Sunday, 17 June 2007

The Problems with Public Schools

All across the board, the public Education system has been a universal failure (I know I'm not the first one to say that). Grades are falling, participation levels in school activiities are falling and the level of pessimism amongst students continues to grow. What is it about public Education that turns children into drones?

Going to a Public School myself, I have witnessed first hand the results of the failing school system. Take a good look around lunchtime and it isn't hard to find teenagers smoking or partaking in some other degrading activity. The reason, as I've seen, for the low quality education of public schools is first, the lack of incentive to develop ideas, and second, the lack of initiative and responsibility of students and teachers alike to prevent problems within the school and classroom.

In most public schools, students are effectively disallowed to experiment with different concepts and ideas that they have developed. "Learning" essentially means "trying to stuff your pupils brains with a whole lot of facts and care bugger all about the students ideas, and whether they'll memorise what they've learnt". It's this environment in which students aren't allowed to experiment with their own ideas which lowers morale, self-esteem and optimism in a student, which can lead to consequences such as bullying.

The "school zone" system has, unless you have links within the school, put a serious damper on school choice, which condemns students in lower-class areas to go to lower class schools, and without the competition, schools don't need to worry about providing a good education to attract parents and caregivers.

Another issue that needs to be dealt with is most teachers ability (or lack thereof) to sort out problems and devise solutions. Indeed, most teachers act on the basis of "if you don't see it, it ain't your problem". Personally, I blame the teacher unions for this poor attitude. Although no single entity can be blamed for this problem within the Education system, the union's "as long as we get a payrise" mentality has certainly helped to worsen the problem.

A solution is for teachers to empower themselves to truly hold up the laws of the land, and make punishments for wrongdoers serious-not just a written warning. Similarly, students need to be able to experiment with the concepts they learn in class, and with any new concepts they have, with the full support of the teacher.

However, nanny state likes her children as obedient to her as possible. Don't expect any proper solutions to the problems about education until schools are truly taken out of her poisonous grip. Parents, students and teachers are the people to make decisions about education, not politicians.

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