Am I delusional, uneducated or just unable to see the true value in the direction the eduction system is taking in most of the so-called “Civilized World?
I was told today that it is basically impossible for a child in Australia to fail a grade until he or she reaches grade 11 because that’s when external assessments start happening. Teachers can suggest that a child repeats a year but the final decision lies with the parents. And so, many parents are refusing their children the benefit of repeating a year because the competition with “The Jones’s” is more important than the future of their child. But then again, the parents might realise that the education system is flawed and there is no point in repeating a year in a system that favours those who do nothing and allows the hard workers to wonder why they even put in all the effort. Please don’t get me wrong! There are children that work really hard and still struggle. They need to be recognised and every effort needs to be made to support them in their work. I am refering to those who are at school to be entertained and are capable, but too lazy to do anything. These students seem to find pleasure in causing displeasure. How can it possibly be true that a child who refuses to do anything, and misbehaves in class can graduate to the next year level in the same way that a hard-working, well-behaved child does.
The reason for this conundrum is that there are very few schools that apply definites in the grading of work and tests. In fact, there are hardly any more tests that are written at school today. This means that the days when students actually needed learn, are long gone. Those were the days when hard work was rewarded and when there were consequences for a lack of effort. It has even got to a point where parents are encouraged to withdraw their children from one of the few standardised tests that still exist. This test requires students to sit still for an hour and it exposes them to a “stressful environment” that can have a detrimental effect on an otherwise, cotton-wrapped child. This is a standard test that is done once every 2 years, called NAPLAN.
Real education has been replaced with entertaining the child and making sure they are having fun. It’s all about what the child wants and how the child wants it presented. Since when, may I ask, do children know what’s best for them? Since when is learning anything in life based on what I want and what is comfortable for me? In fact, the times in our lives when we learrn the most are the times when we experience difficulties and when we are taken out of our comfort zones. Why would it be any different at school. I am the first one to admit that teachers need to make lessons more interesting than simply reading information from a textbook. But to suggest that learning is all about fun and if it doesn’t feel comfortable to write an assessment or do an oral, it doesn’t need to be done, is proposterous. It has become so ridiculous that teachers are no longer permitted to write any negative comments on a report (if one can call it that). So outrageous that marks are no longer given for assessments and tasks because you don’t want to offend a child who does nothing, by giving them a bad mark. Why does society seem to tip-toe around those who make the biggest noise but contribute the least? Why is the education system too afraid to identify those who are disrupting a learning environment and confront them about it. Why do these students get all the attention at the expense of those who deserve it. If you don’t study at university, you fail. If you don’t perform in your job, you are fired. If you don’t practice hard in your sport, you don’t make the team. If life gets tough and you don’t deal with it, you have a problem. Why then, are we teaching children exactly the opposite in schools?
I am tired of being a part of a broken system. An environment where the injustice is slapping me in the face. I’ve tried to turn a blind eye and I’ve tried to just go with the flow. But I realised that only dead fish swim with the stream! The next generation needs our full attention and it certainly has mine. When one really believes in something, it becomes engrained in our DNA and it becomes impossible to simply dismiss. It becomes necessary to speak up and advocate change. In fact, the most integral part of education is teaching those morals and principals. It is teaching good work ethic. It’s teaching that there are consequences for our actions – more serious consequences than stoning with marshmellows. A society without discipline is corrupt. A community without discipline is dangerous. And children without discipline are building blocks that create those corrupt and dangerous societies.
God loves us so much that He sent His Son to die on the cross for us. And it’s because of this amazing love He has for us, that His Holy Spirit convicts us. It is because of this amazing love that He disciplines us. And sometimes, that discipline is harsh because He knows what’s best for us and He wants us to make the right choices. If we are so concerned about our younger generation, then we won’t be so afraid to enforce disciplne, because we know it’s in their best interest. It’s time that we stop trying to do the popular thing, and we start doing the right thing. It’s time that we stop trying to be buddies to the younger generation, and we start earning their respect.