Meritocracy Is More Important Than Equality

There seems to be a mad rush to create an ‘equal society’ over the past decade, with everyone clambering over each other in every possible way to shout about how they have anyone other than a middle aged white male. The big fact is that we are not equal.

In education there have been provisions to prevent discrimination in terms of sex, race, disability or sexuality and it is illegal to discriminate. So why must there be an effort to try and equalise everyone. Since the 1997 election on which Tony Blair was elected under the slogan ‘Education, Education, Education’ there has been massive investment in educational facilities across the country, especially in marginal seats. This mass spending spree was seen as the improvement to the education system.

Along with this they wanted everyone to go to University with a target of 50% of young people attending a University, or college that can now hand out degrees. The one thing that there should never be in education is equality, it has to remain elitist to keep the highest standards of academia. Only a single principle should be applied for anyone going to University and that has to be merit.

There is now a situation where students are leaving university and applying for graduate programs with many recruiters commenting on their poor literacy on their CV alone.

The whole UK education system has been reduced to the lowest common denominator, rather than the smartest excelling the whole class will reduce. The OECD PISA show how on a global level reading, maths and science have been reduced between 2006 and 2010 for 15 year olds, although other countries have been included in the listings at best the head of the PISA programme said that the UK was ‘stagnant at best’. Education of future generations can not be built on a one size fits all basis and must be based on teaching those more advanced children to a more advanced level rather than letting them decline to the lowest common denominator.

There is now have a rather unique situation where it is deemed acceptable to discriminate based on peoples minority so that boxes can be ticked and quotas met. Admittedly this is in the interview process and only if two candidates are ‘equal’, I am yet to meet two equal people yet based on education and experience. So going on this basis a person with greater experience will be a better candidate, this leaves the gap for youth unemployment. The Government has a policy on this, simply giving a business money to employ someone aged 18-24 £2,275 to any private sector business taking on an unemployed person. So all this talk of equality and the Equality Act 2010 doesn’t apply to any 25 year old looking for employment who is currently unemployed. How can this be fair.

There seems to be a current pattern with equality in the UK and that is it’s vital when it comes to minority groups to force equality. The reality is with all this fudging of figures there is one thing that should be used as a way for people to get ahead and that is meritocracy. It isn’t a hard principle to follow and if people are treated the same, or as an equal no matter what your background then it is the only fair way.

There needs to be less emphasis put on trying to generally equalise us all on an education and employment basis, meritocracy should be the ruling factor in all.

Elitism is good, it produces top quality academics and graduates. I’m not ashamed to say I would never be a top flight academic, but I want to see the future of this nations engineers, scientists and intellects on a worldwide standing. Not to have everyone as the same.

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