Do schools prepare us for the future?
Are students prepared for the real world after school? Everyone has an adult future ahead of them and hopes to one day have a career. Throughout our lives, school has been a norm because it is said to help prepare us for the future, but is that true?
Our local Education System includes lecturing/teaching and conducting exams. Throughout school time, we are taught to acquire good grades and ace in exams. Our society, education system, and parents have pushed us to run after things that give us instant rewards such as high grades and discouraged us from investing in areas that help us grow as curious human beings. The pervasive culture of rote memorization has resulted into a generation with poor problem solving skills, poor communication skills and is not creative thinkers.
Our schools have taught us that and made us accept that we are rewarded when we succeed and penalized when we fail. In most educational Institutions, students achievements are celebrated for example, in Greenhill academy Kibuli, students who get an annual average of 95% are celebrated with a Cheque. Other schools go ahead and award the best student in each class a full bursary. Failures in some of our schools are either ‘Chopped’ – Sent away from that school, given punishment, beaten or even separated into a special stream. A scenario in the PLE 2020 results where a student hang her self because of poor results! As a result, failure is associated with embarrassment, shame, and guilt and dealing with it becomes an added challenge that students don’t know how to handle.
With rising expectations from society to compete and be better than others, most students are incapable of dealing with failure and rejection, resorting to antisocial behavior such as cheating. Cheating has been taught to us by our schools as they want to stage a name among top performers. Most city schools at Primary and Secondary levels have mastered the style of clinical cheating of final exams that is hard to fight and detect. Comparisons between their best students when they go to higher levels of education can be drawn as they cannot defend their good grades
Rejection and failure are the most important learning tools as they reveal various truths about us that assist in handling future situations. Incidents of failures throughout our academic careers should be revered and examined as learning moments so that students are not scared of failing but use them as lessons to grow and develop.In our schools, things like depression, stress, anxiety, and emotions are almost never discussed with students even though many young people suffer from these. A social stigma regarding these issues persists in our society which discourages a lot of individuals from seeking help. Students end up developing fear to ask for they will be laughed at.
Educational institutions have the potential to change that by creating safe environments where students are encouraged to openly talk about issues of mental health.
Our current A-level system where a student takes three Principal Subjects and two subsidiaries doesn’t help much. With the current Un-employment in the country, these students study the two years and emerge without any practical skill attained.
If we had integrated some courses offered in the UBTEB program into our A-level program, our A-level schools would be at least a better place to attend. The system becomes worse at Arts courses as some of the combinations are uncalled for.
The introduction of ICT at A-level was a good idea but the subsidiary subject doesn’t help a student who did Computer studies at O-level because its syllabus is a copy paste of the O-level version. Yet more to that, the Universities go ahead to teach Computer literacy in Year One whose coverage is selected topics in the A-level Syllabus. What if our schools introduced programming courses at Primary level?
In conclusion, schools alone cannot foster all of the skills and capabilities that young people need to find success in work and life. To ensure all students receive the education they need to succeed in the real world is to change our curriculum and form partnerships between schools and industries. These partnerships will grant equal opportunity for student internships across all programs. In return, students benefit by gaining industrial skills, building a close network and easing their transition to work. Further, this closes the gap employers feel exists between skills needed and skills taught. We are keenly following the DIT arm in the new Secondary curriculum to check if Competence based students are produced. We also aplaud the new curriculum and encourage more practicals
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