Following Michael Gove’s appearance yesterday in front of the House of Commons Education Committee people are already talking about his weird public meltdown. However, spare a though for his Ruritanian counter-part who recently also faced questions on his government’s policy on careers. The transcript from his meeting with the Ruritanian Inquisitorial Council follows.
Transcript from the Ruritanian Inquisitorial Council session on careers (December 2013)
Ruritanian Grand Inquisitor: Welcome M. Gova. Thank you for giving up your time to meet with the Council on this important issue.
M.Gova (Minister for Education): Thank you for having me. It is always a pleasure.
RGI: We have asked you here to talk about the Government’s policy on careers. As you know the Council has recently conducted an investigation into the issue and we found that there were serious problems with careers advice in schools. What is your plan to address this?
M.Gova: Well, thank you for your report. But, unfortunately it is quite wrong. In fact it is a load of rubbish. Careers advice in schools is better than it has ever been. Under our Government schools have been set free from the shackles of bureaucracy and consequently are providing better advice than ever.
RGI: Well that wasn’t what we found and we are not alone. The Confederation of Ruritanian Industry recently issued a report saying that careers advice was the “sick man of the Ruritanian school system”, so surely there are problems here that need dealing with.
M.Gova: Can I remind you that no Ruritanian Government has ever got careers advice working effectively. Indeed no one else in the world has ever given as piece of careers advice successfully. The very idea of giving careers advice is a pie in the sky dream powered by fairies with no basis in evidence.
RGI: So are you saying that actually careers advice hasn’t got better under your government?
M.Gova: Oh, no. It has got better, but let’s be honest how could it have got worse. I feel very lucky in this area because no matter how bad our policy has been the previous situation was so dreadful that we literally couldn’t make it worse if we tried. I know this because we have tried. Quite hard. If things were bad they must have got better – that’s logic!
RGI: Our concern is that young people are not being given the advice that they need to make good decisions about their futures. The schools have a vested interest to keep them in the school and so hardly anyone is taking alternative routes.
M.Gova: Well you may say that. But, actually I think that is a good thing. As you know our Government has introduced a new curriculum based on my rose tinted memories of my own school days…..Ahhh, the scones, the straw boaters, punting on the Ruritanian canal…..
RGI: M.Gova, are you OK?
M.Gova: Oh yes, sorry. So as I say, a new curriculum based on intensive scientific research. All Ruritanian school children now spend 50% of their week learning Sanskrit and we are starting to see the results really paying off. After all how can you have social mobility without universal Sanskrit?
RGI: That is all very well, but what about careers advice?
M.Gova: Will you stop talking about careers advice. I’m starting to think that you are in hoc to the shadowy underground Careers Liberation Front. Have you now or have you ever been a careers adviser?
RGI: What are you talking about?
M.Gova: Careers advisers. You know the sort. Seditious extremists going around peddling their so called “advice” to unsuspecting children. Filling their heads with un-Sandskritian thoughts. I think that we are all agreed that it would be much better just to have the honest Ruritanian business man talking to our young people. Nothing inspires young people like having a middle-aged, middle-manager from a faceless corporation talking to them from the front of an assembly. I mean I ask you what could be more inspiring than that?
RGI: Well that’s as maybe, but isn’t it very difficult for schools to get business people involved? In fact aren’t careers advisers useful to provide some brokerage?
M.Gova: No, you’ve got it quite wrong. Business people are falling over themselves to get into schools. Also people from the universities. For example the University of Ruritania provide a wonderful course in Aerial Architecture (taught in Sandskrit thankfully). Ah, I remember my days at University…
RGI: M. Gova pay attention! So are you saying that there is no place for a professional careers adviser?
M. Gova: You call them professionals, I call them a poison that is sweeping our land. We need to root them out wherever we find them. What kind of professional could you have in this area? Are we expecting that they would know something about the labour market and something about how individuals make decisions? Both of those things are impossibly unknowable. I mean what Sandskrit text tells you anything about the contemporary labour market? Oh, no, make no mistake, careers advice is an impossible dream. It has never worked in Ruritania or anywhere in the world and it never will work. If I reign for a thousand years I will make sure that no one is ever given any advice about their career. I urge you and your committee to join me in rooting out the distorting influence of the powerful careers-industrial complex Together we will build a better school system typified by Sandskrit and inspirational talks from my friend M. Jonesa (under-accountants at the Ruritanian Pear Corportation). This is what children need, this is what will prepare them for the future. I will broke no dissent on this one.
RGI: Thank you M.Gova. Your comments have been very enlightening.