No harm in being a wombat

I have been thinking. (Those of you who know me will read that as a danger signal)

I haven’t been missing in action, I have been here, just not right here.

Posting over the weekend, but it has been quiet. Saturday was a beaut, 38⁰C (that’s close on 100⁰F) which made it good beer drinking weather, one of the reasons I was MIA. The other was that I had bugger all to write about, but I have been thinking.

My mind is so quick. I have a flash of inspiration, and that’s it… gone.

I was pondering education. I am a high school dropout, what do I know about education? I guess that’s what qualifies me to have an opinion. You see, I have always been against the necessity to have a university degree; and I further think the whole education system is totally contrary to human nature.

Too much emphasis is placed on higher learning. Now don’t get me wrong we need higher learning, we need tertiary education, its how we go about it that is all wrong.

Firstly, let’s look at basic schooling. We are so intent on teaching kids what we (adults) want them to know, and that’s the problem. We ignore what kids want to learn. We have to shuck this idea of, “I am doctor, my son has to be a doctor too!” It’s just so wrong. What if the child wants to dance, or be an artist, or has no aspirations higher than that of simply being employed.

Once the child has found a niche, then they can be prepared for advanced learning.

Teaching kids where they excel

But the whole idea of teaching children is wrong, wrong, wrong! We should be making the child want to learn. You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink; the old adage is so true. I was a prime example. My impetus at high school was truncated, I gave up, because I couldn’t learn what I wanted to learn. I was considered a half-dunce, so I couldn’t take languages; my mechanical knowledge of English was non-existent, my use of English was excellent. Therefore how could I learn another language?

My teacher when I was eleven saw my ability, she taught me some French and Polish, she knew also that I could already speak some Dutch. But at high school, this was ignored and I was forced into metalshop and carpentry, with sciences taking a rudimentary background despite the fact that I had a quarter of the double garage at home as a chemistry laboratory. By the end of high school, I had added rudimentary German and Russian to my languages, that was with no help from the system.

I didn’t pass School Certificate and another year on I wouldn’t have passed University Entrance (SAT), not a hope in hell. I would never have got into university, but now I teach English to university students, university professors and engineering graduates.

So we need to concentrate more of the “what is the kid good at” attitude to primary and secondary education.

Money down the drain

Tertiary education (university) should not be a right. It is wasted on the majority of students, absolutely wasted. To be a candidate for university one should be recommended by a teacher in a specific area, then university should be free for that student. The other avenue that should lead to a university education is a job. If you have a job and your employer requires that you have a degree, then that should be a part of on-the-job-training paid for by the employer; no government handouts.

This ‘get an education first, land oneself in debt for the rest of your life,’ is a lot of old bollocks.

You weed out the cruisers and wankers who consider university the soft option to party and play for another four years.

The current education thinking and the entire system needs to be dismantled.

Thinking is switched off…

I would be interested in your comments.

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