The prob­lem with ed­u­ca­tion (Part 2)

Sun.Star Pampanga - - FRONT PAGE -

MANY parents to­day lament the fact that kids spend a lot of time play­ing video games, par­tic­u­larly in worlds of fan­tasy, zom­bies, fu­tur­is­tic set­tings, or make-be­lieve cities. They fail to see that they willingly pay and send their kids daily to an institution that im­merses them in a fan­tasy world that is far from reality -- and that is school.

Where, in to­day’s adult reality, are peo­ple batched to­gether by age, and asked to per­form a cer­tain task, then at the sound of the bell, they are to stop that task and start on an en­tirely dif­fer­ent one al­to­gether, and they have en­tirely no choice in the work to be done or the sub­ject matter to be dis­cussed? Adults at least, can resign from jobs they deem too pre­pos­ter­ous or un­fit for them. But can stu­dents resign from biology or his­tory if they think it has noth­ing to do with their fu­ture plans? Or if they can­not un­der­stand the teacher or think that he is in­com­pe­tent?

No, they have to sup­press their feel­ings of dis­dain and waste a year (or even years) of their lives study­ing some­thing in which they to­tally have no in­ter­est. The sad thing is, when they fail and don’t do well, they are shamed and la­beled as “slow.” Their parents are called to school

(and oh how parents hate it when this hap­pens, and sometimes take it out on the child later).

Schools place a lot of em­pha­sis on re­ward­ing com­pli­ance, on rec­og­niz­ing stu­dents who do well in ex­ams. The real world, how­ever, re­wards those who can ac­tu­ally per­form. I once in­ter­viewed a can­di­date for com­puter tech­ni­cian for our com­pany. He had what one might call an im­pres­sive re­sume. He had high grades in his tran­script, and added to that, he had nu­mer­ous cer­tifi­cates from dif­fer­ent sem­i­nars and train­ings he at­tended.

His first task for the in­ter­view was to turn on a com­puter that I had in­ten­tion­ally rigged to mal­func­tion. I had loos­ened or re­moved some parts and I wanted to know if he could fig­ure out what was wrong. He spent a whole hour try­ing to make the com­puter work, to no avail. He didn’t get the job.

The one who got the job didn’t have as im­pres­sive a re­sume but got the com­puter work­ing in un­der 10 minutes.

Schools make a lot of fuss over their stu­dents who win over stu­dents of other schools in spelling bee or math con­tests. In reality, how­ever, who re­ally cares if you can spell “eu­dae­monic” or mul­ti­ply two 3-digit num­bers in your head?

Our math teach­ers used to tell us that we should learn how to add, sub­tract, mul­ti­ply and di­vide by hand or in our heads be­cause we won’t al­ways have a cal­cu­la­tor. Well, it’s now 2019 and for a few years already, we have been car­ry­ing a cell­phone that has a cal­cu­la­tor app (and more). In fact, you don’t even have to type in the num­bers any­more, you can just ask ver­bally Google or Siri to add or mul­ti­ply some num­bers for you and listen to the an­swer.

Welcome to reality.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Philippines

© PressReader. All rights reserved.