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当英国精英私立学校不再只属于精英

更新时间:2016-3-9 11:32:03 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Britain’s Exclusive Schools Try to Be a Little Less So
当英国精英私立学校不再只属于精英

RUGBY, England — Patrick Derham remembers the moment in October 1973 when, age 14, from a troubled home and planning to join the navy, he saw the course of his life changed, rather miraculously, for the better.

英格兰拉格比——帕特里克·德伦(Patrick Derham)还记得他14岁那年,1973年10月的那一刻。他来自一个遭遇麻烦的家庭,计划加入海军,不过他的人生走向发生了奇迹般的改变,走向了更好的方向。

Out of the blue, he was offered a free place at an expensive private school. He took it, went on to Cambridge University and then served as headmaster of two of Britain’s most famous educational institutions. He was never told how he had been selected for the scholarship, but he has since tried to repay that faith in his potential by bringing more students from disadvantaged backgrounds — including young black teenagers — to some of Britain’s most elite places of learning.

他出人意料地得到了去一所昂贵私立学校免费读书的机会。他接受了这个机会,后来又被剑桥大学(Cambridge University)录取,之后更是成为了英国两所最负盛名的教育机构的校长。从来没有人告诉过他,为何奖学金选择发放给他,不过自那以后,他一直在努力回馈对其潜力给予的这种信心。他在英国最精英的教育机构,录取了很多来自不利背景的学生,包括黑人少年。

Few institutions better symbolize social stratification and privilege in Britain than its top independent schools, whose origins date back centuries in some cases. Their former students dominate many spheres of British life, and half the members of the cabinet were privately educated, including Prime Minister David Cameron, who attended the nation’s most exclusive academy, Eton College.

很少能有哪些院校,能像英国顶尖的独立学校那样体现社会分层和特权。其中一些精英学校的历史有数百年之久,这些学校的毕业生把持着英国社会生活的方方面面,英国内阁一半的成员曾在私立学校就读,包括首相戴维·卡梅伦(David Cameron),他就读的是该国最高端的伊顿公学(Eton College)。

Critics blame this system for some of Britain’s social, economic and racial inequalities; argue that such schools impede mobility; and want them to do more for children from disadvantaged backgrounds to justify the tax breaks they receive.

批评人士将英国的一些社会、经济和种族不平等问题归咎于这种体制,认为这种学校阻碍了社会流动,希望它们能采取更多措施帮助来自弱势背景的孩子,不然就没有理由拿到税收优惠。

Some schools, prodded by Mr. Derham and others, are doing just that: taking steps to further diversify their student bodies.

在德伦和其他一些人的推动下,有些学校正在这样做:采取措施扩大学生群体的多样性。

“More and more of us are concerned by this polarization in society,” Mr. Derham said in an office at Westminster School, where he is the headmaster. “There is no point producing people who have only met people like themselves.”

“我们当中有越来越多的人开始担心社会的这种分化,”德伦在他担任校长的威斯敏斯特学校(Westminster School)的一间办公室里说。“教育一批只见过同类的人,是毫无意义的。”

In 2003, in his previous post as headmaster of Rugby School, Mr. Derham helped set up a program called the Arnold Foundation, which provided free boarding places for teenagers recruited from disadvantaged communities. He forged links with a London club for Afro-Caribbean youngsters, called the Eastside Young Leaders’ Academy, which was started by a former prison officer, Ray Lewis, who was alarmed at the number of young black men ending up in jail.

德伦在2003年,在拉格比学校(Rugby School)担任校长期间,帮助建立了一个称作阿诺基金会(Arnold Foundation)的项目,帮助来自弱势社群的青少年免费提供寄宿教育。他与伦敦一个名为东区少年领袖学院(Eastside Young Leaders’ Academy)的面向黑人少年的俱乐部取得了联系。该组织的创始人雷·刘易斯(Ray Lewis)曾是一名狱警,年轻黑人男性锒铛入狱的人数让他感到警觉。

Mr. Lewis had been inspired by a TV report about an academy in Baton Rouge, La., set up to improve prospects for young black men and influenced by America’s Prep for Prep, a program aimed at creating opportunities for black, Latino and Asian-American students.

