I wandered down the empty halls, speaking to the millions before me.
“Think back to Earth, to the year many referred to as 2025, when things really began to take shape”. I straightened my shirt, mildly aware that my image was being projected into a rather vast array of homes on all of the nearby planets. Perhaps I should have gone with a different shirt. Or maybe a different physical form entirely. It’s always difficult to select a form which acknowledges my minority roots as an Earthling, yet will be suitably regarded on a professional level by the alien races that bailed us out.
“Now we’ll be looking into the Great Transition of 2025; a turbulent time on Earth that bears an unfortunate resemblance to the situation we are currently in, hence the teaching of this subject. Firstly, I think it’s best if we chat with someone that was lucky enough to be around during the Great Transition of 2025 – I’d now like to introduce you to the cryogenically preserved head of Dr Palagi Phobbe”.
I turned to await the materialization of the famous head. Dr Palagi Phobbe quickly took shape before me. Well, as much shape as Dr Phobbe can be said to currently take.
“Welcome Dr Phobbe, glad you could join us!”
“Thank you, it’s great to get out again!” The Dr’s voice lowered and the conspicuous head made a motion that may have been akin to leaning in a little, “it’s been a while in the chamber again you know”.
“Yes, well, wonderful,” I clapped my hands together, “let’s get started, shall we?”
Dr Phobbe straightened up, “I presume you’ve all read my book on the Great Transition?”
“Yes, we’ve inserted the chip and are acquiring that information as we speak. Perhaps you could let us know what some of the realities were like at the time?”
“Of course, I always like to begin with the period when I was working in education. I like to think of that as my most full-bodied work”. A broad grin spread over the plasticised face of Dr Palagi Phobbe as the whole head turned and winked at me. I raised my eyebrows and smiled politely in reply. Dr Phobbe took a moment to recompose what was once a real face and began.
“It was during what the Western world, as it were, referred to as the late 2010s when we began to realise that the system we were working under was just not going to be sustainable for very much longer.
This was of course not new information, it was just that after decades of procrastination we were finally coming to the end of the proverbial line. Extractivism, capitalism, and the free market had collided to a head and it was time for a touch of redistribution and regeneration in the interests of preserving the human race.
Of course, not everyone felt that people necessitated conservation. We can see similar
issues with today’s “galaxial village”. I’m sure we’re all familiar with the downsides of free trade; “Made on Earth” anyone? Anyway, we won’t get into that now, instead I’d like to share with you a historical essay, written by one of my students in the first quarter of what we referred to as the 21st century.
This was the essay that really instigated some of the educational changes we made, which would contribute to the broader revolution that came to be known as the Great Transition.
Perhaps surprisingly, it was written for something as seemingly inconsequential as a
class project I had devised. At the time, I had recently been asked to hire a team of consultants to aid with the development of our school system. I reflected on this and decided that there was no need to bring in outsiders when we were working in a house of education.
I would create a course that would let the students themselves offer ideas for how they envisioned their future. I had also, coincidentally, recently acquired an intriguing and costly machine from the school.
My excited colleague down the hall was convinced that this machine was going to revolutionise the school system. Unfortunately, it was not something I felt I had much use for.
I decided that, for motivational purposes, I would offer the intriguing yet superfluous machine as a prize for the best paper. The paper I chose, whose ideas would eventually be implemented in our education sector and contribute to the impending revolution, read as follows: I’m about to experience graduation, from a field of tertiary education, all the whilst having however, given little thought whatsoever, to my next step throughout this entire endeavour.
This news may receive a negative reception, and I choose now to offer up the prevention, so adjust your glasses, I am not an exception. It’s time to pull together this situation, time to ally all education, time to make sure this operation can work collectively with occupations.
There is no need, for a separate entity, when it comes to education, let’s save the aggravation – integrate – involve that corporation, project work provides some compensation, benefiting both sides of the equation, and don’t forget government moderation, it cannot be back–benched to mere observation.
The courses available for students is astounding, and many are floundering, swamped by choice, which is promptly confounding, unable to see, what would be a benefit and sound good on a CV.
The thing required is less choice and more guidance, education and occupation need not be divided, more voice and less silence, more compliance, between students, their work, and those that will hire us.
The unification of tertiary education is a step in the right direction, a skip to a bright projection, a good connection, but this is not all the pieces of the puzzle, we need to release the muzzle and increase the shuffle, but don’t get caught in the scuffle of business relations, or bought by the muscle of big corporations, make sure to keep government associations, ignore the lucrative lure of privatisation.
Now all this may require a little contemplation, a little careful orchestration, you need all the thinkers when you got all your fingers in the pies, got to keep your eyes on the ball now, but what better place for innovation, we’re sitting on a house of education, nothing like that student motivation, with the expectation of low compensation, as evidenced through my own participation, with this manifestation of my imagination.
Kirjoittanut nimimerkki Aotearoa.