Education has been the basis of setting standards for gaining a position in society for centuries. Periods and eras passed, and the methods and purpose of providing education transformed. Different regions of the world used different approaches to impart education. But throughout the world, the purpose of providing education remains the same—to liberate a child from the binding shackles of illiteracy.
Education has shown a consistency of being enlightening, assisting students to grow, develop, and enhance their skills alongside. But somewhere along the way, the ultimate goal of enrichment of a student through education has somehow shifted to this grubby race of scores and marks, following an objectively repetitive pattern of learning.
There can be a litany of complaints that one can put forward if asked what is wrong with today’s education. Students growing out of the system of authority, burned out and overworked teachers, inadequate methods of assessment of intellect, and unaffected students are some of them.
Added to the list are a slow adaptation to the fast-growing technology, inconsistent and unequal school funding, and a general lack of relevancy that has been caused by years of repetitive teaching methods and course work. However, perhaps the greatest drawbacks of the education system currently have been the conventional pedagogy of depending on books to hone skills.
Therefore, the liberation that one expects after receiving formal education does not do much in carving a competent person and ready to face the world. What exactly are these limitations that need an alteration or at least require renewing to keep up with contemporary times and the fast-evolving species of humans?
The Limitations of a Four-Walled Classroom Education
It has been around a year and a half into the pandemic now. The location of receiving education might have changed from a formal classroom to a digital screen, but the confines of learning remain the same.
Online learning did prove to be a revolution of its own. But with it came the realization that the system of education was majorly lacking. Students had grown extremely used to confining within the four walls to receive an education. So much so that adapting to learning from home became a huge challenge. Around 70% of the teachers had to design their courses anew, with assignments designed for a more holistic evaluation.
What’s upsetting is that students have never been led out of the classroom walls into the world to learn. Being in this restrictive schooling environment had inhibited their development, and it took the pandemic for us to realize that. The inflexibility in teaching is the reason why students are finding it so hard to adapt themselves to studying online. Many theorists have argued for the notion of schools killing students’ creativity—a fact that has been proved by compelling life examples of geniuses like Albert Einstein and A.P.J. Abdul Kalam.
Restrictive System of Evaluation
Students are taught certain topics in certain periods of time, after which they have to answer questions that test their subjective and objective understating of it. Learning and cramming for the sake of scoring well in the exams, instead of committing it to the long-term memory has sadly become a very common practice.
Researchers and education reformists have brought this practice to the attention of education institutions several times. What education really needs today is a better motivator to enhance the skills of the students. Scoring well in exams can be that motivator. However, in today’s education system, good scores only mean cramming and purging on the answer paper. Then, completely wiping it out of the memory and moving on to the next course.
It might not be an easy feat to achieve, but it is high time the way of evaluation changes in the education system. The comprehensive learning of students requires a challenge—in a way that will compel them to truly submerge their minds in the concepts educators try to teach them. They need to be able to know everything that they’ve been learning, ten years from now. Only then is education actually fulfilling its purpose.
The present evaluation methods have inhibited a lot of students who face examination anxiety from performing to their full potential. We need a major change in the way knowledge is evaluated.
Need for change in Education Policies
Reforms worldwide keep education on a huge pedestal to evaluate the prosperity and intellect of the entire country. Evaluating scholars through their IQs, and comparing their marks and scores has become a norm. Each country has ranked on the basis of the students who are able to ace these standardized tests.
It is perhaps time to realize the flaw in this system. There is a need to acknowledge the unfairness of grouping multiple kinds of intelligence, aptitudes, and skills and grade them under one. Furthermore, it is time to realize that not every student learns in the same way. Thus, they require customized evaluation methods.
The policymakers need to leave the age-old methods that they were raised into. Instead, they should revolutionize education on a global level. The stagnation in this structure has stopped benefiting the evolving society and the new-age students. So an in-depth change is the need of the hour.
Each country might have different needs, based on the culture, diversity, and upbringing of the youth. Yet no one can deny that education has been in a rut for far too long now across the globe. Change, therefore, is necessary and should ideally start from the policymakers. Then, institutions need to implement those changes to see a positive transformation in students.
The picture that today’s education system portrays, with high IQ people gaining relative success, is certainly pretty. But what gets blurry are students who have been a victim of this one-track train wreck side of education. Those students were never able to reach their full potential because the current education system could give them a platform. The cliché of a student being good in either sports or studies to reach somewhere in life needs to break from the school level itself. And a revamp of the entire system is just what the doctor recommends!