Education is always useful

Minister Bussemaker but also Magriet van der Linden [Opzij] argue that women waste the government’s money if they do not translate their education into a job. This narrows the discussion to economic benefit for society, while the goal of education is much broader than just getting a job.

Our society has developed into a knowledge society in a few decades. This has effects not only on the labour market, but also in a broader sense on our economy and socio-cultural area. We have set different requirements for our development, leisure activities and the place of work within our lives.

Education and obtaining a good education not only creates job opportunities but develops the individual in a broader sense. The individual builds up more general knowledge, participates more in society and above all trains himself to take in information and process it effectively. In a rapidly changing knowledge society an essential condition for continuing to participate.

Individuals who have received a good education can survive better in society and are better able to climb out of a valley. More confidence in themselves and better knowledge of society to find their own way. A good education itself reduces all dependence. There is already an economic component in itself.

Good training is also very important for successive generations. Parents with a good education generally have better language skills, a broader social development and more experience in dealing with more complex problems. They transfer this knowledge to their children, who are therefore better prepared to enter society and education.

In recent decades, there has been much to do about the integration of immigrants into our society. In almost all studies the following picture always emerges. Another level or too low a level of general development, little knowledge of our society and low knowledge of our language, which made integration significantly more difficult. The successive generations of immigrants also faced such problems, although they became smaller with each generation.

It is not that surprising. As more generations follow, the knowledge acquired per generation is passed on in the family. Call it generation learning. Now the distance between immigrants and native Dutch children is very small if you compare that with the first generation. The immigrant girls are also doing very well at school. That is a great advantage, because regardless of whether or not they are going to work. They automatically pass on the knowledge they have acquired at school and in our society to the next generation. And thus it automatically serves the economic benefit to our society.

Education is not only about becoming financially independent, but also as an individual as a whole. To have awareness and knowledge of the possibilities of our society, the choices and, above all, the freedom to make that choice. It is clear that financial independence makes an important contribution there, but it is not the only aim.

The question is whether Bussemaker’s approach will not lead to a situation where emancipation is privatized for the benefit of business. A development that is supported by a cabinet that wants to put an end to fun studies. Only studies for which there is work. Bussemaker and van der Linden, the woman as a means of production where economic benefit is central, reverses the emancipation discussion fifty years ago.