Education; How effective is our system?
There is no argument about the importance of education, but like every other sector, nothing is perfect and in my opinion, the education sector is suffering the most.
Before I start, I would like to mention that this is all based on the information and experiences that I’ve had and seen/heard from people all around the globe. This is not specific to any country or city – but a general blog about what I THINK the flaws are in our education system.
Why is Education Important?
I’m sure we can all agree that we’ve grown up hearing about the importance of schools and getting an education, even though we weren’t too keen on it at that time and just did so to make our parents happy or end up with a good job and start earning and become rich fast. Ha-ha, welcome to the club disappointment! There’s a lot more to the world than just that.
It was after I passed out from school, I realised education is much more than what we can read in textbooks – it’s actually the most powerful tool one can have! Education gives us life lessons as basic as how to best conduct ourselves on a daily basis and improves personal lives. It allows innovation and creativity in every way, form or size that lets us think outside the box because of the knowledge we’ve been fed. Education allows us to accept and learn from our mistakes and even analyse what’s Infront of us. With education, people can become better citizens where laws are followed. A better society where there’s acceptance, tolerance, respect and Inclusion for all. An educated society knows the value of global warming, sewage lines and gutters, the use of plastic, recycling, and voting – for what their party truly stands for and not just follow blindly. Most of all, poverty can be removed and everyone can play their part in developing the country and helping society run smoothly.
Education can be the most freeing and empowering thing in the world.
Right to Education or Right Education?
I believe that everyone deserves and has the right to education. The sad part is, that the entire system has turned into a rat race. A race to get an A grade or 4.0 GPA. If we don’t succeed in a certain area or subject, we start to believe we are failures and will not be able to achieve anything in life. To be successful, you have to be good at memorisation. Most of the subjects rely on how good the student is in rote learning rather than ability. We are still in the developing stage though we haven’t changed our parrot-fashion learning. Some would even cheat and lie just so they can pass and get a socially acceptable grade. It’s time we eradicate our traditional methods of teaching and learning and update our curriculum, including conceptual learning, interactive books and activities keeping only the traditional values and beliefs. There are a few private schools that are bringing a change and are now inclusive but not everybody can afford it. It’s the governments' duty to enforce changes in the current education system.
Assessments in Education
Students are assessed and evaluated based on a standardised format within a given timeframe. It’s unfair to students mostly who cannot do their best in a limited time. Instead, it should be encouraged and given options for doing a practical assessment, or recorded discussions, screencasts, debates and visual representations, a different approach but a wholesome one. There should be less pressure on marks or grading systems and more on learning and understanding concepts. Students need chances to reflect on what they know, what they need to learn and how to self-assess themselves. Learning should be more about applying the concepts to their daily lives or they should be able to relate them to their past experiences. For example, give students a problem to solve (real-world) with multiple solutions. Provide examples and questions to help guide them. Teach them how to give an interview, resume development, build professional connections while still at school and so on so students don’t make bad economic decisions or investments. OR at least they should know how to manage their own bank accounts and write cheques (a life skill I still lack to date)
We are not being educated through our talents, but instead only downgraded for our faults.
Giving appropriate training or hiring only professional teachers to teach the specific subjects is also an integral part of changing the education system. There is a dire need for innovation and creativity too. Use different types of technology for teaching and learning every subject. Students need appropriate feedback given to help them receive suggestions for improvement in a motivating and encouraging manner. Like the Praise sandwich. Along with providing constructive feedback, it’s almost as important to teach them effective time management skills. Schools/institutes/colleges should also focus on the development of an individual which includes basic manners and values, basic first aid training, basic cooking and home skills, personal grooming, and speaking and communicating skills.
Mental health is never considered -whether it is for the teenagers or the teachers themselves because it’s not a reasonable reason or a valid excuse to not attend school. There’s so much pressure to get good grades, to get into a good college/university, so much competition at such a young age which results in bad endings and mental health issues.
A lot more amendments are needed for students to stay mentally strong and physically active and fit.
Let’s make schools an institution where learners can get educated and apply their education into the real world so when they graduate – they will be ready to face the world and be well-rounded, sophisticated and knowledgeable members of society.
Tell me - I forget
Teach me - I remember
Involve me - I learn
Farheen Zahid, Tutor, The eLearning Network.