The wave of changing face of education swamped us, globally, around the oncoming of the new millennium.
Prior to that, education still had value. Education was taught for the sake of educating minds. Opening the minds to knowledge and critical thinking.
But, around the 2000s, education became just another money-churning business. An endlessly profitable business as long as the toddler stage was passed by a child.
My first experience, and every experience ever since, of teaching has been of shock and disappointment with regards to the syllabus taught to students, regardless, of the board the school followed. However, primarily, my concern lies with the British, IGCSE and American curriculum.
My shock was due to the lightweight course followed for an entire academic year. I tried to justify it by making myself believe that the syllabus was diluted to focus on each topic in-depth.
But, was that really the case?
I fear, it is not.
You would argue that I am wrong as I am not taking into account the differentiation plans and the daily lesson plans that should make learning more effective and, most importantly, more specific.
Well, in my honest opinion, differentiation in lessons conducted by teachers existed since the beginning of teaching history. To deny it would be gross injustice to all the magnificent teachers of the past, who have had pronounced constructive impact on countless minds.
Having said that, I do not discredit the hard work and sincerity of the currently employed teachers. If at all, they are being skinned alive by the impetus of pressure on them by the amount of work loaded on their backs.
It is the extreme pressure that has snubbed the motivation of many teachers. I have witnessed an entire school filled with teachers whose face muscles were constantly taut with stress and tension. The teaching and learning environment at school, specifically, should not be a forced-taught environment, where the teacher robotically follows instructions. When a student does not find their teacher enthusiastic or motivated by their subject, how would they be thrilled about it?
The scales of pressure that earlier was on the students weighed down on teachers in the teaching and learning equation. I’m not saying that we should pressurize the students, far from that. I am merely trying to illuminate the reasons behind this sudden change.
As schools became business-oriented, like any other business organization, the customers or the parents and their child(ren) became of great importance. They were the sources of profit and raw capital for the organization.
The profits made by owners of the schools were not hidden. They soon became obvious when owners began creating groups of schools. Schools soon turned into brands. A school was no longer just about educating a child, but, now, also represented the societal status and class of the child and of his family.
The authorities concerned with education within a country, without a doubt, observed the trend. Huge schools that provide state-of-the-art facilities to the students certainly reflects well on the economy of a country. Accordingly, a standard of acceptability was introduced to maintain the good reflection of educational ‘modernization’ of the country, and for its betterment of productivity.
Consequently, the schools now had to maintain a level of acceptability that would be determined by an annual inspection conducted during a prior announced period of few working days. As a result, the entire focus of education turned to creating a flawless presentation to the inspection team. Teachers were ordered to provide evidence of their teaching. Not in the form of how bright their students were, but in the form of scribbling of papers. Documentation became the keyword.
Documents of every minute matter have been generated to create an illusion of education. Teachers’ liberty and imagination has been reined in as they slave their hours at work. The walls of schools have been adorned and beautified, professing the excellence of students’ aptitude. A beautifully ornamented façade.
The watered down syllabus was a means of easing the scoring of marks for students. Good result reflects good teaching and, ultimately, a good school. Education is like food. If you consume large portions of food, your stomach’s elasticity is stretched. If the same portions of food were offered to an individual who was used to eating much smaller portions of meal, they would end up throwing it up or with an episode of indigestion. Similarly, the less knowledge we expose the students to, the smaller their learning, thinking, analytical, et al, capacity becomes. They find the lessened quantity equally challenging.
The educational system has become infested with the virus of greed for money, name and fame, and decayed it. The remnants of education remain behind the walls of façade, but, will we rekindle this dying flame?
– SKY –