The formal education system was introduced in the US in the 17th century. Decades later, the system still struggles to stay relevant to the current period. Earlier, schools prepared students to contribute to the industrial revolution with few resources at hand. On the contrary, schools now have access to unlimited resources and yet cannot show satisfactory results. So, what went wrong?
Many experts argue that the lack of a result-oriented approach is a significant setback in the current education system. Some point towards technological challenges, yet others say that schools are overcrowded.
But, in reality, there’s no single issue to blame for the unsatisfactory performance of schools. Instead, the failure to recognize a series of coexisting problems in the education system is a massive setback in itself.
The root cause of these problems lies in the lack of funding for public schools. Year by year, the monetary requirements of schools keep on increasing. But the public schools continue to either receive a constant budget or reduced funds.
According to the 2020 study by The Century Foundation, the US government underfunded schools by a whopping $150 billion. This averages to around $5000 per student, which could be utilized to upgrade the classroom with modern resources.
This lack of funding also means that fewer schools have access to technology and ed-tech tools. The whole world revolves around electronics and gadgets. Moreover, well-off students use platforms like DoMyEssay for their assignments. Meanwhile, many children still struggle to learn with outdated resources. Schools that actually can afford ed-tech tools lack the human resources to utilize them in their curriculum correctly.
Is Technology the Answer?
Many teachers and parents believe that technology can be harmful to a child’s education. Ed-tech has altered the quality of education for good, but it has also paved the way for a new set of distractions.
According to a recent study from the Journal of Educational Psychology, electronic devices in classrooms are linked to lower grades. Online exams have also resulted in a greater number of malpractices.
While technology is unavoidable, drawing a line to its use in education becomes a challenge. Online games and interactive activities have become the norm in classrooms. Yet, the boundary between “education” and “play” continues to blur.
Educators who use tech assets wisely allow students to ask experts to help me write an essay and help them learn through interactive assignments. Such activities are great for developing an early interest in studies. But, later on, students might not be able to engage in any serious classes if they lacked the “fun” element.
The Year-End Exams
High-stake annual assessments are as old as the US formal education system. But instead of assessing their knowledge, students only focus on cracking these exams. Most schools only teach students to take their tests rather than naturally excelling through knowledge and skill.
The flaw lies not just in the assessment technique but also in how much value these grades hold. In many schools, teachers’ salaries and promotions depend on students’ performance. They hence are determined to help students do better in their exams despite the knowledge they gain.
Few schools have adopted formative assessment techniques where education and exams go hand in hand. Through this, students are judged based on various tests that include
- paper writing;
But a complete overhaul of the examination system is still far from reality.
Bullying and Safety
The statistics around school bullying show a decline in the past few years. Yet, it continues to be a significant issue affecting nearly 20% of middle and high school students. In the majority of the cases, bullying is labeled as “playful fights.” As a matter of fact, bullied students undergo a range of physical and psychological traumas. Nearly 7% of bullied children also attempt suicide, unable to bear the violence.
Even though schools have anti-bullying rules, these regulations are often inadequate. In some cases, the zero-tolerance policy also takes away the bullied student’s right to self-defense. That’s why very few students are willing to report the crime and take action against their bullies.
Another safety concern is the increasing number of school shootings in the past few years. Often, the responsibility for safety is on the school’s management and teachers. But, sometimes, they are ill-equipped to handle it. Schools have also contemplated keeping guns in schools for self-defense. Yet, experts believe that this provides easy access to guns resulting in a greater number of shooting incidents.
In a Nutshell
The future of the nation depends on its educated youth. As such, government and state organizations need to prioritize and increase funding for schools. In addition, schools that lack necessary resources need to be identified and given appropriate attention. This includes supplying ed-tech tools and determining the extent to which technology can be used in classrooms.
Lastly, stricter rules are required to curb school violence so students can study in a safe and secure environment.