Our Education System is broken. Across the globe.

I went to College over 2 decades ago and I felt I wasn’t learning enough. Or, what I actually wanted to. It’s real sad that things haven’t changed for the better, even today.

Here’s where I think the problem is (always easier to point to problems than solutions, isn’t it?).

  • The world population is only ever increasing and at 8B people, there’s a lot of us. And the more of us there are, the more competition there’s going to be.
  • The more competition there is, the more difficult it’s going to be to find work, let alone a career that each of us both enjoys and truly deserves.
  • And let’s not forget that machines are continuing to become smarter so they can do a lot of the heavy lifting in years to come changing our roles in the workforce significantly.
  • Our education system is certainly not up to the mark. I’ve loved most things about America but certainly not everything (of course, we aren’t Utopia). One of the things I was displeased about when I moved here, and continue to be even after living more than half my life here, is the Education system. It’s far removed from reality, and it is certainly not where it should be given America’s standing in the world as a super power.
  • A teaching making decisions on what should or shouldn’t be taught, & picking text books and curriculum made little sense to me then, and it makes no more sense to me today. What if the teacher is not particularly qualified?
  • Our teachers are not paid nearly enough and when you don’t pay much, you aren’t going to attract the best. Sad but true.

All of this results in most students being constantly stressed and feeling like they are falling short. And therefore, they tend to believe they have learned little despite the numerous years spent attending School and College.

You might ask, “What about all the Ivy League Schools, and top notch Universities, and the amazingly brilliant students who graduate from those real competitive institutions?”

Yeah, what about them? I didn’t say that some folks are not exceptionally brilliant. We all know that. If a smart person makes it to an Ivy League School, the credit goes to the person and not to the school. The school didn’t make them smart to begin with, did it? It just took credit for someone’s innate intelligence. And that is not the purpose of an institution of higher learning and certainly not a way by which it should be judged.

If a school took me in as a student and made me smarter than I originally was when I entered it, then it delivered what it promised. It is only then did it serve its purpose. Else, if failed. And sometimes, miserably so.

So, what can we do about it? Well, I am no John Oliver to come up with brilliant solutions but I, even I, can take a stab at some possible alternatives.

  • Let folks who know what they are doing and are qualified make a determination on what should be taught.
  • Ensure that all schools and colleges teach the exact same thing across the nation (in the interest of fairness).
  • Change the way children and students are judged by treating each and everyone as important people who have all the ability to make a significant difference to the world.
  • Some are brilliant artists, some are lovely actors, others are fantastic musicians, and some of us have no other skill but engineering so can “choose” to resort to it. But, not everyone should be forced to be an engineer or a developer or a doctor or a lawyer. We should teach our next generation that loving what you do is no less important than going to work, paying bills and dying one day.

As a society, we need to place a lot more importance on being happy. It is something we should be taught to be “jealous” about. We see someone happy, we should be inspired and want to emulate them at happiness.

  • We should teach parents not to judge their children. We should teach them to accept their children for what they are, and help them hone their skills and guide them but without making any comparisons.
  • We should teach parents to not publicly display their pride. You wearing a tee that says Cornell University does instill jealousy even if you didn’t intend it. You don’t need to publicly exhibit your pride. (Are Google engineers wearing “I make $500K” and walking around?)
  • Our education system needs to teach kids Money Management, People Management, Being Happy, Being Nice, Being Helpful, Economics, Reading News, Being Creative, Being Active, Arts, and everything else as much as it teaches and emphasizes STEM.

Last but not least, America needs to lead the way here. We do it, and we do it right — trust me, there’s no dearth of gleeful followers. And the more followers we have (assuming we do it right), the better off the next generation would be.

#snowpal #learning

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Krish @ products.snowpal.com | learn.snowpal.com

I am a Software Developer and Architect, and run the engineering team at Snowpal. Subscribe to our APIs to reduce time to market for your web & mobile apps.