I mean, when I was young, I have no idea what is the purpose of education during my primary and secondary school years. I was told I need to study so that I can get a good job and earn good money when I grow up. I go to school because my parent would be very angry if I didn’t. I excel just because I want to be better than others, not because I am passionate is perusing knowledge for some greater cause. Only when I went to college, I finally know what I want to learn and what its purpose is. Then I found education to be fun because it is practical, I know how to apply the knowledge in my life. I finally had a purpose, and I get to do something or create something with the knowledge I have. Suddenly, I have a purpose and am productive, and I am happy.
Let’s go back to earlier education, primary and secondary school years. Perhaps your argument might be the children are too young to understand their purpose or do not have the capability to choose their subjects of interest. Yes, that might be true. But my point is, we should make education meaningful and practical, and perhaps fun as well. The children need a purpose to capture their attention.
I notice in the classroom, the children doesn’t seems slightly interested with what the teacher is teaching, because it is boring and unrelated to their world. Why do I need to learn this? It is boring and I don’t why I have to learn this. I noticed that I paid attention to the teacher though I am not learning in the class, perhaps I have been conditioned to focus and pay attention all these while. But the children naturally sleep; look elsewhere or doing their own stuff. Education is boring, it doesn’t interest them. Sometimes the teacher use a stern voice to force the children’s attention, but we all knows that isn’t very effective in the long term as well.
So, what do we need in our education?
- Academic is not everything. There is much more in life besides Math, Science and English. Teach the children Art & Craft, Music & Dance, Mountain Trekking and Camping, Cooking & Baking, Sports and etc. I know there are extra-curricular in school, but that just isn’t enough. We talking about 50% academic education, 50% extra-curricular activates. We don’t wanna create book worms that lack soft skill, we want children who know how to enjoy life and love themselves and others, besides being knowledgeable. I only get to really enjoys all these activities when I started working, and I think children should be encourage to develop their passion and hobbies on certain healthy activities, it help to build character. To success in life, it takes more than academic knowledge, so why just focus 100% on it. Aren’t education meant to nurture the leaders of tomorrow?
- Be creative in instilling purpose and practicality in the process of educating. Rather merely teaching by following syllabus, teach with a purpose and provide example in life where the children can relate to. Lets assume we are learning mixing of some chemicals, rather than just explaining A+B=C, why not explain what is C for and how it could be useful in our daily life and how is it applied in certain industry. Perhaps it might provoke the children’s thought and creativity, and start thinking of ways to make and use C. Basically; the children need to know why they need to learn something, and how they could actually use it.
Once I was told: If you have a strong system, you just need an average leader to perform superbly; if you have no system, you need an extraordinary leader to perform averagely.
Hopefully, the next generation of education is much better than what I had gone through and what I had seen today.