There’s an old scientific adage, that each action has an equal and opposite reaction. The tricky part is knowing which direction is opposite. Sometimes actions can have some rather bizarre and hard to predict consequences. KitGuru swots up on the challenges facing students in Cameron’s Britain – and some of the solutions the youngsters are employing to get around unemployment.
In the good old days, education was free and the government of the day would make a maintenance grant available to help you study. The idea was that graduate earn more, so will naturally pay back to society over the course of their lives.
The Labour Party soon got rid of that idea and, with charming Tony Blair at the helm, students quickly found themselves buried in debt by the time they graduated.
Sarah Walker is one of the principals running the English Collective of Prostitutes, an organisation which tries to help sex-trade workers from its base of operations in London. She has told the BBC that she’s seen a “steady increase in calls from students over the past 10 years”, but that the calls had “reached an unprecedented level” since Cameron’s crowd announced that annual fees could reach £9,000 a year in 2012.
Sarah does not accept any pleas of ignorance from Clegg’s cohorts, “Ministers know that the cuts they’re making are driving women into the sex trade. It’s a survival strategy and we hold the government responsible for that”.
The BBC has launched a probe into the matter and has found numerous cases which seem to support Sarah’s position. For example an 18-year old called Clare, who can’t find a job and sees having a proper education as her only chance of creating a new life for herself. “I couldn’t go to college without my Education Maintenance Allowance, because my travel costs are £70 a month”.
Clare told reporters that she has been hounded by a pimp to join his escort agency since she was 16. When asked why she was taking escort work instead of just accepting unemployment with no education or prospects, she replied “It sounded more desirable. I can’t see any other options”.
National Union of Students Women’s Officer, Estelle Hart, has come out to say government cuts had put much more pressure on students, “Students are taking more dangerous measures”.
In a recent survey by the University of Kingston, the number of teens who knew someone who had worked in the sex industry to support themselves as as student, had risen from 3% to 25% in just 10 years.
The Department of Education (led by Secretary of State for Education, Michael Gove) claims that funding is available, but it’s down to the schools and colleges to help the students.
Looks like the message is not getting through as Radio 5 Live’s Breakfast Show reported that around 20% of women working in lap dancing clubs were students.
KitGuru says: The immediate cost is already terrible, but the long term implications of a government choosing to fund wars over students learning, cannot easily be calculated. We checked the government’s own site for education, but could not see this story anywhere near the home page. Even searching for ‘Prostitution’ in its search engine does no good. Good job burying their collective heads by the government. This might not be a technology story, but it’s got to be worth considering.
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