Home > Uncategorized > Is Our Education System Failing our Children ?

Is Our Education System Failing our Children ?

For quite some time the Welsh education system has been slated for failing our young people. This comes after a number of embarrassing PISA results, where Wales scores lowest of the UK and in turn the UK being worse than many developing nations. Thus the question whether our system  is failing our young people or do we actually know and support what education we want to deliver or expect?

It has been long said that ones’ education attainment sorts a child out for life. The education system however is at breaking point, arguably under resourced and under supported. Society places a huge burden on the teaching profession, placing pressure on the system to do their child well, to get those high results. The question is this fair?  Does responsibility lie elsewhere?

Society as said, expects a lot from educational institutions, some warranted some not. Lets not forget teachers teach the curriculum, standards set by government. Over the last century education in the UK overall has changed more than any other period in history. Teachers are teaching within set guidelines, have some things in while others are taking out, so called selective education.

Some parents believe it not a role for them to pre-school their children, instead believing this to be a role for the school, for the teachers. Children can arrive at school without the basics of : socialising, sharing, talking, basic words and requests, and counting. Thus from an early age children and in turn classes can be disadvantaged while those children are taught to a basic standard while trying to not to place a hindrance on the other children’s learning. This can also be the case where there is new children who are learning English as a second language as they attempt to catch up as best as they can.   

Teachers  of course play a vital role in supporting children learn, challenging them. The school environment sees most applying more than their paid time and effort teaching, planning or marking work, than what society knows or thanks them for. Management structures also do not support the classroom teachers as best as they could, in many instances. It is also a real shame and embarrassment to society that half of all trained teachers, leave the profession within 5 years of entering the role.

Government and society have advised through the media, that the kids of today have it easy, this is a downright myth. The curriculum is the fullest it has ever been and children in the UK are some of the most examined children globally. This causing unfair stress and anxiety to occur to many from such a young age. This many now criticise, that it is the teaching of what, not how to think is the most common practise in schools. In effect coaching them through exams without the actual exploration of why things are and why they happened, making their own judgements and being able to support their ideas.    

So is the blame of the failings down to the school, the parents, local community or the government? Well the answer is all, there needs to be a better working partnership between all groups.  The community has a huge role to play in the role and responsibility of how successful a school is. Some parents may not be able to educate their child as they themselves struggle with the basics, this is a strong area where the community could and should support those who cannot read or write and have problems with essential numeracy skills. Thus together being able to support an positive learning environment outside of the classroom.

Technology also has a key role to play in education, especially in regard to evaluating and monitoring levels of various skills. It can also enable schools to pick up those pupils who may have disabilities early and put individual plans in place to support that child.

But the issue with the current technology lessons as they stand are wholly out of date, many do not use clip art today, or need to learn how to use powerpoint, excel or even Microsoft word. The fact that they learn windows is a farce in itself. We live in a world which uses many platforms and different types of software using varying types of coding. Children should learn these various coding and website building. They should also be taught how to put a computer  together, skills which would set us out from many others globally. Classes like how to open a webpage and how to save a document are laughable, as many students don’t gain anything from such sessions, rather mess around online on games or homework for other classes. The curriculum in this area needs a review urgently to avoid not equipping our youth with skills to attract businesses to Wales.

The ability to build software would also be of huge benefit to the youth of today, let’s face it applications on smart devices are where both jobs, and could potential even lead to self-employment. We in Wales need to harness this, be world leaders not followers.

Another gripe is the teaching of politics or citizenship is the most boring of subjects to many. The reason being the way it is taught, out of text books and videos, if any at all. However with the right motivation and ways of teaching it, such methods can have a huge effect on a child’s future engagement in the democratic processes. The days of text book learning of the political parties is old style and does not work. Children need to learn politics by doing, running for elections, discussing issues of all levels and learning the benefits of debate and compromising. Get guest speakers in, understand what levels of government do what and be able to ask why. Vital skills to further our democratic system, the ability to breathe new ideas from asking questions, holding those in power to account. We the electorate are the most powerful, not those elected.

Education needs to be more engaging and open to different methods of teaching, especially those which can see those with various different learning styles learn more effectively. The fact we still have written exams is farce, for those who for example are dyslexic or otherwise could benefit from having a videoed presentation, or other practical methods of assessment. We need to understand why some do not want to take part in classes, is it because they feel left out ? if so how can we remedy this?

Thus, there are many issues that needs to be focused on at this time, but also increased engagement from all parties involved in education. We as a society, need to contemplate what we see of our system and how, we as individuals can improve it. If we can look to further such points, I strongly believe that we can assist many getting out of the poverty loop, inspiring many to look and proceed further. Those who do go further should be attached to their community i.e community scholarships on the understanding that the individual will provide local service to the community, upon completion of their studies, or help educate others for a period of time. Thus, linking an individual and their community together, helping themselves out of the cycle as a collective team.  

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