Wednesday, January 9, 2008

...and the problem suddenly comes into focus

After seeing parts of tonight's televised debate on the sorry state of Norwegian education (Holmgang), some big problems with the system were highlighted. Recently, an international panel delivered a report berating the Norwegian educational system as costly and inefficient, and how do the politicians in charge react to the report? By giving some standard soundbytes on how they will "take this report into consideration, but that no drastic changes will be done until the results can be further evaluated". In other words: "See if we care. We sucked at school and learned the alphabet by way of dancing the letters, and so should your kids. Sure; there is no discipline in the classrooms, but if we spend tons of money on extra education for teachers, we might in the future reach a point where more than 80% of the kids can read and write after ten years of school."

That's what you get for putting certified morons and losers in charge of education.

11 comments:

Anders said...

Yet, I think the most scary news about Norwegian research and education this week are that the goverment has decided to move the veterinarian school from the University of Oslo (UiO) to the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (UMB) in Ås. The School and UMB already have a close collaboration, the school also are closely linked to other parts of UiO and nobody of the personell in the school wishes to move. I don't even know if UMB wants the school moved up to them. The point is that Sp uses location of any goverment institution (including educational and even the Olympic games) to promote their regional politics. Which basically consist of moving as much as possible out of the cities and out to rural areas where nobody lives in the belief that this would make more people want to move to the more rural places in Norway.

Wilhelm said...

If moving people into less populated areas is the goal, this is quite the failure, then. The distance between Ås and Oslo ain't exactly mind-boggling, and I know of a bunch of folks working in Oslo who commute longer than that every single day.

That being said, the situation is that people move where there are jobs. They typically don't move to a place and THEN look for a job - it doesn't work like that. At least not if you've got a higher education. You can't just move your PhD-having ass out to some rural community and expect to find a job - you've got to move to where the job opportunities are. If there were more jobs in less populated areas, people would move there. Not everybody wants to live in Oslo - me included, even though I'm from 20 km out of the capital.

Pigeon said...

Which basically consist of moving as much as possible out of the cities and out to rural areas where nobody lives in the belief that this would make more people want to move to the more rural places in Norway.

That reminds me what the chinese and the russians did during the communists years.
I will start to believe Wilhelm about socialism.

Anders said...

If moving people into less populated areas is the goal, this is quite the failure, then.

It's less people in Ås then in Oslo, so that's good enough. Also, Ås just happens to be Åslaug Haga's home town. What a coincidence.


The distance between Ås and Oslo ain't exactly mind-boggling, and I know of a bunch of folks working in Oslo who commute longer than that every single day.

Yet, the cost of moving is calculated to 2000 mill. NOK. And Ås is far enough from Oslo that many of the current staff will find it too long to travel to Ås each day and may end up finding other jobs.

That being said, the situation is that people move where there are jobs. They typically don't move to a place and THEN look for a job - it doesn't work like that. At least not if you've got a higher education.

Yes, you bet! I'm all for having jobs, even jobs that require education at PhD level outside the large cities (actually, for now I would settle for more jobs that require higher, scientific education anywhere. It's not like there are too many of those jobs, even in Oslo), but if you move a company or a instition, there have to be other reasons (economical, scientific, etc) other then creating jobs in that area.

Anders said...

I will start to believe Wilhelm about socialism.

Now hang on there, Pig-On. I'm Wilhelm's new brown-nosing yes-man since 01-jan-2008 (proof in third comment) and I don't think he can handle having two!
:-D

Wilhelm said...

Pigeon: When you say Russians you mean Soviets, right?

Anders:Yeah; hell of a coincidence that Haga moves jobs to her home town.

And Ås is far enough from Oslo that many of the current staff will find it too long to travel to Ås each day and may end up finding other jobs.

And that sucks, but guess what: if there are real benefits (i.e. not jus a weak attempt at district politics), then it's worth it. Not to mention that corporations do this ALL of da time.

but if you move a company or a instition, there have to be other reasons (economical, scientific, etc) other then creating jobs in that area.

Absolutely. But if I were to start some sort of industrial enterprise, I'd sure as hell wouldn't want to build it in the Oslo area when I could have gotten a much better deal on peoperty and just about everything else in an other location. Not necessarily out in the wilderness either.

With our educational backgrounds, my wife and I have the ample choice of approximately three locations in Norway where we can live and have jobs related to our education. And that's ok. It pisses me off immensely when some douches get their useless degree in whatever, like pedagogics or philosophy, and then move to some rural area, possibly their home town, and proceed to whine and complain that there aren't any jobs there. Most of the time, the mountain does not come to Muhammed, and if you want to move to some island with a population of 300 where agriculture and fisheries are the main sources of revenue, then make sure you've got the skills required to find a job there, or STFU.

Anders said...

What's wrong with fisheries? Many young, talented, intelligent, good-looking and well-educated people consider careers related to fisheries...
:-D

Anders said...

To start a company is one thing. To move it, is quite different. You risk loosing competence you've spend years of building up if the staff doesn't move with the company. Most of the time, this is solved by give huge pay-outs for key personell to be a part of the move. And yes, coparations do this all the time. But in most of these cases, you can bet you're ass there are economical reasons for moving. Short term or long term financial gain is the most important factor for large corporations.

My point: Why would the goverment move this school when there isn't any scientific gain (the collaboration between UMB and the school are already close, and the distance Ås-Oslo is so short that people can do day trips to each location by car), there isn't any economical gain (in fact, they have to shell out 2000 mill nok, which could be well spent on other areas with education and reseach) and the staff doesn't want to move (which is a bad argument, since most of the time people don't their jobs to move). There may be good reasons for moving the veterinarian school, but I haven't heard one yet.

Wilhelm said...

8-D

Let me just say that in my opinion, work is work, and I've got tons of respect for people in fisheries, agriculture, etc.

Some exceptions, though; I cannot and will not ever respect real-estate agents, the people who make land mines in the shape of children's toys, and lawyers.

Anders said...

I haven't had anything to do with lawyers, but I can't think of any group of people who live up to the stereotype more then real estate agents. A close second would be IT-people...

Wilhelm said...

Sure; the move might be a bonehead move, and it probably is, if district politics is the motivation. And sure, I agree that starting a company and moving a company are two different things.

The concern regarding competence loss due to company relocation is a real one, albeit strongly dependent on the nature of your bidness.