The failure of Guyana’s education system to adapt to the needs of students from an early age has resulted in the production of an inferior product for a superior work force. In other words, the education that a child receives at the primary and secondary schools in Guyana does not mould that child for the world of work; much less studies at the territory level.
Tertiary students have attested to the fact that studying for a degree at the University of Guyana can at times seem foreign in terms of its learning methods. For many, one of the major pitfalls of the education programme offered in the primary and secondary education systems is the emphasis placed on teaching rather than learning. Children at the primary level, especially those in public schools are expected to do as the teacher dictates. This robs our children of a creative environment where they are nurtured to think independently- outside of the dictates of the teacher. Our children are not taught to be problem solvers nor self-reliant- which is the purpose of education.
Sooner or later we will need to reform the way we educate our children since the present methods being used has failed to produce well rounded and competent individuals who can take Guyana forward.
Being a student at the University of Guyana or entering the world of work requires three distinct qualities:
Bravery, commitment and team work. These three qualities if absent from the morals of a child at the conclusion of his/her secondary education may cause that child to be unprepared for a life outside of the school system.
Bravery addresses different aspects of adult life. One such aspect is public speaking. Public speaking with its many challenges is not unique. Many people, including those who does presentations dance, theater, singing etc. on public stage for years -have admitted that they often feel nervous and fearful when they have to present to an audience.
Public speaking itself is a fearful and nervous experience. Actor Julia Roberts who played leading roles in more than a dozen movies, admitted that she still suffers from a paralyzing fear of public speaking. Even evangelist Joel Osteen also admitted that he struggled with this phobia at the beginning of his career as a pastor. However, they all admitted that with proper training and practice they overcame this fear. On the other hand, studies have shown that students who are thought public speaking in class are less likely to suffer from a fear of speaking in public later on in life.
There should be no place for modesty in the twenty first century classroom. Even though modesty is a good thing it has its time and its place. The classroom is no such place or time for modesty. Rather it’s a place to shine. The classroom is a place that teaches you how to challenge your mind to think and to be independent. This is where the role of the teacher comes in. The teacher’s main duty is to train a child to think (to be smart).
Writing on the chalkboard and explaining to students is not enough and is not teaching. A child can’t think for his/her self if you as the teacher is doing all the thinking. If every teacher causes his/her students to individually stand in front of the classroom and explain what is on the chalkboard, we will have better students and a better society. This may seem to some as a burdensome task for children 8 and 14 year old, but training in public speaking should start at the primary and secondary levels.
COMMITMENT- Employers and educators agreed that if you are going to employ someone to work for you or commit your time into educating someone they must first show commitment.
Commitment is that willingness to get things done and is often times viewed by our young people and students in general as a humongous task. It is either that they are too young to be committed or afraid to face commitment.
Teaching must instill in students the importance of being committed; whether it is for the child’s personal development, towards a job, education, family or goals. The importance of being on time, the importance of doing what you say you will (your word must mean something), the importance of being effective (dependability), are all teaching methods that our school system must adopted to.
Sadly, the present methods used in the school system fails to teach children to demonstrate commitment at what he/she does. Rather it encourages dependability.
It is the belief of many that multiple choice questions in exams is one such method which encourages dependability and must be eliminated. This is due mainly to its loose nature. Multiple choice exams are not designed to challenge the mind of students since the answer to a specific question will only carry one answer even though this question can be answered in more than one way. It also fails to challenge the brain to think or for creativity to take place in the students’ mind. Multiply choice creates in students that sense of dependability on others for answers to life’s questions. Multiple choice exams are like puzzles; the only difference is that with an exam students are given the puzzle already solved. This system fuels dependability and must be illuminated.
Of equal standing to the previous two qualities is team work. The ability to work as a team is a prerequisite to having a well-rounded adult life. Educators must redouble their efforts in the area of sports. It has been proven that sports plays a major role in moulding a person both mentally and physically to work as a team when he/she enters the world of work.
Therefore the use of sports as a means of building the spirit of team work must be adopted in every school across Guyana. As such there is a need for a national sports programme in schools. Presently there is the National Schools Championship (NSC) or “Nationals” which is the largest sporting activity in our schools. However the NSC is held once a year and is more of an individual sport than a team one; since, more focus is placed on individual performance rather than team accomplishments. Thus the need for a national school’s sports policy.
The NSP will encompass various sporting disciplines including Cricket, football, basketball and volleyball, and even though it is not considered a sport, the creation of a Cheer-leading team for each discipline must be considered.
Finally, the present inadequacy of our school system to prepare students for a life of challenges and independence after leaving school must not be ignored.The world of work demands people who are brave enough to face challenges, people who are committed enough to be trusted and who are skillful enough to effectively work and manage a team. This is what the world demands of our children and it is the school’s responsibility to prepare each and every child to meet these demands.
152total visits,2visits today