Saturday, May 4, 2013

Childhood Dreams and Mysteries of Adulthood

Welcome to part 3 of #TheGraduateDiaries

The last blog post was an introduction to childhood dreams , you know the one question being "what do you want to be when you grow up?" and you as a sweet innocent kid going...

Following on my research- I will have to say that we have put so much blame into the education system when it is not as flawed as we deem it.
Yes, I know any Kenyan who went through the 8-4-4 system has declared me dead by now- but it's the cold truth. It's like washing your face with ice cubes in Limuru!
But- that aside- is the education system wrong?
Is it the sole reason for the increased unemployment rates amongst the youth today?

Well, the system we have in place was enacted during the wake of an Industrial Revolution- where one needed to be experienced in a certain field. The Industrial Revolution was the age of experts. Now- we are in a social revolution, employers seek people who are well-rounded, ready to learn and flexible, yet the education system churns out graduates who have spent 4 years mastering one art- and not focusing as much on other areas in their life.
Communication skills are important- but we all know that it is only one course unit in the university. Here, Education cheats us that the best way to be successful is to become an expert in a narrow field.

Hence the frustration people, hence the damned frustration- but question is how can we remedy this?

Education is expensive but all parents raise their kids with "education is the key."
My Mom once told me that "education is key, but it is futile unless you are constantly learning, and Arch- learning is not doing your homework or giving the right answers in an exam, learning is making use of what you know to create something good- and have fun too."

She is still right.
Have you ever had a teacher walk into class and ask you "do you want to be here today and right now?"

Have you ever had a teacher ask you for your permission to hand down the knowledge that he/she has amassed over the years?

This is very rare because most teachers in public education believe that once a student is in class they have to listen to what he/she has to say- but more often than not students are tired, bored and they listen because they are forced to. So, how about engaging them in a discussion- telling them what you hope to share with them, and letting them decide on how they'd love to learn that- make it an engaging class. This works in some private schools- the students are involved in the learning process- if this process continues they engage more too.

But, as much as education locks people into careers- most people do not know what career path they want to pursue well into their late twenties! You know our career paths would not be so sketchy and hazy if we were excellent judges of our future interests and characters.

So we have great dreams as children- dreams that we do not protect first from ourselves and the reality of what is happening in the society. We then go through a grueling education system that instead of making us grow tough hides to brave through our ambitions leaves us disillusioned and complaining thus killing those dreams and burying them completely.

Can this change?
Can we change an education system to embrace the social revolution?
How can we achieve this- when for starters Teachers are still being trained using the same manuals and materials as produced in the 1960s? Does this mean that we change but stay constant?
Are we so held and enchanted by the past that we cannot accept the present and prepare for the next second?
You can read more on various insights into education and work online- but I loved reading these two:

How can one change the world if one identifies oneself with everybody?