Aapart from health and health care, I can’t think of anything more important to society than education. And for the most part, I’m talking about publicly funded education. A society’s health can be determined by the state of its public education system. The healthier the system, the healthier the society. Strong public institutions exist to support the population. If those institutions are weakened through cutbacks, bureaucratic inertia, lack of drive or imagination or are hampered by the inability to renew and grow, then the public is poorly served and society is weakened. Education underpins everything else; pick any area and it is connected to and supported by education. To achieve any level of expertise in any area, some form of education plays a key role. Even politics, believe it or not. Politicians go to school too where they are subject to ideas and influences that inform their attitudes, for better or worse. But I do believe we get the politicians we deserve in a democratic society.

I also believe wholeheartedly that teachers form the bedrock of the education system. Without good teachers and teaching, the institution of education falters. And of course, they themselves need to be the product of a mindful, thought provoking education. That’s not to say there aren’t poor teachers, lazy teachers or just plain incompetent teachers out there but I’d hazard that the vast majority are dedicated professionals focused on the well-being of students. They deserve our support, if only because of the amount of contact they have with our children.