Monday, 17 November 2014

Education's Society or Society's Education?

Hello everyone! I hope you've all been keeping well.

So, this is the second post already! It wasn't meant to be posted so soon after the first, however something happened in a class I was in earlier that made me realise: why do we allow ourselves to be defined by a grade on a piece of paper? Why aren't we taught to think outside the box? Why are all of us indoctrinated, and told only to write what the exam mark scheme says is correct? We have our own minds, so why can't we use them? 

Exams. Everyone has to do them at some point in their lives and for the most of us, results day is dreaded more than the tests themselves. When my class were handed their Maths Mock results back, it was the reaction of my fellow peers that was most significant to me. What was so shocking was that some 15-year-old students hung their heads in shame and disappointment, because a sole letter implied they'd failed themselves. Honestly, the education system these days is more corrupt than FIFA. 

Right now, somewhere in the world, there'll be a teenager, slumped down in a plastic chair, inadequacies covered with a blanket of shame and embarrassment. His mother is sat next to him, arguing his case in the heated discussion we call "Parent's Evening".
We, as students, are constantly patronised that we're "lucky" because we have "opportunities" that our parents and/or grandparents didn't have. Really, society's needs have changed since our parents or older generations lived.

Having said that, our elders condescend us for the one, simple reason: they don't know any better themselves. Yet it's always in the back of their minds that they've gone through life, never once needing to apply Pythagoras' theorem, pathetic fallacy or the biological layout of a leaf. They still might not be able to calculate the value of 'x', but they rely on society to tell them that their children are "hyper-active", "unfocused", "wayward" and "easily distracted", despite them having some of the sharpest minds in the school.

Returning to reality, how many equations, subjects and dates did we memorise just before an exam, never to use again? The number would be uncountable. How many A grades did you get which were never asked for when applying for a job? Trust me, it happens. And how many times have we remembered something 5 or 10 minutes after the examiner said "Stop writing.", only to receive your results one month later, showing you were a mark away from the top grade. Is society trying to tell us that if we'd remembered something those few minutes earlier, we would have been more qualified
for a certain job? Application forms agree with that sort of logic.

We all have different abilities, thought processes, genes and experiences - so why is a class full of individuals tested by the same means? We're made to feel stupid just because we might not be able to do a couple of sums. If this issue isn't addressed properly, it will become self-fulfilling prophecy.

The irony: every school has the audacity to have a policy on equality.

Exams are society's methods of telling you what you're worth, however you can't listen because this is the same society that claims "Abortion is Wrong", but then looks down on teenage pregnancy. The same society tries to promote naturalism in cosmetics, but the model on the box is always half PhotoShopped with fake lashes and hair extensions. Pastors preach charity yet own private jets; Imams preach against greed but are all obese. Parents say they want "educated kids" but constantly marvel at how rich Richard Branson is. The hypocrisy is ironic. It isn't worth listening to.

They test us with tests but the finals are never final because they don't ever prepare you for the biggest exam which is simply survival. What I've written is fairly outlandish so I don't expect  everyone to understand this, but if we just put ourselves in other people's shoes, perhaps we'd be less judgemental. We are live, human beings. We should not be made to feel worth nothing more than that D or A grade on results day.

This is our generation of Youth - the ones who found what they were searching for on Google, the ones who followed their dreams on Twitter, pictured their past, present and future on Instagram, and accepted destiny on Facebook.

We should not have to change, feel worthless, disappointed or unaccepted in today's society, no matter what you get. Not when today's society is so ironic and hypocritical. The message of this blog is simple: whether we're 18, 21, 45 or 60, we should not let exam results decide our future.

With love, Sophie.

No comments:

Post a Comment