Just thought I would add a few ideas to this discussion.
Education is a hugely important part of development. While I might have been able to learn a few things on my own if I really applied myself, there’s no way I would have the knowledge and skill levels I have today without going to school. Those skills and that knowledge gave me the chance to get a good job and support myself – but this is a chance that not everyone around the world gets equal access to.
Why are educational systems failing young people? More importantly, how can we fix it? This is my take on the situation, and what we need to do as parents and influencers to make a change.
Education is not equal
One huge problem with the educational system is that most countries set national guidelines which control schools and their curriculums. However, the curriculum and teaching style that works for one part of the country may not work in another, particularly where different cultures live in the same place.
Take, for example, Australia’s literacy rates. They seem to be pretty good on the surface: 95.6% of non-Aboriginal students were at the right literary benchmark for year 3 in 2015. However, when you head out to remote communities of Aboriginal students, only a quarter are meeting the right level.
While there may be national standards for education, it’s clear that this system is advantageous only to one type of student – while others get left behind. For this educational system to improve, it needs to adapt. Changes need to be made to account for the culture of the student, their background, the availability of teaching staff, equipment, and funds, and so on. We can’t continue with a one-size-fits-all approach.
Preparation for real life is poor
We learn a lot of important things in school. Some things, however, aren’t so practical. I can’t remember the last time I need to calculate sine or cosine, but I had to figure out how to do my tax return all on my own after leaving school.
Educational systems need to be aimed more towards real life. I remember taking classes which were supposed to be all about community – the idea being that we learn about current affairs, life skills, and so on. But I was never told how to write a resume. I was never shown how to search for a job on a site like Gumtree, how to conduct myself in an interview, or what kind of salary to ask for in an entry-level position.
Education needs to be preparation for adult life, not just learning by rote.
Intervention is low
I don’t want my children to be unprepared for real life, or left behind because of their skin tone or where we chose to live. I’m sure that you don’t either. But the fact of the matter is that intervention from parents and community leaders tends to be poor.
I read in the news recently that the UK is changing its sex education curriculum for the first time since 2000, and asking for input from parents. We as adults need to be making those steps and giving those suggestions before it gets to that point. We need to let our voices be heard.
We can ask local governments to revise curriculums, we can ask for more funding, and we can make noise about it. Our children can’t, so it falls to us to do the job.
There are a lot of reasons why educational systems fail, but generally they boil down to lack of reform and funding. If we can figure out those two things together, we can save our education and our children’s education as well.
What do you think? Let me know.