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The Privatisation Of Education In The Primary School Curriculum

There was something deeply unsettling when Gordon Brown referred to Youtube earlier this week following a question put to him while in Poland about the video he put online regarding his MP expense reform announcements.

The mere fact that he referred to what is essentially an online video service by its trademark name is, we believe a slope not to be taken by any government or face some rather embarrassing consequences.

The review of the primary school education published by former Ofsted supremo Jim Rose shows again a rather disturbing trend. That of allowing brand names, especially those from the technology sector, to "interfere" with government policy.

After all, no education minister would talk about Cadbury or Coca Cola, but rather of fizzy drinks and chocolate. The report for the primary curriculum did not contain any of the brand names or trademark but rather generic words like search or knowledge.

Yet the danger is that millions will be taught to use ICT tools like search engines or online repositories as an end itself rather than a mean to achieve other fruitful actions. Children are likely to be showed not how to use a search engine, but how to use Google, not how to browse through an online encyclopedia but how to use Wikipedia.

Learning concepts rather than products is what needs to be upheld while implementing the Primary School Curriculum document. The education sector is one of the most vital battlegrounds for tech companies - from Google to Microsoft and Apple, they are all vying for a small chunk of it. Let's hope they do not interfere with the education of UK Children.

You can download the report, Independent Review of the Primary Curriculum: Final Report, as a PDF document here (opens in new tab). Youc an also view our articles about 5 Reasons Why Twitter And UK's Primary School Curriculum Do Not Mix Well here. References to Microblogging have since been removed from the report.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.