Fri. Jun 14th, 2024
Shagufta Shazadi Co-founder & Editor-in-Chief

Being educated and acting educated, do we (the EDUCATED) class need to know the difference? Since one has attended a school, read and write, having degrees, certificates, and other people call them educated, should they become an educated person? The fact is, our education system does not support becoming ‘educated’ and it should change now. Primarily, our educational institutions are busy measuring intellectual abilities and take pride in them but neglect ethics and morality. In normal schooling, there is a curriculum for science, math, languages etc. but incorporating social and moral education is hardly ever. Having a dearth of compassion, honesty, love, forgiveness, kindness, unable to differentiate right and wrong among students cause problems for society. There is no or hardly use of learning theories from physics, formulas from mathematics and definitions and elucidations from social studies and other subjects until we learn them to apply in daily life. For instance, if we look around, a graduate degree holder works against meagre salaries in a company or a store but a “Mistri”/ local engineer considered an “uneducated” earn a million in a year using their skills.

Furthermore, a child enrolled today (2022) will be graduated by 2040, do we (teachers, policymakers and other educationists of today) know what kind of difference would it be then? What changes and inventions will there be? Do we have the capacity and attitude for the child of today to make him/her ready for their future or are we still indecisive in “should a child get a smartphone or not”/” should phones be allowed in schools or not” “should kids use YouTube/social media” or not? In this era, a child at the age of 3 has a numerous vocabulary and makes complete sentences which most of us couldn’t at the age of 15. Likewise, the child knows to pick a basket first for shopping, select food and pay at the counter before leaving the shop. All this smartness and skills a child gets is through a smartphone and through giving exposure. For teaching today’s students, the majority of the teachers aren’t prepared, they are lacking in knowledge, skills and attitude in their profession. Ironically, there are teachers unable to simply read the content from the textbooks they teach but have been teaching and compromising students learning for years. According to UNICEF report (2020), children who attend school receive poor quality of education and 65% of students do not achieve minimum proficiency by the time they leave primary. Being a teacher educator, I meet with teachers saying “what is the use of activity-based teaching when it has no use for examination and why assess using higher-order questioning when the board exams are based on memorization”.  Such type of perception has prevailed among the majority of school teachers. Practically, a child learns in early and primary years makes the foundation, and he/she becomes habitual of the practices for the entire life. No matter, if the board exams are knowledge-based but a teacher can do wonders in the early, primary and middle grades.

Going a little further, there is a common picture familiar to most education-related people. The picture says;

“For a fair selection everybody has to take the same examination; so climb that tree”

So, if an elephant, fish, snake and all other animals are asked to climb the tree to assess them won’t be fair. Sadly, this is what our education system is doing with our students. Everybody is not the same, and a fish cannot be judged by asking it for climbing a tree and the same for other animals. There is a famous quote by Albert Einstien available on numerous websites “Everybody is genious, but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will leave its whole life believing it is stupid”. Lack of assessment literacy, our schools and majority examinations boards cannot cater the individual needs and measure students abilities using the one-size-fits-all approach.

Our educational treatment centres on equality, providing students equal resources and assuming everyone is getting support. However, for fair support students should be treated equitably or remove the systemic barriers. In the same way, being creative, critical, analytical, problem solver, communicative, collaborative is as important in education as literacy and shall be treated with the same status. However, our education system does not encourage change and improvement in its system. It takes years in making a policy document and disseminate it to the implementors. On the other hand, when “policymakers” are blamed for not making a strategic mechanism for quality education, the others are also overlooking their due role. Every individual from teacher education institutes, schools, teachers, exam units, is involved equally in deteriorating the education system.

To bring a difference, a teacher is the key change agent in educational change and one has to play a due role and let there be a light in every heart and every school. Schools should increase catalyzing civic engagements in their academic activities for a better community. In the same way, the community should take ownership of the schools for making children futures bright.

By Shagufta Shazadi

The writer is Editor zeroperiod and Specialist to Educational Assessment Monitoring & Evaluation. She can be reached at shagu.skm@gmail.com

5 thoughts on “Does our education system need a change?”
  1. Great ma’am you wrote on a critical and Essential topic. I have also seen such writings just highlighting the issue but few are also prescribing the solutions and steps to be followed to achieve the aim we want. You wrote a master piece and I request you to write one more arrical including the solution and methods to be followed. Thanks ?

  2. I think one way of contributing to it is to raise awareness of teachers how they can bring required changes in their classroom teaching practices.

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