Thursday, December 23, 2010

Change of world, change of education

From a depressed/overstressed student:

Changes of world – A competitive world

Since I was few years old, when I know what is “study” about, I was convinced that I have to study and gain knowledge for a good future. However, I was never stressed to score well in the exam, and what my parents expect from me is “do at your best”. That’s the way my father teaches me, in my life, until today, he never gives me stressed, neither asking too much from me, nor expecting me getting good grade in the exam.

However, my parents’ words are not convincing me enough. When I come to the real life, the high competitive of the world, either in school, university, or even in any working field, finding jobs, and so on, making us cannot be convinced by the words “it’s enough to do your best”. Same words from parents have different meaning with the same words from others, such as our boss, or our teachers.

When my parents say “do your best”, means just relax, and don’t be too stressed. When the same words come from teachers, it means “you can do even better, you must try your best!” Means, teacher is training us to be better. How about from the boss? It means “I expect more from you, do your best!” Means, boss will never stop expecting more from us.

Same words, but different meaning from different source. And, what’s more important is, if we only just do our best as what our parents told us to do so, you can’t compete with others, especially in this high competitive world and era. When the world is changed into competition, everything is competitive, such as the school exam grade (like bell curve system), employment (fighting for few hundred vacancies with thousands of people), or between companies (same products, but there are so many companies around the world).

The change of the world, change the education as well.

Change of Education – examination?

Education today, has changed from “delivering information and knowledge”, into “competing scores with others”. Why do I say so? The basis of education is supposed to be a platform where students can learn and gain knowledge and information systematically. Education system setups a good arrangement of courses, series of modules for students to allow them learn what they should learn deeply into their interest field.

However, education today is not. The system has been changed into an examination basis. Most or all of the companies will be judging on the exam grade and the certificate or transcript of students, making comparison with other students’, and choosing the best among them to be employed. Education has become an interface between students and their future career.

It is good to provide such an interface, where the employers can directly picking out the best among all from the grade. It is, at the same time, moulding the professional from the education. However, the change of education itself is no longer a merely ‘giving knowledge’, but it is a ‘testing of students’, giving stress and forcing students to learn. It is found that, many students, including myself, lost the enthusiasm of studying because of the examination.

Examination – Problems?

Why is there examination? It is a positive force and a motivation for students to study. But, because of the examination again, students are demoralised, and creativity is being killed by the constraint of examination limit. What is examination testing on? Information from textbook, tutorial questions, and some common knowledge. This has been a constraint for a student’s thought to the information of textbook only.

During the examination, what are expected from the students? They have to complete their task, by writing their ideas and knowledge they gained from the classes or lectures, into the exam sheet within the time limit. The time limit training the students to be efficiency, however it is not practical asking student to be creative or innovative by just giving them 2 hours or 3 to think out of the box, and write into the papers. This has constantly giving stresses to students, such that students has to memorise the textbook information, such that they know what to write automatically, ‘without thinking’ much further, so to save time and earn good grade.

Facts or trends?

Is the world changed a fact? Or is it just a trend? Trend, can be varied time after time. Fact, cannot be changed, we have to accept. I wonder, education today and the changes of the world, are they facts that we have to face and maintain as this forever? Or, is it a trend that suppose to be changed and improved?

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