There seems to be a greater sense of purpose to the morning commute in the last couple of days. The schools went back on Monday and the roads and lanes are now full of small people in uniforms; the pink shirt, blue shorts and grey knee-socks combo is the one that caught my eye. The range of different forms of schools, institutions and colleges is vast; some private (paid for by fees and/or donors); some public; some ‘formal’ (ie publicly examined); some non-formal. There is a bewildering variety, enough to make a Michael Gove do himself damage with excitement (if only).
Some training institutions are a man trying to do his best way out in the country with nothing at all, others are 3000 strong, none of them are properly funded or housed. I came across a very sad document today describing the number of places of education in each district that had been destroyed by the war, the percentage was very high.
We have been trying to understand it all by reading lengthy policy documents, particularly on vocational training (two pages of ‘Key to Acronyms’ are standard). All look very positive until you come to phrases like: “there is a 60% funding gap for this strategic plan”. And then realising that you are reading about yet more belief in the Public/ Private Partnership as the solution to all funding problems.
Still, all these cheerful youth in their bright uniforms walking purposefully to school every morning gives one hope I think.