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Agora que começa a assentar a poeira sobre os protestos, motins e vandalismo em várias cidades inglesas, algumas vozes aparecem a reflectir sobre o que é e deve ser “uma boa educação”.

Num artigo interessante, publicado no Guardian, Estelle Morris explica-nos que «Tal como os tumultos mostram, os resultados dos exames não são tudo»

This year, the results are just as important and will again partly determine the life choices of many young people. Yet this month’s riots have guaranteed that this summer’s education discussions will go far beyond the comparability of exam standards over time.

As the nation strives to answer pretty fundamental questions, all institutions will be scrutinised – schools perhaps more than most. And, given events, it is right to ask the education service to do more. I’ve no doubt the debate will revisit some of the issues that have long troubled us: the dilemma over exclusions, engaging the disaffected and tackling underachievement, all of which can contribute to solving the current crisis.

However, other concerns are also on the public agenda – citizenship, morality, how to instil a sense of personal and civic purpose in our children and young people. This is not new. Making sure young people develop these skills and attitudes has always been the mark of a decent society and a successful education system; but the evidence before our eyes tells us that we are not getting it right.

There’s a lot of talk about teachers having lost their authority to maintain discipline. I’m not persuaded that the legal position is any different from what it has always been, but what has changed – and what can most undermine teachers’ authority – is a lack of support from parents. This, more than anything, can make it difficult to maintain discipline and set standards.

Education is a major engine of social change, and inevitably much will be asked of it in the months to come. Academic success must continue to be a top priority, but our definition of a “good education” needs to be substantially revisited. It is a task long overdue.

Entretanto, por cá, há quem continue a utilizar o discurso de que a escola pública não deve preocupar-se com os adolescentes “com pouca vocação para os estudos”, tendo o apoio entusiástico de mais alguns que têm licença para exercer a docência em escolas públicas.

Quando derem conta que a estória dos brandos costumes não passa de uma invenção do salazarismo, acolitado pela ICAR a partir do maná de Fátima, talvez seja tarde para se arrependerem do absurdo que defendem. Um povo que tanto matava infiéis como castelhanos, umas vezes à pázada, outras  atirando-os da janela; que teve reis e presidentes assassinados, em que os deputados e a fina-flor da sociedade resolvia pendências à bengalada ou em duelo de pistolas, só pode ser classificado como de brandos costumes por gozo, ou então por ignorância.

 

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