Editorial

Killing potential

We know that education is the foundation on which the structure of a country is laid and it plays a pivotal role in building a nation and in training the youth to take an effective part in social reconstruction and economic development of a society. Unfortunately an idea is gaining ground, particularly in our society, that education is not meant to build better human beings, thus a healthier society, but only to get better jobs. Consequently, student’s minds are obsessed with better jobs and dreams for higher social status. The system of private tuition among students and teachers is also endemic. Now the students tend to consider their teacher as their servant, rather than their mentor or reformer. The net result of all this deterioration is that our education system has deteriorated. If education is to bear fruit, it must be changed from the noisy activity which it is today, to a purposeful action. If the purpose does not motivate, then there is nothing to process but memorizing answers for test. The present day science-teaching has degenerated into the accumulation of disconnected facts and unexplained formulae, which burden the memory without cultivating the understanding. The typical student is academic challenged and his motivation starved. Lack of motivation is lack of knowledge processing skills. The classroom exercises the collection of academics, leaving all other natural skills undeclared. Only what can be measured will be selected and the measuring tool is the written test. Anyone who does not have the ability to put clear thoughts on paper is labeled a failure. Our misty educational ideas most commonly find expression today through the teaching of certain subjects. The students acquire what the teacher is supposed to give them and both are satisfied that the work of education is over. The students quickly get rid of all this at the examination where they spare no efforts to display their acquired knowledge to the best advantage. All natural skills, including knowledge processing, does not count. Test does not measure intelligence or ability; it does not measure how the mind processes information, how motivating experiences develop persistence, or how the mind sorts out instincts, opinions, evaluations, possibilities, alternatives. Knowledge by itself has no value; it is like a dictionary filled with words. Words by themselves have no value; it is the process of stringing them together that gives them value. How they are strung together determines the level of value. Now our education system is becoming a system that memorizes the dictionary. When students have memorized selected knowledge, then they will be given a one-day test, based on dictionary knowledge, which will influence employment opportunity for the rest of their life. Natural skills are not considered. Teaching to qualify the test does not inspire or motivate anyone, memorizing does not inspire a love to learn, in fact, it turns off the desire to learn. Clearly the goal of education should be to develop a love to learn that stays with the students throughout their lifetime. All young children have a natural talent for creative processing of information. It’s during the teen years that natural creative processing is replaced with the process of memorizing knowledge and it is undervalued how to process it. Sadly in today’s classroom, memorizing is what counts, killing creative processing ability. Since society wants measurable results, educationists are switching to the test. This pressure is passed on to political leaders who base political decisions on what is measurable, which is academic test. Every student must now accept this and be an academic intellectual or be labeled a failure. Students receiving the failure label are growing in numbers and percent, all because the system measures selected knowledge on a one day standardized paper test. On the other hand the certificates and degrees achieved through this system have increased unemployment, killing the purpose it was supposed to accomplish. The state of affairs of unemployed youth is not hidden to anyone; degrees are becoming begging bowls.

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