The Importance of Education

For most of the countries the age group between 15-25 years consists of an average of 16%. And this young group holds the role of development of a country. If the policy makers and stake holders can work hand in hand and execute the one key element in the most effective and poised way, then these youths can be the blessing of a country. And that key element is Education. If they fail in that, then it leads to the total disaster of the country’s social, political and economic aspects. There is nothing more dangerous than unemployed, uneducated or undereducated young people. The aims and objectives of education have transformed drastically through each generation. Education should never be something that is static. It should be able to cater the needs of the people according to the society they live in. This can be easily understood by differentiating traditional education system and modern education system. Education is not a privilege of a particular community or group of people. Today almost all countries have accepted the truth that it is the Civil right of a citizen to get education. But here comes the real question, does this right to education is implemented in real meaning. To make this happen and to make this worthwhile to the people, the education system of each of these countries has to ensure four aspects. Let us find out what these aspects are.

Extensiveness
Effectiveness
Equality
Employability

The policy makers and education stake holders should consider many factors while implementing the structure and purpose of education, particularly the demography of that particular country. They should be able to cater education to all citizens who fall in the bracket of that age group. Thus the educational system of a country should be extensive as per the demographic requirements. The kinder gardens, schools, Universities should be established in proportion to the population ratio. Not a single aspirant should be denied the right to education due to the lack of educational infrastructure. So, Extensiveness has become the name of the game. There comes equality, for centuries education was confined to only a particular community or some group of people. A large number of people were excluded from the opportunity to get the chance for education. There have been changes in that attitude after long struggle. But still it is a key factor – Equality for education. All citizens irrespective of any kind of social, economic and political barriers should have access to education that they deserve. We have to ensure that excluded groups are getting chances to get involved in the process of education. Or else it is the greatest failure of the entire nation known as global family. It is the responsibility of the country to ensure that, GER (Gross Enrollment Ratio) works equally proportional to the specific age group of that country. Gross Enrollment Ratio (GER) or Gross Enrollment Index (GEI) is a statistical measure used in the education sector and by the UN in its Education Index to determine the number of students enrolled in school at several different grade levels (like elementary, middle school and high school), and use it to show the ratio of the number of students who live in that country to those who qualify for the particular grade level.

Even though most of the countries were much focused in key aspects like extensiveness and equality in education, there is one crucial thing that they have ever failed or never focused much – Effectiveness. The quality of the education they were imparting. The quality of education became secondary to the quantity of the options that were given to the students. If the education is without a purpose, then how it can meet the needs of the people, so there arises the question, why this education? This can lead us to large mass of educated but unemployed people. Where we are going to utilize them or how we are going to work this out. If the education of a country never caters to the needs of the economic needs of a country or the skills expected by companies or organizations, then all these efforts to enrich the educational system will be futile. Various educational thinkers have always questioned the accountability of the education that was provided. Most of the employers have expressed their concerns that the most of the graduates are unfit for the job. There are job opportunities, but there is lack of skilled employees for the particular position. So there arises the question, what we have to teach them or make them capable of. Here the only solution is, the skills of individuals should be identified, and they should be given the chance to excel in their trade. And also the policy makers have to take into consideration what the employers require, what skill sets they expect from their candidates. Unless these are taken into consideration, our educated group becomes worthless for themselves and for the world. This should never happen.

Is Homeschooling Worth It?

Are you considering to home school your child?

You might consider some pros and cons that may help you think more clearly about your child’s future.

PROS:-

The advantage of homeschooling kids is that they are free to learn whatever they want depending upon the curriculum their parents have designed for them. They are in a learning phase the whole day but in an interesting way. If we say this way that the parents would be able to teach them theoretically, as well as by giving them examples, or making that practice in their daily routines, and adopt that learning turning it into an exciting way of learning.

The family can make trips to different educational places whenever they want, not worrying about the time as well as they can go to vacations without an interruption of the school schedule. Older kids can be given different tasks during their vacations like budgeting for the family and choose the hotels and meals. They can also be given the task of road mapping and geography skills by telling them about the places they pass by.

Children who are very sensitive are protected in the home environment from bullies and can be protected from negative influences and are surrounded by loving family giving the child the right influence and positive environment. It can be effective to eliminate the stress of their kid if he is ridiculed and bullied. The kid should be taken out of the school for a certain period of time. If it is a serious case and the situation is getting worst day by day, then the parents are left with no choice and have to decide to get their kid out of the toxic environment and home school them for sometime.

