Let them lead the way (Day 2)

By on August 12, 2016

As a young budding lad who is fresh in school, a child is often without blemish on the first day they enter the class. After that, the demon of education begins to slowly eat at them and before long, their dreams and ambitions have been snuffed out by the same thing that is supposed to build their dreams.

For most people, the most important lesson that children need to be taught is hard work. Few people in this life make it without hard work. And those who make it without hard work only make it because some other people do the hard work for them. Basically, there is no gain without hard work. It therefore emerges that education is just supposed to help direct a child towards the path they choose and help to guide them onto that path with the idea of hard work at the back of their minds.

As is quite often the case, some children are rebellious little devils and don’t just like to think outside the box, they live their whole lives outside of the box. And while society often frowns upon them and occasionally castigates them, they are not afraid to push boundaries and go for what they feel they truly deserve in life.

Embracing education is a very important aspect not just for children but even or parents. It is one thing for a child to have interest in something and it is an entirely different thing for the child’s interest to be backed and supported by the parents’ equal interest.

The measure of success must cease to be what parents think is right for their children because then many children will continue to wallow in self pity and sadness after failing to measure up to the expectations of their parents. The measure of success must be based on the desires and abilities of the child so that they can set their own standards.

Quite recently I attended a Kigo Thinkers session on education and I was taken aback by one of the speakers who confidently said that in the class he taught, he let the students set their own exams. The idea, at least from what I gathered, was that each student was allowed at the beginning of the term to set their standards of what they thought they were capable of doing. At the end of the term, the student would then be tasked to present evidence that shows that they attained the standard they set out to attain. And if they attained it, there was an automatic ‘A’ awarded to them.

Of course the challenge with such a system is that some children might intentionally set low standards knowing full well that all they need to do to meet those standards is just stay alive. However, without necessarily getting into the mechanics of how the lecturer actually made it work, I would like to think that children students should be given a chance to curve out their paths – somehow.

With a curriculum that is written in stone and carried forward from one generation to the next like some ancient regalia, there is very little in the way of creativity and flexibility in lessons taught. The lessons that were relevant in 1990 may not necessarily be relevant today and yet somehow the curriculum and syllabus do not change much.

Unless young people are allowed to curve out their own paths, there might be more and more people regretting having gone through the education system and they will be thinking that school probably made them no better.

This is the Second of seven blog posts under the theme ‘Schools Made Me No Better’ as part of the #UGBlogWeek Challenge – a brain child of the Uganda Blogging Community. Feel free to drop a comment, take part in the challenge or share your opinion(s) on the blog or anything you feel like.

“Young people don’t always do what they’re told, but if they can pull it off and do something wonderful, sometimes they escape punishment. ” ― Rick Riordan

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