ImageWhether you are a student, a parent of a student or an employer in search of qualified workers our education systems are failing.  While there are many dedicated and highly talented teachers the educational system is broken.  Its difficult to pinpoint exactly when and how this has all taken place.  In fact even if we were able to isolate these conditions it would be unlikely that they could be reversed, should be reversed and would most likely set educational delivery back several decades.  We are facing a dilemma, while most would agree that education is essential and must be supported the challenge is on how to make it take place.  Educational institutions, regardless of their social settings, are steeped in administration tradition.   Most institutions, and their subordinate schools of specialization, operate based on enrollment and fiscal support.  The stoic approach whereby a challenge to funding is met with the response that the merits of education should go undisputed is utter nonsense.  What the community and the funding sources are asking for, which is the same that commerce also demands, is results.  We, the community, have been neglect in challenging accountability.  But as we should also recognize that behind every situation there is mutual sharing of the outcome.

  1. Employers have remained complacent why the results of educational delivery.  Often investing in supplemental development to overcome fundamental shortcomings.
  2. Parents we have abdicated total responsibility for education to the institutions.  While we take steps to insure that our children achieve a passing status, we have been apprehensive about vocalizing a challenge to the educational establishment.  Partly out of a fear that we are not sufficiently equipped to challenge and largely because a challenge would be viewed by society as anti-education.
  3. Students should be challenging their quest for knowledge.  Beyond secondary education fundamentals a student is poised to embrace knowledge and to make it a living practice.  But with the inability of an open and welcoming educational institution the student is left to accept and to seek passing as the only reward.  Getting a job after graduation is a totally different matter, but it will be addressed later in the minds of the students of today (btw…. later is NOW!).
  4. As educational institutions we have failed to address our obligation, role and place in today’s society.  We have embraced bricks-and-motor, funding campaigns and written bravado and have lost the all important embrace of building formative and functioning citizens.  While innovation is bantered around as a present day vogue term it seems that innovation is not only on the decline but that the number of innovative individuals emerging from institutions is a rarity.  Those few points of light are not the result of the schools but the result of the person’s drive.  There are others… but their spark has not been ignited through the institutional process.

So rather than belabor the point further let us conclude simply that we have a problem with our educational processes.  They need to be fixed and this will require a tremendous amount of dedicated commitment by all parties.  Parents and employers must step up and commit with setting the level of expectation that is essential to fulfill societal needs.  As students we must be willing to do what at one time was encourage…. challenge, understand, embrace, employ and advance knowledge acquisition and application.  This isn’t always easy.  As a Indian student told me recently, “we are not allowed to question or to do more than is required, we are expected to accept and do what has been asked of us”.  This is not education this is educational servitude.  It is much a sin to the advancement of societies as if government made education a violation of law (and we all know that to control societies that food and education remain the leading control points used by dictatorial regimes).  Final education institutions need to reshape the way they conduct business.  This entails how money is spent, focusing on value achievement and to make knowledge a pursuit and abandoning education as a wholesale commodity.

I believe that there are allot of lessons that can be learned from the scholars of the past.  Socrates was one that I am particular fond of.  He shared this bit of advice that is worth taking and I present it for your consideration as well.

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This resonates the importance of respect.  Education is about mutual respect with the sole purpose of implanting people with the ability to have knowledge.  You can educate me on a topic but only I can make this a part of my everyday knowledge whether in the workplace or as a productive member of society.

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