Letter to the editor

Educational reforms – viewed through rose coloured glasses

How is it that non-teaching education association representatives feel better informed than the local teaching experts? How can one argue that the intended paradigm shift in education with Curriculum 21 has a positive impact on business and economics when the practical test is yet to come? Why do they insist on the early foreign languages, even though scientific studies and recently published cantonal comparisons show that the early foreign languages are less efficient and very expensive, and the suppression of German lessons is one of the main causes for the 20 % school leavers with poor knowledge of German (Pisa 2012 and 2015), who can hardly be integrated into the work process? Did we forget that the economic success of our country is based on a broad elementary education and that we can not afford a two-class society?
The information culture in the economy, public administration and the media has changed completely in the last two decades – almost unnoticed by the public – and has also affected the education system. Instead of neutral information, there is more and more state propaganda: Negative things are hidden and positive things are exaggerated or contrived. Reforms and innovations are presented as absolutely necessary and only positively reported. In order for the reforms and projects managed from above to be carried out without disruption, critical voices (veto players) are eliminated using methods of “change management”, and decades of experience are ignored. The supervisory authorities have been bound by secrecy and data protection and have no voice to the public. There are no more school experiments to test the new methods on a small scale in practice, in order to be able to undo them at best without great costs and losses. In order for the public to perceive the projects, which are usually worth millions, as successful, they are marketed with favourable assessments, prepared surveys and PR methods. The daily media take over such prepared success reports usually without critic for lack of time reasons. With such filtered information, voters are left in the lurch and they cannot form an objective opinion unless they obtain additional information from alternative media.

Peter Aebersold, Zurich

(Translation Current Concerns)