Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Social Mobility

Social justice in any society, is not just social protection but a system that ensures real opportunities for everyone to make the most of their potential.
A recent government white paper in Britain, has detailed government policies to enable social mobility in the society.
These policies would be focused on engineering a society where what counts is not where you come from , your parents' class or situation or their earnings.
Emphasis would be on creating new opportunities for the citizens, ensuring their success in the prevailing global economy and supporting child development in early years .
Also on the agenda are the provision of world-class schools, pathways for all, getting on in work, strengthening family life and supporting communities to support individuals.

Anyone who is familiar with how the British society works would agree that some , if not all of these policies are in place already; benefiting millions of the citizens of this country in varying degrees.
However, it is obvious that not everyone has equal access to certain professions and certain groups in many areas of the society have continued to maintain their exclusivity.
This awareness has created the need for government focus on providing stronger foundations for not just a richer country but a fairer society.

One policy already in place, which has impacted millions of lives in the society is the laudable policy of helping parents to give their children the benefits of a good head-start in life.
Government support in the form of free childcare and various reliefs e.g. housing benefits and tax reliefs for each child , being enjoyed by parents ; have given immense financial reliefs to millions of parents in the country for many years.
I believe , as stated in the government White Paper, that increased support for child care is needed by parents to enable faster social mobility .
This would bridge the gap between children from different backgrounds ; aiding them to have the same opportunities as their peers.
A child's early experiences and the environment in which he lives and learns during his early years have a profound impact on his subsequent years.
When the oppurtunities for learning and development are missed at an early age,it is hard for children to catch up.
This is damaging to the children , to families and to the society as a whole .

Prior to this White paper on social mobility, other polices had been implemented to aid citizens to achieve their desired ambitions for upward social mobility.
However, as with any bunch of policies, the impact of their contents and intent on the society would depend on the extent of their implementation.
I know that government intentions and actions are not all it takes to implement policies. The individuals in any society have prominent roles to play in realising laudable government policies.
If a drowning man is offered no helping hand , he would sink , soon or late.
Or when he attempts to stay afloat , if "under-currents" drag him down or his head is pushed down , further into the mire by "hostile hands", his chances of survival would be very slim.
Worst still , there are those people who make no attempts whatsoever, to keep afloat in the turbulent waves of life.
Instead they would blame God , their parents, government and even their spouses for their dire situations.

In this society , there is an enabling environment of grants and facilities to aid anyone with a "success mind frame " to maximise their potentials, to climb and remain on the social ladder, if they so desire.
I strongly opine that the battle for ensuring social mobility is firstly, won or lost in human minds.
Why would any ADULT in Great Britain be unable to READ and WRITE simple English , their mother tongue? In a land of excellent educational facilities ?
Who is to blame for this?
There are millions of able-bodied men and women in Great Britain, who have never worked, even for one day, in their entire lives.
They would , easily, give you a dozen reasons why they CAN'T or WON'T work for anybody and why they deserve to live comfortably for the rest of their glorious lives, on the generosity of the government and good people of Great Britain!
Surmounting obstacles to social mobilty and even surviving the global economic down turn depend not only government's laudable fiscal policies but on REORDERING personal priorities and changing self-defeatist ATTITUDES.

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