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Doing Nicely: Let the Question Time style debate begin

13:11 21 October 2014

John Nice

John Nice

Does education save lives?

That’s a tough one to answer. Let a question time style debate ensue.

Actually – on the other hand – question time style debates seem to go on forever with no real resolution – so ignore that idea.

Therefore, may a metaphorical pub style chat occur over a glass of wine whilst sat beside a roaring fire – those types of debates are always lots more fun.

If I was to be in that pub sat with friends discussing the issue of whether or not education saves lives, I would begin by categorically stating that it does – thanks in part to a chat I had with one of our staff members recently.

The staff member (Josie) received first aid training as part of her job at Easton and Otley College and she used that training to help administer CPR to a chap who had suffered a heart attack whilst driving along the A140 last year.

The man who had the heart attack survived and Josie told me that she received two awards.

It’s hard to argue with that evidence in the literal sense.

Yet the question is bigger than that. Education can metaphorically save and change lives.

For example, I met a new degree student a few weeks back who has given up her business career to start a journey that will hopefully end up with her becoming a zookeeper.

Last week I met a former archaeologist who has started a degree in agriculture to give him the knowledge to set up a smallholding with the aim of living ‘the good life.’

But it’s not just about people – education has a bigger part to play in terms of society.

Some of the industries we represent via the courses that we teach are suffering from a real skills shortfall such as agriculture, construction and horticulture.

Our two recent marketing campaigns that you may have seen (one about scarecrows – the other a YouTube ‘combine harvester’ music video) tried to encourage young people to consider careers in these industries to counteract future housing and food shortage issues.

So on a basic level of producing more food for the UK, education has a part to play in maintaining the life cycle.

Education also teaches doctors to be doctors and paramedics to be paramedics.

It’s hard to debate it in 400 words – but does education save or change lives for the better?

In every sense of the phrase, I’d strongly suggest that it does.

John Nice

www.eastonotley.ac.uk

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