他之所以产生这个灵感,是因为在电视上看到了关于路易斯安那州巴吞鲁日一家学院的报道。那家校的目的是改善年轻黑人男性的前景,也受到了美国“准备再准备”(Prep for Prep)组织的影响,该计划旨在为黑人、拉丁裔、亚裔学生创造机遇。

Yet initially Mr. Lewis doubted that exclusive, expensive and traditional schools like Rugby were a place for any “self-respecting black guy.” It seemed “absolutely preposterous,” he said. “Boarding school? All you ever heard about that was beatings and buggery.”

然而一开始,刘易斯对拉格比学校这种昂贵、传统、门第森严的学校是有所疑虑的,不知道是否适合“有自尊心的黑人小伙”。那看起来“绝对很荒谬,”他说。“关于寄宿学校?只听说过打架、鸡奸的事儿。”

Not only was he eventually convinced, but last year a student from Eastside, Michael Olorunlogbon, 16, became the 100th pupil to attend Rugby thanks to an Arnold Foundation scholarship.

后来他被完全说服了。去年,来自东区的16岁学生迈克尔·奥罗润罗格彭(Michael Olorunlogbon),在阿诺基金会奖学金的支持下,成为了拉格比学校的第100名学生。

Arriving at a school founded almost 450 years ago, with its quadrangles, cloisters and ivy-clad buildings, was “slightly intimidating,” Mr. Olorunlogbon conceded. But he now likes life here and thinks he is likely to make higher grades, secure a better university place and forge a brighter future.

来到一所有着近450年历史的学校,面对其四方庭院、回廊和常春藤覆盖的建筑,是“稍微有点害怕,”奥罗润罗格彭承认道。但他现在喜欢这里的生活,并认为自己更可能拿到较高的分数,可以进入更好的大学,建立一个更美好的未来。

“The teachers have more time for you — there is a small student-teacher ratio at the school,” he said in a large room next to the headmaster’s office. “At home, there are more distractions. I work harder here than I would at home, definitely.”

“教师有更多的时间留给你,相对学生人数,老师很多,”他在一个大房间里说,旁边是校长办公室。“在家里,有更多让人分心的东西。我在这里比在家里努力,这是肯定的。“

This is not always an easy adjustment, however. David Ejim-McCubbin, 23, said that when he went from a deprived district of London to Rugby School, he struggled to reconcile two “astronomically different” worlds.

但这并不总是一个平稳的调整过程。23岁的大卫·伊吉姆-麦卡宾(David Ejim-McCubbin)说,当年他从伦敦的一个贫困地区来到拉格比学校,在调和两个“天差地别的”世界时遇到了极大的困难。

“I left one realm, as it were, to peek into one that was — I don’t know how many — stratospheres above the one I was born into,” said Mr. Ejim-McCubbin, who has since received a degree in law and a master’s degree in legal and political theory. He now coordinates Eastside’s scholarship program.

“我离开了一个那样的地方,窥视到了一个比我生长的环境不知道高出多少层的领域,”伊吉姆-麦卡宾说,他后来拿到了一个法律本科学位和一个法律与政治理论学的硕士学位,目前负责协调东区的奖学金项目。

Peter Green, the current headmaster of Rugby School, said the school was now building on its history of charity, and adapting to modern times a long tradition of offering free places. For example, one of its best known historical figures, William Webb Ellis, who is credited with handling, rather than kicking, a ball here in 1823 and thus starting rugby football, was educated on a scholarship.

拉格比学校的现任校长彼得·格林(Peter Green)说,学校现在正将其慈善历史发扬光大,并针对这个时代,对其免费收录学生的悠久传统作出调整。例如,该学校最有名的历史人物威廉·韦伯·艾利斯(William Webb Ellis)就是因为奖学金,才接受了教育,人们认为,是他于1823年在这里开创了橄榄球,他当时没有用脚踢,而是用手去处理球。

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