There! I said it! (...Please don't yell at me!)
That's not to say that grades and exams and all that jazz aren't useful for measuring education!
And well done if you've got good results my nerdlets - and if you didn't, don't panic.
(I know, that's easy for me to say. But it's not the end of the world my nerdlets, I promise.
Still, if you're really struggling emotionally get help, m'k? Ring a helpline, talk to family, friends, doctors - whatever you need. You're important.)
But I know people who got great exam grades - awesome qualifications - and they're useless. Just useless.
I have no idea how they ever got those grades, but those pieces of paper really are doing nothing for them.
These people are not educated. Full-grown adults with degrees who have lived in a rural town their whole lives and didn't realise that bulls are male cows. YOU HAVE A DEGREE. Seriously.
Education should be about teaching people HOW to think.
Opening the world up and saying - let's see what we can make this! Rather than saying: this is the world, this is some sh** that happened that you'll need for the exam.
Maybe it's a lack of common sense. Maybe we're so focussed on 'the answers,' that we forget about the questions.
It's much easier to dismantle the thing if you know whether it's a bicycle or a bayonet. Y'know?
Education is key.
But if everyone has the same qualifications, employers just start asking for more.
(Or for experience - which as my fellow millennials will know, is the Catch-22 of needing experience to get a job to get experience.)
And if people still, at the end of their school-life, aren't able to understand and navigate the different issues affecting this world (*glances at the train-wreck of modern life*) then hasn't the education system failed fundamentally?
Education shouldn't end with school - there's always something to learn.
That doesn't mean you have to go to college or university - it just means keeping an open mind and learning about this terrible and wonderful world of ours.
The thirst for knowledge needs to be encouraged in kids - not to become smarmy brats who think they're better than everyone else, but to enable people to grow as individuals and make the world better for everyone.
(Iesu Grist, I'm seriously starting to sound like my parents.)
That encouragement needs to come from schools, yes, but also from the infrastructure and attitude of local services.
How is a kid without a local library supposed to learn that reading is awesome? How is a kid whose teacher only has GCSE Spanish - that they sat the year before - supposed to achieve the best and develop their language skills?
How is a kid who does not have any opportunities supposed to compete with someone who has had every opportunity?
I didn't grow up in the most prosperous of areas, and while my father's job meant we were comfortable compared with some of our neighbours, we were by no means rich.
The school I went to was underfunded, underequipped, understaffed, and underachieving. The teachers blamed us if the results weren't good enough and ALL they cared about were results.
The teachers who were both a) competent, and b) caring, didn't stick around that long.
Like the teacher who was trying to teach a GCSE History lesson about Ellis Island and ended up painstakingly explaining the following to a class of 15-year-olds:
- what an island is
- that the UK is an island
- that Wales is part of the UK mainland, and not in an island on its own despite the fact that we go over a bridge to get to England
- that America is not in Europe
- that the UK is in Europe
- that Europe is not an island
- that the Northern part of the UK is Scotland, not Wales - we live in the West bit; the other bit is England
- that America is not close, geographically, to the UK
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