Is Our Current Education Still Relevant?

By | December 28, 2015

I have been asking a serious question to myself for many years. Is our current education still relevant? I believe deep down inside our heart, we know the answer especially those who had been working for quite a number of years.

Current education still relevant? Geometry

School system still teaches old subjects

It is not surprising to me that our school systems still teach students to learn subjects like calculus, algebra, geometric and other subjects that are not applicable to today’s world. There are subjects that amuse me like macroeconomics that still teaches students about a perfect market and currency is pegged by gold! Since 2008 where Fed Chairman announced quantitive easing and throughout the world where quite a number of central banks are also issuing their currencies to ensure their exports stay healthy and also their currencies will not shoot up too high against the likes of US dollars and Euro. I am not sure how many schools revise their syllabus in alignment to current affairs. US dollars no longer peg to gold since 1971 and I was not aware till I read the book from Richard Duncan, The Dollar Crisis in 2004. Throughout my university days, the education that I received was wrong and no one told us the truth yet we had to learn those theories from Keynesian or other models (whether monetary or fiscal policy). Will the school teach us the real fact that central banks from various countries print money in order to make economy stay afloat that resulted in maintaining inflationary figure rather than having a deflationary effect? I can go on and on but I will stop it from here as you know what I am trying to say.

Frankly, I felt that it is not fair to the students these days in educating them something that worked many years ago but no longer valid in today’s situation. For my personal experience, I hardly use any of the theories that were taught in school. It may be relevant to specialist skills like doctors, lawyers, architect, scientists but not for the majority of us.

 

Current education still relevant - selfish

Examinations generate selfish character

How many times have you tried to borrow books from the library and you realised that some of the popular books were always on loan? Worst still, some of these books went missing and it cannot be found. Has it ever happen to you?

I was aware that some of the very top students in order not to let other students compete with them. They would withhold this information by hiding the book somewhere else so that other students would not be able to borrow or they would loan the book and let it dragged till exams were over. So strange, after the exams you were able to locate some of these books. Do you agree?

Yes, exams are one of the means to differentiate students but is it the only way? To me, the current exam system will always produce students to behave selfishly in order for them to achieve good results.

In the real world, we don’t practise this way where we collaborate with our team members from other functions to get the job done. (I will not touch on internal politics within the company in this article).

 

 

Current education relevant - hands

 

Parents behaviour towards school system

It is so interesting that many of us as parents know that we do not apply what we experienced from school and also it is a fact that those who didn’t excel in academic education yet earned more money than those who did well in school. Isn’t it irony? My mother is a typical example where she could not believe one of her son, who failed and repeated in primary 6. Struggled academically throughout his life where she thought that this son of hers will be a gone case. In her mind, she prayed that this son can hopefully complete his secondary 4 or GCE “O” level examination, it would be a miracle for her. So long, this son managed to earn a decent income was all in her mind so that he does not need to bother her. She was hoping that her two other kids who excelled in their academic education would eventually emerge as one of the elites working in large corporations, thereby, earning high salaries and give her more than enough allowances in her old age. Did that happen according to what she forecasted? Apparently not! The son who did badly academically is the one who gave her the most allowance as compared to his siblings. That particular son happens to be me and my mother has since changed her perspective towards our school education where she no longer believes that getting good grades in school will equate to a high salary.

I thought friends around my age should learn from this lesson regarding the ineffectiveness of how school system worked. To my surprise, I am still seeing many parents beat their kids making sure that they will do well academically. So, the saying goes again. Go to school, do well academically. Get a good job and you will have a high salary! This is utter rubbish in today’s world. I pity those kids who have to suffer not only the teachings from school and their parents as well.

 

What I learnt from school that is still relevant

As I pondered on my childhood, I realised the things that applied to my working life were sports and chess. Sad to say, most of the academic subjects I learnt, hardly put to use except the skills I picked up from sports. Personal inter-relational skills like teamwork, leading a team, working towards a common goal and chess game taught me how to think strategically. Pertaining to my personal experiences on sports during my school days, you can visit this article for more info.

 

What should our education be like?

Again, this is my personal opinion and there will be people who may not concur with my ideas.

  • Primary school education is still relevant as it teaches children basic english, maths, science and possibly another language.
  • Secondary school and junior colleges will have to revamp. Introduce subjects that are updated to today’s world and abolish the old syllabus so that students will keep abreast on what is going on in today’s world. Seriously, why do we need to learn calculus, algebra etc. Topics that I can’t even remember? Why not introduce today’s economic affairs or how the latest technology change the way we do business to our students? Instead of bore them with subjects that are entirely irrelevant, why not introduce current and relevant things to them? I find that our school system is like always falling behind and it is not fair to our students.
  • I will leave college portion to next article as it is another huge topic.
  • Should consider conducting an examination in a collaborative manner so that it will foster teamwork, not selfishness.
  • Strange but to a certain extent true, schools lay out core values and their mission statements but the teachers or principals hardly administer or impose the values on to the students. I hope more schools will enforce moral values to students regardless how old they are. Have you ever seen a teacher discipline a student for lying or cheating or the teacher will close one eye and let the student go away scot free or maybe the teacher will leave it to the parents? (I am not going into the subject who is the best person to discipline a kid but where I am coming from is teaching a child the importance of core values). If this student knows that he/she will not get disciplined for his/her wrongdoing. What is going to happen to him/her when the kid grows up?

