(Cultured; 05-03; p.4)
The just mentioned correlations are valid for
the last century. There are indications however that a once gained
qualification will merely become a chance for a certain start
in a career: more and more, employees are required to get further
training throughout their work-life. The societal changes brought
about by this have been named by the pedagogues Karlheinz A Geißler
and Erich Ribolits.
K A Geißler repudiates the concept of "employability"
which the EU apparently prefers (cf. for the following: Geißler,
K A: "Employability - das Bildungskonzept für die Ich-AG"
in: Frankfurter Rundschau Nr. 90, 16/04/03, D2-edition, p. WB
According to this concept, an employee shall no longer get a vocational
education in the forms described above, but partial qualifications
that he has to choose self-responsibly to preserve a standing
in an ever-changing market: "Vocational learning, following
this logic, is brought increasingly closer to the place of its
exploitation and thus changes as fast as the local conditions
of exploitation. [...] Knowledge becomes thereby prior to reasoning,
information prior to education." (ibid.; this and the
following quotes are translated, originals are in German)
Who in this race bets on the wrong horse, i.e.
the wrong qualifications, loses out. Therefore, K A Geißler demands
that politicians should "not quite that unreflectively
... head away from the once broadly accepted goal of education,
to develop and strengthen within vocational education also those
abilities that enable for resistance against the impositions of
the work-world." (ibid.)
E Ribolits has a similar diagnosis (cf. Frankfurter
Rundschau: "Wer nicht lernt, soll auch nicht essen"
Asked by the interviewer, if it was the "creative opportunist"
that is sought after, he answers: "The flexible, adaptable,
who adapts his personality to the respective requirements: immature
and intelligent at once. One that has only learned to learn what
has been demanded of him." (ibid.) - One may ask, if
such character-lacking persons do have a personality at all.
On the argument of the interviewer that by further
training one had the chance to get a better job, Ribolits answers:
"For the individual, that can be true. But for society
in total nothing changes. [...] As something essential is faded
out: Structural change at the core consists of make do with ever
less working people. With every new technique work-places are
made redundant. That is the logic of this economical system. Even
if all unemployed and all employees threatened by unemployment
would learn what supposedly is necessary, some remained redundant."
Both pedagogues thereby hinted at possible solutions
out of that dilemma: a private one, individual-orientated which
in its extreme may lead to forms of social Darwinism or as an
alternative a political one, society-orientated which does not
give way for big individual advantages, but perhaps may help withstand
harsh societal changes.
Before, however, hasty optimism in respect to the second choice
comes up, a warning has to be issued: functionalists rightly state
that German society differentiated itself into various self-centred
areas, comprehensive changes thus cannot be made by political
actors. - What they on the other hand can do - and one may see
this as political task - is to initiate them, respectively.
(end of article)