EDITOR, The Tribune.
IT is no secret that our education system isn’t thriving, to say the least. By definition, to educate means to give intellectual, moral, and social instruction to (someone). Our education system is trying to educate our students, but the efforts have been mostly ineffective thus far. We can point the finger in many different directions as to why it is failing, but in short, the children simply aren’t interested.
At this point, not only does our education system need to be restructured, but it has a responsibility to its students. That is to integrate personal development into its curriculum. It is of utmost importance.
With a generation of “Babies having babies” and parents with little time to impart these personal development skills to their children, it is the job of the education system to compensate. On a daily basis, students spend more time at school than with their parents. In a sense, teachers and staff members have assumed guardian roles to their students.
In the Ministry of Education’s vision statement, they speak about equipping students with “multiple literacies”, but when will this vision be realised?
It all sounds good but how are we going to achieve a different result by doing the same things? That is the literal definition of insanity; doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting a different result. In a generation where the youth have been written off as ‘lost’ or ‘finished’, what have we to lose by taking a calculated risk on the way we educate our youth?
We don’t need books like the seven Habits of Highly Effective Teens. We need relatable content. Content that interests our youth. Content designed by Bahamians for Bahamians.
The use of social commentary in order to provoke different ways of thinking. We need to work with psychologists in order to assess the dominant problems and issues faced not only in the school system, but in the life of a Bahamian in general. Courses on travelling aboard, saving, budgeting, portfolio building, race relations.
A curriculum that promotes self-worth and intrinsic motivation. The youth must know that each one of us can make a difference and why our participation in the education system is important. We need to know that we have a future.
Think about how many of us were taught why we attend school, besides to get an education in order to get a “good job”? Who taught us that our worth stemmed far beyond our GPA or that there are a plethora of skill sets beyond proficiency in Math and Science?
Imagine living with a diminished sense of self-worth based on your grades. Why would you continue to participate in a game that you feel as though you have no chance of winning?
We have spent copious amounts of money on the youth and that is a part of it, but money alone cannot produce real results. We cannot continue to allow complacency to suffice. We need drastic action in the reconstruction of our education system.
Money is simply not enough. Time and energy are the real currencies that will help us to climb out of the debt that we have lost ourselves in. We already have brilliant students.
Minds with nearly limitless potential waiting to be tapped. What needs adjustment now is our ‘D’ average education system.
May 16, 2018.