THE BLOG

We Can Teach You Pythagoras Theorem and Photosynthesis... But Politics? Sorry, No Can Do

28/03/2016 20:30 | Updated 29 March 2016

Like some of you reading this I left school at 16 years old with no clue about politics, even though it affects everything in my life - from the cost of transport and my chances of getting a mortgage, to how much I would be taxed when I start a job.

The school system, despite its many merits, failed me by not preparing me with the knowledge and skills I needed for life after school. Political education is only one of a range of things I missed out on in school. I was also not educated on other important things that affect my life, such as finances or healthy relationships.

What is really funny is that in school I learnt so much about things like Pythagoras theorem, photosynthesis, sedimentary rocks - you name it. These are things that have no relevance in my life today and aren't applicable to my daily life. Let us be serious and ask what knowing about the life cycle of rocks, or Pythagoras theorem mean to any of us today, unless you have a career in the scientific fields?

Politics unlike many subjects we learn at school, has relevance to all of us today. It will affect us today, tomorrow and for the rest of our lives, whether we know about it or not. Yet, unless our parents can afford for us to be privately educated or unless we go to one of top state schools in the league table, then we are not going to be taught about politics at school.

Politics in England is meant to be taught in citizenship education. Yet despite citizenship education being added to the national curriculum in England in 2002, not much has changed in regards to young people leaving school without any political knowledge. Most don't know they need to be registered to vote, or how to develop the skills and knowledge they need to thrive as citizens. All of this just isn't being taught to young people in school.

I thought I was only one of a few people who believed politics should be taught in school (in a non-partisan way of course). However, it wasn't until I started my petition on Change.org last month calling on Nicky Morgan MP, (our Secretary of State for Education) to ensure that politics is taught in citizenship classes and that these classes are included in Ofsted inspections that I realised over 25,000 other people thought the same as me.

In less than 45 days from now we have the London Mayoral elections taking place on 5 May. Then not too long afterwards, millions of us will decide the UK's fate in the European Union on 23 June. Despite the importance of both these elections for young Londoners and young people across the UK, a lot of them will not feel confident to vote in these elections, as they feel they have no clue about politics and a lot of young people will not be registered to vote either.

However, we can change this and start to build a generation of young people who feel more confident to take part in politics and drive the political agenda, and are registered to vote. Signing my petition is just the start of this change we all desire and desperately need to see.

Let's not allow another generation of school leavers to leave school without an understanding of politics and how they can shape the country we live in. No one should leave our 'compulsory' education system with none of the skills or knowledge they need to become an informed and responsible citizen.

@KennyImafidon #SortItOutNicky

Comments

CONVERSATIONS