It is most beneficial for a child who easily gets distracted and the children who have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. The parents’ homeschooling these children would know their needs and could handle them more effectively as compared to the school. The parents can manage the time and eliminate the distractions that interfere with the child’s concentration. Parents can give them tasks to be done in fixed time and then give them small breaks depending upon the child’s response. The thing is that the child gets full attention by their parents and parents get to know their children better and have a better understanding of their behavior.

Children with learning disabilities can be homeschooled so that they do not feel left behind their class fellows and so that their self-confidence and self-esteem is not damaged. Let’s take an example of a child suffering from dyslexia that impacts his learning and decoding of words. He is uncomfortable going to school due to this condition. So, he can be homeschooled and his schedule can be designed in a unique way that suits his learning style and by discovering his strengths help him grow as a competitive individual.

CONS:-

The first problem that has to be considered is no matter how the parents design the schedule and try to give their kids the best education, they cannot meet the standards that a professional institute can give their child and the way the professional teachers convey the lecture. The child gets to interact not only with the fellow students, but he also interacts with the different teachers and the surroundings. In the break hours, he is able to play with different children provided a large playground for their outdoor activities.

The child follows a schedule and learns to get to the school at school timings on daily basis. He knows that he has to wake up early in the morning and then has no choice but to sleep early in the night, completing his homework on time. Indirectly he is learning time management by managing school timings, his homework, and time spent at home with his siblings and extracurricular activities. He is spending hours in the school so he gets to see different people and interacts with different surroundings, so he is not seeing his parents and siblings the whole day and get bored.

The kid learns to live with other children with different backgrounds, learn to share their things their ideas, and their perspectives. Unlike homeschooling where parents teach their children what’s right according to their beliefs and what they want their child to know. Here the child has no option but to follow their parents’ beliefs.

The kid has different opportunities to participate in different activities he is interested in like sports, writing, debate competition, speeches, arts, and many other creative activities. He has a motivation to compete with others and a competition to win. While in homeschooling the kid has no one to compete with him leading him to lack of motivation.

In my opinion, homeschooling is a good option for those kids who are physically or mentally challenged and they have difficulty coping up with other class fellows and feel left behind others. Otherwise I think the kids facing bullies should not be homeschooled for a long time on this basis, rather this situation should be handled in a different way by talking to the school management or changing the school, not by isolating them from the society because in future they have to face the society and it is better if they learn now how to cope up with such situations. Secondly, If children are homeschooled on this perception that the parents are protecting them from the negative environment, then they should think that for how long can they protect them from the evils of society? Someday their kids are going to have to encounter people and face the outer world.

Science or Arts?

In my third year in junior school, just like my fellow Nigerian school mates, stereotypes made me believe that I had to be a science student to be considered a person who would most likely be successful in the future. A science student offers the core science subjects, therefore such a person would most likely be an engineer or medical doctor. Those two professions are also considered the only good ones in Nigeria. So, I had to tell myself that I would be a doctor. I mean that was what my father loved to hear.

Now, I had moved onto the next stage, first year in senior school as a science student. My new best friends became my physics, biology and chemistry textbooks. It was no longer a joke seeing as one’s high school grades make up the most important part of your transcript for university admissions. Lo and behold, I found myself forcefully studying hard to get good grades in these subjects yet I had lost interest in the sciences. At this point, I asked myself several times if I actually wanted to study medicine or it was just the stereotypes serving as my decision maker.

The belief still holds in Nigeria that only those who take classes in art subjects can be lawyers. Being engaged in group conversations with my peers often time became discouraging because many of my friends laughed at my decision of becoming a lawyer. They made jest since I offered mainly science subjects in senior school. Yet, possessing grit, I refuse to falter in pursuing my dream of becoming a lawyer.

Another mentality I think Nigerians have is that if a child does not score a hundred percent in anything that they do, they automatically do not understand anything that they learn in school. But that should not be the case. Your intelligence should not be determined by only tests. To think of it, why then do we praise these so- called over intelligent people when we do not know if they actually scored a hundred percent in every test they took.

It is saddening that young people instead of being motivated are usually shouted at for not making perfect grades. Notwithstanding, every human has the same brain capacity so we all can get the amazing grades. Do not be distracted by people but instead focus on the most important things that you have to deal with now. Challenge yourself to do better than you could ever expect. Therefore, you need to work harder than you think.

I encourage people to never be discouraged in pursuing the career that they truly desire. An individual can be successful whether or not he/she is a science student or whether he/she had the best grades while in high school. Stereotypes we have in the Nigerian society should not affect what you want or what you would like to be in the future. Your drive should instead be moved by the passion you possess.