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Geography textbook’s Medieval views on unemployment

Geography textbook’s Medieval views on unemployment

Image source: © canva
Maja Kozłowska,
04.01.2024 15:45

The Nowa Era geography textbook presents harmful views as facts. Students are outraged.

With the new government in place, Poles and Polish women can look forward to a significant education reform. The new ministers, Barbara Nowacka (Minister of Education and Science) and Dariusz Wieczorek (Minister of Science and Higher Education) are working hard to "clean up" after the previous minister, Czarnek.

Barbara Nowacka has proposed several changes, including pay raises for teachers, limiting religious lessons to one per week, reducing the curriculum or limiting the subjects that count towards the average grade. Removing HiT (Polish: Historia i teraźniejszość, English: History and Contemporary Times), a controversial subject with an equally controversial textbook by Professor Roszkowski, is also a priority. Roszkowski's book contained homophobic and racist content and also criticised children born through in vitro fertilisation, which led to the author being taken to court.

Geography textbook’s nonsense on unemployment

A user named X @dimmilaverita10 has uploaded a photo of a textbook, also known as Vademecum, for high school graduates from the New Era publisher. The book seems to contain nonsensical content, which is surprising considering it was approved in 2023. While errors can happen in textbooks, it's concerning that no one has pointed this out, including the publishing house or any teacher.

The Vademecum includes a table that ranks unemployment's negative and positive effects. According to the table, the positive effects of unemployment include an increase in discipline, productivity, and quality of work, increased respect for work, an increase in professional qualifications, and an increase in self-employment among the unemployed, leading to the establishment of small businesses.

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Positive effects of unemployment according to the New Era: Respect for work

It is debatable if there are any "positive" effects of unemployment. While it is possible to argue that being unemployed can improve one's professional skills, this mainly applies to individuals with a basic understanding of a particular field. Furthermore, it can be difficult to pursue further training when savings are running out, and one needs to focus on making a living.

The first two points regarding unemployment - teaching respect for work and increasing discipline, productivity, and quality of work - are alarming and toxic. Unemployment can break the sense of stability and security rather than instilling respect for work. Similarly, the notion that being unemployed can increase discipline, productivity, and quality of work is unreasonable. This idea puts unnecessary pressure on workers to give more than 100% of themselves to deserve the "luxury" of employment.

It is not an absolute characteristic of work to be valued, particularly when individuals face workplace bullying or employers who refuse to pay wages or mistreat subordinates. For Gen Z, being unemployed is preferable to being unhappy.

It is crucial that the Ministry of Education and Science scrutinises textbooks more closely to ensure that students are not exposed to these misguided "positive" effects of unemployment. No one should have to experience these effects firsthand.

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