Schools Don’t Just Educate Kids, They Warehouse Them

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This is a little case of confusing desired status with reality. A primary school is going to give the children Friday afternoon off. On the grounds that they don’t learn anything, their brains tired after a week of lessons. So, why bother?

This is to assume that the function of a school is to educate children in a formal manner, through those lessons. It’s rather an expression of the professional hopes of the teachers perhaps. It’s also not reality. For schools also warehouse the kids. It’s this which enables many to go to work.

A primary school is to give pupils Friday afternoons off as they say that children “lack focus” by the end of the week. From September, Neyland Community School in Pembrokeshire, west Wales will close its gates at 12.15pm rather than 3.20pm on Fridays. The move is not a way to “give teachers an afternoon off” nor is it a money-saving mechanism, the school said. Instead, they argue that Friday afternoon lessons are pointless since youngsters lack “attention and focus” to learn after a full week of classes. The school claims that the move will improve children’s education, as well as enable families to spend more quality time together.

The warehousing part is rather important:

Meanwhile, another pupil’s father said: “This is ridiculous. Both my wife and I work so this will mean one of us having to take Fridays off too to look after our kids.”

Quite so. There is however something about modern schooling which has become increasingly important. School socialises kids.

There was a time when by far the greatest influence upon children was their siblings. That was back in the day when most had several such. Given modern birthrates most are growing up without that instant social group. The pack of other children at school provides it. And there is of course value to such socialisation – value that can be realised at 2 pm in a Friday.

But the real miss here is the school not realising that they have that warehousing function. Probably because they really do think of themselves as purely those professional educators, not also merely child herders.

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