This rant is coming from a man who attended high school in (mainly) western Canada and eastern Asia, but it applies equally as much to every other high school in the world. Why are there always students getting low grades? What's even worse is... why do they not care? In an increasingly competitive world where globalization is taking place and ones job can quickly be taken over by another just as capable for cheaper overseas, should parents and teachers be content with report cards averaging at 70% or lower?
I may be being a bit harsh, but I will continue to talk in this tone, as I want to get my message out. The world is evolving so quickly and so unpredictably that everybody should prepare for abrupt changes. Do you paint pictures for a living? The world may not care for them next month and fall in love with another specific form of digital art. Telemarketer? Your job could get moved to an Indian company that can make twice as many calls for half the price. Certain office jobs may be automated through technology or outsourced. A large percent of jobs are not fully stable, and we need to prepare our students for careers that haven't even been created yet. We can't risk faltering to do so, with countries such as India and China rapidly growing. Our country needs to remain competitive... and education is our country's future. We are seeing these careless students who couldn't care less about their grades, their education, and their future â why? I visited several elementary schools around western Canada to observe students and the type of education they're receiving.
The first thing about elementary schools is that 'work' is ridiculously simple. Reading, addition, subtraction... I'm not suggesting that they bump the curriculum up several grades, but teachers are grossly underestimating young children's abilities to learn. It doesn't take them a year to learn how to add (it surely didn't take me that long), and doing so is missing opportunities to help students set standards for education. After all, we're strongly influenced by what we're taught at a young age. elementary school should be fun â we don't want students to be stressed and depressed â but it shouldn't be a cakewalk for them either. It gives students the illusion that mediocrity is acceptable, and don't strive to achieve their best. Setting up academic challenges for students and encouraging them to think critically from a very young age is the step school districts must take. It is essential that students understand the level of thinking and academic success they'll be expected to achieve throughout their lives.
But it's not only the education system that's the problem. Students have influences greater than their teachers: their parents. Living with them every day of their lives, it's hard not to be affected by their actions and beliefs. If one observes the parents of students not successful in school, it's not too difficult to notice how they accept mediocre performance. Their priorities are not on their child's education; instead, they're usually on simply enjoying their lives, or an event like a divorce. It is critical that all parents increase their standards, understand the state of the world, how their children's futures will be, and how important it is to do well in school while they're still young. Parents from east-Asian countries such as South Korea and China are quite aware that their kids need to do well in school to succeed. Their standards are set quite high, the reason being that during their lifetimes, they have seen their country drastically improve following better investment in education. This can apply to Canada and the US as well. The school districts need to take responsibility on informing student's parents with everything they need to know. Hosting mandatory parent-teacher meetings and information sessions should go a long way in doing so.
In addition, the school districts must strongly push additional education for students with poor grades. In the current state, we're leaving them to deal with their own problems and find their own ways to improve. Maybe we should hold special classes built around the students' needs, or assign additional courses outside of the regular school days. This is where the districts' money should be going towards. Renovating? Adding fancy glass entrances? Better parking lots? I believe someone needs to kick the people in charge of each school district and have their priorities set straight. Their primary objective is to educate the students, and that is solely where the money should be going. Who knows? The millions the government put into Canada's education over the years might not have helped any of those students at all.
These tweaks to the current education system along with more effective usage of the shrinking government funding will drastically improve the success rates of students in secondary as well as elementary schools. We've been too comfortable with our current state of education, and after many years of not making any significant improvements to the system, it is time to step up.