Education gap widening

The most salient principles of our democratic society that can be understood through the study of ‘Government & Politics’ are eschewed by the vast majority of British youth. In spite of the fact that, through the study of Politics, youth are offered the opportunity to learn about the key roles our parliamentary system has in shaping the course of our futures, many young people freely pass up this opportunity due to a simple lack of care. A concerning lack of care for our government, and ultimately a lack of pride for British democracy.

Although young people are aware that the Government has a key role in our lives, instead of attempting to understand the principium of parliament and the role of MP’s many look to social media to misguide them. Unfortunately, this tends to affect the ones that may have a genuine interest and potential in the field of politics. A development of ‘anti-government’ youth propaganda, reminiscent of the misanthropic problems faced by the youth of the 1960’s and 70’s, has evolved into a basis for a false education for British youth. Insults towards the Government are made without people being able to define it. Assumptions and conspiracies are made to suggest that the Government is part of some dynamic plan to destroy humanity, the Prime Minister is a puppet of a greater power and other ludicrous nonsensical beliefs emerge from the minds of naïve youngsters that know no better. The problem however does not lie with the man behind the Internet blog convincing teenagers to be angry at the government for no apparent reason. The problem lies with the fact that young people do not realise the opportunity they have to truly learn about governmental procedures and how these relate to contemporary issues, simply because the study of parliament has no been made compulsory yet in Britain. The generation of the age of technology have been left with little understanding of politics and instead made use of a broadband connection by corrupting by believing in an incongruous ‘blog post’ or ‘YouTube’ video.

The fact that governmental studies haven’t been implemented into the majority of youth has compromised the mentality and approach they take towards the study of British Parliament. This could be critical to our developing society and lead to mass protest against political development and even a contemporary revolution as a result of citizens believing that all of their personal woes are the fault of the government. A basic concept of the government can be introduced to the youth and avoid these issues if it is made a compulsory study for certain year groups. I personally believe that Politics should be made a key area of study in order to avoid these potential issues. Although these issues can be argued to be theoretical as a 16 year old student I have observed many signs of a vulnerable and naïve generation that are deprived of a consideration or perception of society and, quite candidly, often speak prattle. For the sake of our generation the ‘Three R’s’ must be adapted to ‘The Three’s and a P’. Introducing Politics into our national curriculum from the age of 13 is necessary in order to allow students to grasp an understanding of the world they are soon to be exposed to. Even through the study of A-levels and GCSE the study of Politics is incredibly limited as many institutions simply don’t offer it, and many students also are simply uninterested. An early understanding of politics will increase the attraction towards studying politics in the future and breed a generation of judicious people.

A lack of teaching of Politics means that many governmental issues are not thought about or addressed by the youth due to their failure to comprehend that these issues also regard them. Interestingly, issues such as extremist groups like the BNP emerging are highlighted compassionately by the youth. This is encouraging. The fundamental principles of racial ideology and societal racism are relatable to young people because they are made aware of it, whether taught or not – this allows them to engage with these issues and also understand the circumstances surrounding certain political cases regarding this. Wouldn’t this enthusiasm and interest be just as useful if youngsters were aware that they could also engage with other topics? Some outstanding theories and ideas have broken through by younger people who are aware of what they’re talking about, this energy and genius could be channelled into greater societal issues and increase their involvement and co-operation with parliament. This in turn reduces the amount of misguided teenagers that simply protest against government and figures in authority and leads to a more tolerant and less rebellious youth.

Overall, the introduction of a new subject into the national curriculum is key to the development of our current generation. An understanding of current affairs, political policies and societal ideologies as well as the absolute basics; The Houses of Commons and Lords, Taxing and Voting Systems, will allow the youth to become a more constructive element of society. Eventually perhaps even a further aim of the legalisation of voting for 16 year old’s can be seen as plausible due to the fact that they would have a greater conception of the Government and genuinely know who they’re voting for, why they’re voting for them and why this affects them. Currently the most active voters during general elections are in the age range of 18-24, clearly indicating that younger people have a natural nature of being the most engaged in politics, even if they don’t have a clear understanding or care for it. We all know the clichéd term that ‘the young are the future’ but it is incredibly accurate. Leave not the youth into the hands of conspirator theorists and the politically inept, but allow them to draw inspiration from the study of our society and our political systems, the axiom that makes our country what it is and shapes the hopes and reality of the British youth.

Shout Out UK is a national newspaper that is currently campaigning for the introduction of politics into the national curriculum. The campaign aims to achieve a breakthrough to Parliament to convince them to allow the teaching of it’s many factors and elements for a wider demographic of young people. The aim to send a message to the Department for Education and express the already detailed importance of an education in politics is a prominent movement and something that will hopefully impact the form of our current educational system. I can confidently say that in the foreseeable future Shout Out UK will have achieved it’s target and goal of creating a better, and more politically inept Britain.

BY: Jason Okundaye