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Guests at a TV show

A.- I dont want to sound too harsh, especially here, having a Latin teacher among us, but I am convinced that literature, philosophy, arts and any other dead languages should be removed completely from our schools. They dont contribute to making better or more qualified students. Furthermore, these subjects are a waste of time nowadays. We should have more time to learn sciences and Information Technologies because as a manager of an IT company I know what kind of employers our society applies for. B.- You have clearly stated your point of view, but its my turn now. Yes, Im a teacher of Latin and, as incredible as it might sound, I partly agree with you. Due to the crisis we are going through, it is the scientific research and the new technologies what appears to have a clearer future. However, we wont have this crisis forever, and our students need to be able to choose what they really want to do as their career. Not everybody likes science nor does a country just need technicians. There will always be people interested in arts, languages and philosophy, and we need them to lead our cultural life. No country becomes an international power without a cultivated elite. I agree that those subjects might not be as practical as those you are referring to, but our students need to know where we come from, what our origins are, which languages and cultures helped to develop what we know as Spanish and Spain, and what our ancestors did or thought. Besides, is there anything wrong in teaching our youngsters how to express their ideas clear and precisely? Or in teaching them what art is and what it means and implies? You insist that all that is worthless knowledge, but have you got anything against learning for learnings sake? Reading, for example. Isnt it the best way to broaden our minds? A.- I am not saying that. You have to think that our students have to fight against people coming from abroad, perhaps with better qualifications in science and new technologies. And nobody can deny that. What is more, what kind of job can our artistic or humanistic students find? Why are we dedicating so much time in subjects that wont help students find a job? B.- Perhaps what we should try to achieve is a balanced curriculum that allow our students to grow as humanistic students as well as technicians. I dont want to name any other countries, but we all know that some of those self-considered international powers have real problems with everyday, basic knowledge such as geography, literature, art, or even their own languages. Science is not all, it shouldnt be all. What has to be changed is, probably, the approach we are using to teach these subjects. Latin, for example, should not be only taught as a language, but as a source of information and culture. The language itself is not that important any more; but we mustnt forget it is the root of our current language and Latin culture, literature and art, the origin of many of the things we appreciate nowadays. The so-called humanistic knowledge should be acquired for free, not just as a means to find a well-paid job.