The title of this post may seem like an odd question. After all, the Ministry of Education websites all state that students should develop this great skill but the nature of "RealPolitic" suggests a different message.
If students were really to excel in the the use of logic, gathering and evaluation of evidence, the evaluation of issues based upon the evidence and effective argumentation, what would be the impact for our lives as citizens?
Consider first the processes of democracy. How could elections of people to government change? I would suggest that young people of voting age and effective critical thinking skills would see through the superficial glitz of election campaigns and ask real questions that affect the lives of people and demand real answers. They would be able to see the agendas held by different parties and decide based on real and verifiable evidence whether or not what is being proposed in policy platforms is achievable in a realistic sense and good for the common good of citizens of the country. They would be able to detect deceptive presentations and candidates and take them to task by surgically taking apart what is being offered and make an effective counter case to their peers.
Do politicians really want this type of thoughtful engagement? I would submit to you that they do not. If confronted with such an effective skill reflected in students, they will go into survival mode to protect the status quo. They will try to downplay or discredit the very skill that previously they stated was an important skill for all students to have. It is all about the question of who wins and who loses in this scenario.
I believe that students could make a real difference in the future that they are destined to live in but are governments prepared to give up the status quo and really serve the needs of the people that elect them?