The quality and quantity of manpower are crucial in maintaining and improving the economic state of a country. As the world gets smaller with globalization at its peak, the need for a dependable workforce in all industries is higher than ever. Unfortunately, regaining the country’s economic dominance is almost impossible because of the current state of the education system.
The youth of today is the hope of tomorrow. And tomorrow’s hope is today’s responsibility. With that in mind, here are the three most significant problems the current educational system has and the possible ways each issue can be solved.
1. Violence and Safety
One of the most dominant issues for both private and public schools nationwide is the decline in the safety of children. Over the decade, school bullying has reached an all-time high. The National Center for Educational Statistics stated that one out of five students report bullying. That is 20.2% of all students. And that only accounts for those who said something about it.
The effects of physical and verbal abuse on both the victims and perpetrators have also reached new heights. From 16 in 2011, the number of school shootings increases at an alarming rate every year. Last year, 113 school shootings were recorded all over the country. But that is only third to 2019’s 118 recorded school shootings and 2018’s 116.
- As they say, prevention is better than cure. Focus on the students’ mental health. By funding the mental healthcare of the students, the probability of violence decreases.
- The other half of the root of the problem is education itself. Educate the students about the consequences of violence and aggression. Bullying and school shooting are issues that can be hard to discuss. However, with the internet making everything accessible now, it would be more beneficial to talk about the said issues openly.
- The last one is something that most schools have already implemented. Physical surveillance and countermeasures. This is indeed vital for the student’s safety. But there should also be a focus on training the staff and faculty when it comes to preventing situations like these from ever happening and handling it if ever it happens.
2. Funding and Compensation
Lack of resources, a decrease in programs, and failure to give teachers competitive salaries may ultimately lead to the downfall of a great nation. Lack of government funding for public education has been a constant problem for decades.
With the lack of resources that the education system faces today, many schools cannot offer student-focused programs and smaller classes. Poor school conditions in infrastructure and learning tools also affect the quality of education severely.
The shortage of teachers in the country is also an alarming cycle. Without enough funding to hire teachers, the quality of education received by the students would drop. And in turn, the quality of future educators would also be subpar.
Suggestions on a national level that include federal and state involvement have been discussed thoroughly over the years. The solutions that will be presented are more centered on schools actively participating in the process instead.
- Embrace virtual classes. With the pace of technological advancement the world is experiencing, going digital can be a good way to alleviate losses. By investing in digital learning equipment, multiple expenses can be reduced. Many universities are experimenting in the area of virtual classes and online postgraduate courses since the mixture of digital and standard education practices can help make a more balanced and skillful future workforce.
- Focus on cost-effective alternatives. Going digital is not only exclusive of virtual classes. Switching to online alternatives for the faculty can also reduce the costs of printing and paper. The use of technology must be maximized. For example, by using motion-activated lights, the costs of energy will be reduced.
- Investing in teachers should also be a priority. Education is nothing without educators. The backbone of all nations is their teachers. Prioritize teachers’ salaries over benefits. With a highly satisfied faculty, the productivity and results would skyrocket.
3. Standardized Education and Assessment Systems
The biggest problem with the common core curriculum is the lack of flexibility it causes to the students. With a standardized assessment system, teachers are forced to teach the tests instead of actual applications. By focusing on just getting textbook-based answers, the system fails to hone leadership and assertion. Students are not taught to look for the whys and wherefores and instead just taught to follow blindly what the textbook says.
It creates a one-size-fits-all approach to learning that is more destructive and counter-productive than it is beneficial.
- Invest in research. As of now, replacing the standardized education and assessment systems will not solve the problem quickly. It would be best to focus on finding and improving the basic applications of teaching instead. Focus on research. The students and the current system’s improvement are directly linked to the improvement of the people in charge of it.
- Focus on applications instead of tests. Even though the teaching method remains the same, the way to assess learning can be adjusted. The statistics and grades will always be there. However, letting children know that the application is what matters would be revolutionary. Helping students understand that numbers do not define them would boost morale.
As the whole nation waits for the improvement of the educational system, keep in mind that it is okay to go slowly. Progress is still progress no matter the pace.