English Canada still does not and likely never will quite grasp the fact that education is a good thing and that the educated probably shouldn’t be left to their own devices.
The CBC for once cut the crap and got to the point with this article, entitled “Most university undergrads now taught by poorly-paid part timers“. It speaks to a concept called the precariat, a group of people who have one hand on the employment ladder and just can’t get any higher. There are a number of disadvantages to clinging to part-time, unstable work like ivy in a hurricane. It’s a good thing that those crippling disadvantages can be entirely downloaded onto the Canadian working class of the future!
There’s an ideal cycle here between government, researchers, and universities. It works like this: governments fund universities, which in turn hire researchers as professors. Said professors in turn generate knowledge and data, two things that governments desperately need in order to do their jobs. Schools and governments purchase this research material for their own researchers and policy-makers, thus exposing more people to that data and thus eliciting more responses and hypotheses. It’s idealistic and obviously not going to be perfect, but it supplies every institution with something that it needs – a quality life for researchers, a well-informed government, and a solid academic center able to broadcast data globally.
They also teach students, which is good because a more educated public is a better public better able to make better decisions. There’s a reason why poor education correlates with so many other poor human development indicators. I’ll say it again because Canada is thick – the act of becoming more highly educated is associated with a higher standard of human and social development. It doesn’t matter that you don’t think English majors are useful. The fact that they are educated is an a priori positive. Better for society, better for individuals, and better for our social structures as a whole. This is to some degree the logic behind free university educations.
The problem is that Canada is uninterested in knowledge, data, quality, lives, or planning a system that can take advantage of any of the above. Canada knows that the answer to her problems is buried in the ground or swimming in the ocean. This time our resource as extracted by the writhing bundle of lampreys that is the Canadian business establishment will launch us to success! Fuck your English literature and your grasp of the English language! All I need to read are the hockeymans scores!
And who suffers? The researchers and the students. The ones who actually provide the benefits of the whole system. Those are the people Canada chooses to shaft and lampoon. Not the people turning schooling into a cold noose of an industry. Not the airheaded, uninformed government and its collection of mythological Canadiana sprinkles. The ones who actually do things. Yeah. Fuck those people! Raise their tuition, lower their wages, and hire another Undersecretary for Bicylsexual Tolerance, boys!