James Callaghans Great Debate Speech Influence on Education Policy

Here, it needs to be noted that, the following is just an overview of the salient points of the speech, and which are relevant to the topic of this paper. Great Debate Speech This historic speech was delivered by James Callaghan in Ruskin College, located at Oxford, in October 1976. Callaghan begins his speech by highlighting the uniqueness of the college, in the sense that all its students went on to hold prominent positions in the society. He then expresses his appreciation of the fact that there is a strong relationship between the trade unions and Ruskin College. Callaghan subtly states that there are some sections, which are not in favor of the attention of public getting focused on the all-important aspect of education. (1) Callaghan argues that children are the most valuable of all the forms of natural resources, and they should be groomed in a manner so as to be responsible citizens of the country. He suggests that providing them with the right education is the means through which that purpose can be realized. He conveys that all the people toiling in the realm of education are vested with the responsibility of designing its (education) pattern in such a way that the needed standards are successfully met. He then says that he has been highly impressed by the manner in which teaching is carried out in the schools, across the country. Here, Callaghan does not fail to emphasize on the top level commitment displayed by the teaching fraternity. But it is at this point that he throws light on a rather perturbing fact: students who complete education in schools and come out join the industry as employees are struggling to do total justice to their jobs. (1) James Callaghan expressed some unhappiness that majority of students coming out of educational institutions are not inclined to work for the industry. Most of them were choosing to join either the civil services or the academic fraternity. At this juncture, he stresses on the importance of technology-based education that would empower the students in rendering excellent service to the industry. (1) Callaghan also brought the attention of his audience to the fact that, parents of the students were having some misgivings about the unconventional teaching format. This was more so because, the very purpose of the format would be destroyed if the teaching personnel are not that competent. He stated that it is the bound duty of the teaching personnel to be removing the above misgivings. Callaghan remarked that it is of paramount relevance that a perfect balance is brought between the aspects of having technological skills and being responsible to society. Neither of the two should be prioritized at the cost of the other. (1) James Callaghan mentioned that the expected standards for employment have rapidly risen, and that people lacking the needed technical skills are at a disadvantage. He added that, the educational system should be such that, it should successfully address this issue and enhance the technical knowhow of the students. By this, the students would be facing no hassles in taking up jobs that necessitate having of sound technical knowledge and capabilities. Callaghan concludes his speech by urging the academic fraternity to initiate all the needed changes, so that students can make a mark for themselves in their future roles as employees. (1) Impact on the Educational Policy after 1979 It is not at all an exaggeration in stating that the Great Debate speech of James Callaghan triggered some crucial changes in the educational s