On Cuts to the Arts

‘Education, Education, Education’ were the words that Tony Blair once chanted as Labour campaigned to make education its number one priority. Years on, during the period of election, it seemed nothing had changed and the majority were still against the notion of tampering with education. Now university fees have rocketed from £6,000 a year to £9,000 and as if this wasn’t enough to raise questions of inequality in society, cuts to funding the arts have also been enforced into the Governments plans. The Tories spoke these words prior to the elections;

‘That every child in school will have the opportunity to learn a musical instrument; that every child has a chance to sing; that every child is able to receive a cultural education.”

Government plans to slash teaching funds for the arts, humanities and social sciences showed a lack of appreciation towards the arts their contribution to society. Subjects such as English literature, law, history, foreign languages, social studies, art, music and drama have been illustrated as insignificant to the economy and society. How they fail to see that culture, history and the arts help with the development of our society I don’t understand.

History is what defines who we are today and is a record of our existence. Wiping out such subjects could be detrimental to our society and young people as it allows them to explore and recognise their talents that could be beneficial to the economy. The decision to prioritise band A and B subjects (science, engineering, technology and maths) has shown us what they class to be a necessity in regards to education.

The withdrawal of funding will hit the creative industries hard and the growth of culture, music and all forms of creative expression will suffer in Britain compared to other countries. I/m sure that with the rise in fees and the cuts to courses we will see a major decrease in the number of students studying in Britain, less young people wanting to further their education due to expense and an economic failure culturally and socially. Through that a rise in unemployment I’m sure will visible very soon.

When Government originally made plans to raise fees the National Union of Students claimed the idea to be “An outrage”. Hundreds of university and college students collided with others to make thousands on the 24th November and 1st December 2010. They protested through the streets blocking roads and some means of transportation. Angry students stood their ground, marching down the slippery iced pavements.  A school boy age 12 years old who attended the march on one occasion said “I will be on the front line. I’m not scared. We’re told in school nothing is more important than education”.

It’s clear to see that these changes are not just affecting the students but the students to come and they are the future who we rely on to better our economy.

Tory MP Bob Blackman said in the evening standard “My key concern in all of this is the people who are ordinary income families in London who may be deterred from going to university because of the higher tuition fees.”

Music, art, performance, dance, English literature, history etc are all subjects that enrich and bring colour to our country. These subjects allow students to enhance their knowledge and skills artistically and emotionally.  It allows them to express freely their inner feelings by investing it into something they are passionate about. Limiting students choices and stripping away there opportunities will destroy the chances of self-employment and will close many doors.

By Linda Bryan

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