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Comenius - Didactica Magna - Provide equal access to education [Income]

Identifier

020658

Type of spiritual experience

Background

The educators of today may say that with the introduction of numerous new ‘universities’ they have not only provided free schooling for children, but that they have extended higher education enormously to over 50% - 70% of the children. 

But they haven’t. 

All they have done is create a vast number of fee paying extra schools, with no standard curriculum, for older children.  Furthermore they have ‘encouraged’ people to send their children to them by appealing to the ego of the parents and their wish to say their child went to ‘university’ and they have also added a veiled threat to this implying that children will not get jobs unless they go to university, creating an appalling underclass of children whose parents are simply too poor to afford the fees.  All this has done is extend the empires of the educators, allowed them to instill whatever their particular beliefs are with no check and placed a burden of debt on the parents and the children themselves which mars their entire lives.

 This was not what Comenius had in mind.

A description of the experience

The Great Didactic of John Amos Comenius -  Translated into English by M. W. Keatinge, M.A.1967

The following reasons will establish that not the children of the rich or of the powerful only, but of all alike, boys and girls, both noble and ignoble, in all cities and towns, villages and hamlets, should be sent to school.

In the first place, all who have been born to man’s estate have been born with the same end in view, namely that they may become rational creatures.  All therefore must be brought on to a point at which, being properly imbued with wisdom, virtue and piety, they may be usefully employed in the present life and be worthily prepared for that to come.

If we admit some to the culture of the intellect, but exclude others, we commit an injury not only against those who share the same nature as ourselves, but against God Himself.

We do not know to what uses divine providence has destined this or that man; but this is certain, that out of the poorest, the most abject and the most obscure, He has produced instruments for His glory.  Let us therefore imitate the sun in the heavens, which lights warms, and vivifies the whole earth, so that whatever is able to live, to flourish and to blossom may do so.......................

If this universal instruction of youth be brought about by the proper means, none will lack the material for thinking and doing good things.  All will know how their efforts and actions must be governed to what limits they must keep, and how each must find his right place… the children of the rich and the nobles, or those holding public office, are not alone born to such positions, and should not alone have access to schools, others being excluded as if there were nothing to be hoped from them. The spirit bloweth where and when it will.

The source of the experience

Comenius

Concepts and Symbols used in the text or image

Activities

Observation contributed by: Francis Keeble