Home » International News » 2011 » August » August 12, 2011

Archbishop of Canterbury blames breakdown of British education system for riots

August 12, 2011 - London

The Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams has condemned England 's current education system for failing to instill " virtue, character and citizenship " in children, and called for its overhaul.

"Over the last two decades, many would agree that our educational philosophy at every level has been more and more dominated by an instrumentalist model; less and less concerned with a building of virtue, character and citizenship", The Telegraph quoted him, as saying. is statement comes in the wake of riots in England.

The riots began in north London 's Tottenham, after a peaceful march to protest the death of 19-year-old Mark Duggan in a police shootout turned violent.

Dr. Williams said state schooling led to pupils growing up to be "consumers" and "cogs " in an economic wheel.

He called on British Prime Minister David Cameron to show how Big Society will 'look like' after rebuilding the school education system.

According to Williams, the ongoing riots in Britain represented "a breakdown of the sense of civic identity, shared identity, shared responsibility".

"One of the most troubling features of recent days has been the spectacle of not only young people, but even children of school age, children as young as seven taking part in the events we have seen," he said.

"Surely, high on our priorities as we respond to these circumstances must be the question of what we are to do in terms not only of rebuilding the skills of parenting in some of our communities, but in rebuilding education itself", he added.

Dr Williams echoed teachers representative and child development experts' sentiment that the current education system merely taught children to pass tests and examination without leading to their all- round development.


Comment on this story