Our flawed education system | Teen Ink

Our flawed education system

March 1, 2021
By anum15 SILVER, Lahore, Other
anum15 SILVER, Lahore, Other
5 articles 2 photos 0 comments

Our education system resembles a video game. If you succeed, you go to the next level, but if you fail, you exit or repeat. There is a major difference, however; video games are entertaining, while the mere thought of our education system is stressful.

The pressure of school has ramped up considerably in the past decade, due to an education system dominated by a narrow view of success — with standardized testing, ranking, comparison, and competition — a disturbing number of the youth suffers from depression and anxiety.

The school sets the same target for everyone, so people who need extra help don’t usually get it. Struggling students are often threatened with detentions, suspensions, and expulsions, which put even more pressure on the student, rather than providing them with extra help. But it's not just the kids who 'fail' who are suffering, those who 'succeed' are, too. Teachers and parents both generally expect higher grades from “bright” students, which further pressurizes them. Thus, the competitive nature of our education system takes a toll on “intelligent” students too.

The education system is focused on academic outcomes and based on a one-size-fits-all approach that negates individuality and creativity. Students are so focused on achieving high grades, meeting unreasonably high expectations of both teachers and parents, and having a “future” that they don’t have time to develop as a human being or take part in something creative.  Even though subjects that aim to explore creativity such as design or visual arts are part of the IB curriculum, at the end of the day, students are focused on just achieving a good grade in such subjects too. Ahmed Butt, an educator, and psychologist says “there is no other metric besides grades to gauge a student’s learning. Even though education systems increasingly put focus on skills such as communication and creativity, confusing signals are sent to students when none of these aspects hold in final value compared to individual exam based subject grades”.

Changes in our education system must be introduced such as a regular and mandatory class on self-awareness, allowing students to connect with themselves as well as ensuring the confidentiality of any issues shared so that students feel comfortable with sharing information with the school psychologist.

The current education system is geared towards achieving a grade on the report card, rather than getting students to learn. It is high time our education system improved, as the fundamentally flawed system has been ignored, or perhaps overpowered by other social issues for too long. Our mental health may be our school’s problem for only 7 years, but it is our problem forever.

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