I hope this article that I wrote will make the school educators think hard about whether to change the system or continue their old ways. If you agree with what I said, kindly support me by liking my posts in social media or provide your comments in below section. Much appreciated.

As an entrepreneur, I hope our school systems will teach students how to set up businesses, read financial numbers, update them the current affairs and also how technology change the way we conduct businesses. We need people to create jobs as the world we live in are suffering from massive job cuts in the past few years and it is on-going.

If you like my articles, do visit the main page and explore other posts.

Thanks for reading this posts.

 

Regards,

 

Stanley

 

 

 

 

 

10 thoughts on “Is Our Current Education Still Relevant?

  1. Viljoen

    I have to agree with you on this one. There where so many subjects that I had and do not use today. Here and there I will find something that is useful such as Pythagoras in maths.

    I agree to the fact that primary school is still much more relevant because it is building the foundation of knowledge for the children.

    Even at university there will be subjects that you will never use today and is a complete waste of time and money.

    Reply
    1. Stanley

      Viljoen,

      Yup, it is sad that our school system is not updating the info. Our kids deserve better education system than these. I hope more people will talk about this and influence our school educators to revisit their system. Certainly, I dont wish to see my son struggling in certain subjects that I know for a fact, it will not be relevant to his working life in future. What’s the point of studying and I bet down the road, there will be more people asking this question and by that time, it may be too late. Thank you for taking the time to read this article.

      Reply
  2. ImaDesigner

    Hi, Stanley.

    You article reminded of James Altucher book: The Choose Yourself Guide To Wealth where he talks about how the ongoing educational system is only a ticket for big debts and probably failure if the student is not smart enough.

    He always stresses the fact that it’s better to invest in yourself and create your own business rather than going to college and wasting a lot of time and money for an unclear future (according to his visions).

    It was a great read, and you should try if you haven’t already.

    Great article.
    Imad

    Reply
    1. Stanley

      Imad,

      Ok, thanks for the info. I will look out for this book and learn from him, if anything that I miss out.

      One thing, you need to know yourself in terms of your character as there are some people who are cut out to be employees. Similarly another group will be more suitable to be employer. Being employer is much more difficult and life is always unpredictable. I am not trying to scare you but I am just stating the facts. You need to have the muscle and guts to push you through if you want to press on towards becoming your own boss.

      Reply
  3. Boniface

    Stanley,
    I totally agree. There are so many irrelevant topics in the schooling system that one would find it hard to apply anything in today’s world. For basic knowledge at lower levels, that’s ok- but for high school and above, thing ought to change. School must produce individuals who can stand on their own in whatever geographical location and still succeed- especially without having to look for a job.

    Reply
    1. Stanley

      Yup, it is so sad that our higher education system did not change for decades!!! Over the past 50 yrs, there were so many changes yet our education is still stuck. They changed the skin – for e.g. from black board to white board, from chalks to projectors. However, the core did not change at all. It is sad and our children are still studying those subjects that won’t apply to most of them in future.

      Reply
  4. Joon

    Educational content wise, I don’t think I really learned anything useful after elementary school. But I did learn to be disciplined and be dilligent with work. Also I learned how to suck it up and do well even if I had no interest in them. But besides that, I’ve learned hell lot more within short period of time outside the school. Being out in the real world. I ran away and lived on my own when I was 16 for about 6 months and I learned so many more valuable and useful things than 16 years of my life.

    Reply
    1. Stanley

      Joon,

      Amen to that. I felt for you when I read your comments. Isn’t it time to inform our educators to provide more up to date syllabus so that our next generations can benefit rather than continue to suffer like us.

      Reply
  5. Win Back Your Ex Comments

    I appreciate times have changed over the last years when it comes to education.

    I agree with you, that when it comes to algebra, I never understood it in school, I don’t understand it now, and I have never used it in my life.. so why is it still being taught?

    On the other hand.. there are subjects out there which I think are important. Humanitarian studies and History. Do you agree?

    In today’s education system i see only computers. When i was at school I was not even allowed a calculator, were you?

    There has to be an overhaul of the education system in my view, and while I agree technology has taken over, students still need to learn how to use the mind and not assume a computer will always be there to help them!

    Great reading, and you have got me going now 🙂

    Chris

    Reply
    1. Stanley

      Chris,

      Yes, I fully agree with you that humanitarian and history lessons are vital and also core values are critical as well. These days, there are so many people who compromise their integrity, honesty, ethics in exchange of either keeping their jobs or stabbing someone’s else in order to climb the corporate ladder. Sad but true as I experience it myself from my last employment.

      Reply

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