A Fair Deal For Black People
‘Education, education, education.’ You remember that? That was the Right Honourable Anthony Charles Lynton Blair, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1997 to 2007 launching Labour’s education manifesto on 23 May 2001.
‘ Our top priority was, is and always will be education, education, education. To overcome decades of neglect and make Britain a learning society, developing the talents and raising the ambitions of all our young people.’
So why hasn’t it happened for a significant sector of our young people. Why hasn’t it happened for young, black people?
Why are young black students under-represented in our universities?
Why do a larger percentage of black students fail compared to their white counterparts?
And why is it that according to the latest figures, out of 14,000 British professors only 50 are black?
Our universities have to answer these questions. They cannot, they must not retreat behind their red-brick walls and pretend all is well. All is, most definitely, not well in the ancient Land of Learning.
All is not well in the Land of Learning because our institutions of learning remain in the Dark Ages.
All is not well in the Land of Learning because our institutions of learning have learned nothing about learning.
All is not well in the Land of Learning because our institutions of learning have not yet learned that it is their job and duty to enable students to pass examinations not fail them.
Our institutions of learning must leave behind the time-worn, old fashioned and foolish idea that intelligence, ability and achievement can only be demonstrated in a narrow and artificial way that the schools of learning consider ‘academic.’
Our academies of learning must grow up and leave their childish ways behind.
Many black families are mortgaging their futures to enable their sons and daughters to go to university only to be betrayed by a system that knows little about teaching but a great deal about snatching hard-earned money. When are the universities going to wake up to the fact that their part of the deal is to get students to pass the course. If a student fails, it is a failure by the university and they have no right to be paid for that failure.
We do, we must insist upon this: failure by the university means no payment to the university.
Only when those who consider themselves mighty in mind are hit in their pockets for their incompetence will we see ‘education, education, education’ have any meaning at all.
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