Does our current education system equip students with skills that enable better contribution in the workplace and in the community? How many of you feel prepared to enter the workforce? Have you been able to find and fulfil your passions and interests through your schooling?
Upon thinking about these questions, I have come to the conclusion that some changes must be made in schools and here are a few:
Greater integration of technology and learning:
Technology has great potential to be an effective teaching tool especially for differently abled students. Banning phones and tablets in schools only reduces a student’s access to the world’s greatest library – the internet, making them dependent on outdated learning methods. Technology facilitates students to learn by doing, take responsibility for their work and gain power to create and not just consume.
Each child has different abilities, interests and needs, so the belief that one size fits all is obsolete. It’s more effective to group children based on their needs rather than their age. It is ridiculous to force a budding writer to integrate formulae while she could be integrating people with the power of her pen!
Standardised testing only measures a student’s ability to rote learn, turning schools into factories that produce students with the exact same knowledge. Standardised Testing restricts the thinking abilities and doesn’t tests other more important skills such as leadership, innovation and imagination.Finland topped the international education (PISA) rankings from 2001-2008, yet has “no external standardized tests used to rank students or schools,” according to Stanford University researchers Linda Darling-Hammond and Laura McCloskey. Furthermore, Scarlett Johansson did poorly on her SATs but is now a successful Hollywood actress. This shows that schools give undue importance to examination scores.
Inclusion of Arts in Education
As John Keating in the film ‘Dead Poets Society’ said, “Medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for.” Art allows children to express themselves freely. It’s a constructive outlet for their imagination and stress. Further, it inculcates discipline and a sense of direction in students which is essential at a young age.
Greater focus on Health and Wellness
Obesity among children is growing at an alarming rate. Since children spend a large part of their day in school the onus falls on schools to promote physical activity and healthy eating among students. This can be done by providing cheap, healthy and tasty options in school cafeterias.
Along with physical well-being schools must focus on mental health as well. Qualified student counsellors should be appointed to help students suffering from mental health problems.
In conclusion, we must realise that leaders of the future should be taught keeping the future in sight instead of clinging to the past. The only way the next generation can be better than the previous is if they are taught to be better.