools work on the basis that they are given money by the government and then proceed to charge the parents of their students ridiculous amounts of money for virtually the same product you get at a public school. You also get the same outcomes: university, TAFE, or whatever else it is that you want to do.

Many private schools charge upwards of $20,000 per child per year to educate a child. I fail to understand how this makes any sense to any sane and rational being, especially when the alternative costs far less and doesn’t mooch off the Government when it is clearly capable of standing on its own feet. Schooling for $20,000 per year, or the same product for $200 per year? It doesn’t take a genius to figure out which is the better deal

“But Douglas”, you say to me, “The quality of education at a private school is so much better than that of public schools!”

Having never been to a private school, all I can say is the public schooling system would be a lot better if it had more funding. Say, the funding that was used in private schools.

In many cases, private schools will receive more funding than a public school. That makes no sense whatsoever: the government is funding private companies more over their own facilities. We have some public schools with facilities that are falling apart, we have some that are understaffed and are struggling to get by as they are with what little funds they have. But we have private schools which have double-dipped, asked for more and are getting by swimmingly, literally, using funds on such frivolous things such as swimming pools.

Sure, the Government may have handed out large amounts to schools for developments, but this doesn’t necessarily fix the infrastructure problems that many are having. For instance, in the school I attend, having SOSE classes in science classrooms and English classes in maths classrooms is considered normal and a fact of life. There are also often periods when it is impossible to get a class into a computer facility simply because they are all in use: there is, plain and simple, not enough of them.

This could all be remedied with more funding. As it stands, there is no more funding available simply because it is in use in other areas, many of which it would be unwise to cut funds in, such as healthcare. But by cutting private schools off and feeding that money into public schools, this would help improve facilities and making public schools a more pleasant place to be, for both staff and students.

Reading various articles on this matter on the internet has indicated to me that many teachers teach at private schools not because it is their first preference, but simply because the conditions are far better. Imagine what would happen if private school funding went into public schools: class sizes would be far smaller because there would be an abundance of teachers in the system, all because they would happier with the conditions in which they work in.

Isn’t this what governments want? I do believe Mike Rann, our Premier, was talking at the last state election how, if elected, which he was, he would increase the number of teachers in public school classrooms.

In my opinion, it is in the government’s best interest to cut funding to any private school and use that funding in the public school system. The private schools make enough money as it is from the parents of their students, and they certainly don’t need any more. And if they increase the fees at private schools, so be it.

After all, if the parents can’t afford to send their children to private schools if their fees increase, there’ll be a better public education system waiting for them.

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