Education is a kill joy
We all sure have suffered in the hands of the "latest
educational fads" Forty years ago, children would fail one
subject and consequently had to repeat the whole year again.
Sometimes, they would fail for missing as little as .25 points
on a final exam. Dedication, hard work, good participation in
class, a positive attitude...nothing would count towards making
the grade. They were considered failures, not of the system, but
individual failures; it was their fault that they didn't make
I have a friend who is a sad example of this system. When he was
in 5th grade, he failed Latin for, perhaps, half a point. He
needed to repeat the entire year because of Latin, only, the
discipline Latin was removed from the roll and was no longer
part of the system. In other words, he was held back for
something that didn't exist any longer. How tragic is this? And
worst, how did that make him feel?
Later on, the system determined that children were not supposed
to be "punished" in such way. In came the theory that
recuperation was a better approach to dealing with those who
couldn't pass the class. They would study during vacations to
make up for lost work. Then they could go on, provided they made
the grade. In my opinion this is a far better way to evaluate
the students. And fairer too.
But the system kept moving forward until we arrived at today's
democratic education, for lack of a better term. This system,
though gentler to the student's self-esteem, is another
disaster, for now, we have happier students who get into college
without the ability to read and write. Too many college students
are in the "7th grade bracket." Now, when we think that these
are the people controlling every single aspect of our lives in
the near future, one wonders how we will ever survive the flood
of semi-literate people leading our country.
The trouble is now that we have two extremes. If, on one hand we
have competent people who have suffered because they were called
"impaired," "dumb," "idiotic" and "slow" to say the least, we
also have extra inflated egos who can barely write their own
names. So, what are we to do? How can we solve this paradox,
and, not only prepare our students for a great and realistic
world, but also to do so in a way that each one will have his
place and be happy for it?
The educational system has failed us, the aggravation being that
we think that everyone should go to college. I disagree; college
education, for example, is not for everyone. In today's society,
only 25% of college graduates work on their chosen field. So,
why waste resources, personal and governmental, in pursuing an
education that will be useless from an occupational standpoint?
My point is that, as with every society in the world, ancient or
modern, literate or illiterate, there is a place for everyone.
Even in Brave New World the expression "to each, his own"
applies. This means that, in the same way that we are not all
made to be lawyers, politicians or artists, we are not all made
to be janitors, mechanics, or truck drivers. In a truly
democratic society, where education inspires the individual to
do his best in whatever occupation he or she chooses, everyone
is a winner, because everyone is truly happy.