Schools Made to Dumb Us Down. Part: 1

It is said, that if you want to destroy a nation, target its education. Some may disagree and say that values and religion are what destroy a nation. However, I have to strongly disagree with that statement. Schools are teaching children not to question authority at a very young age, making them become passive and not question anyone or anything higher than them. The modern education system has been fueling self-centrism and passiveness in students. The roots of self-centrism is clearly the education system’s fault, kids are forced by the law to attend school at the age of six. Children at a very young age are very sensitive to behaviors that are exposed to them, encouraging a kid to get the highest grade in class even if he has to memorize the material without fully understanding it. As a former student in probably one of the worst education systems in the world, I believe that that type of encouragement should be toned down because not only is it generating self-centrism, it’s also making students memorize as much material as they can, not caring about actually educating themselves. On another note, Democracy runs on the very assumption that individuals vote for a social well-being rather than for personal gains. The root idea of democracy is that all citizens strive to make their society a better place. But the moment a self-centered person is the voter, the electorate starts filling with those who vote for individual gains and personal benefits rather than for the collective good of the society. Votes will be cast by taking bribe, on caste and communal lines, and ultimately the institution of democracy suffers.

In the reading “Against School” by John Taylor Gatto, the author claims that the main reasons for the existence of schooling consist in that it trains standardized citizenry which in fact would reduce people to the same safe level and put down their originality. Additionally, after further discovery, Gatto believes the schooling system is still made for certain profits to the economy because it encourages obedience to the authority and likeness in children’s attitudes to promote manipulation, which however, inclines determining of their social roles, training of the roles, then selecting of the best, and finally creating an elite group to take over certain systems. Our children are continually being fed with both necessary and unnecessary information and they are actually not thinking by themselves. Taken as addicts and machines, they are consistently being stripped of the ability to judge. Ultimately, Gatto rounds his argument up to conclude that school drills children to be employees and consumers and their capacities are limited which should not have been. Schooling isn’t necessary, as a kid I wanted to be homeschooled and I actually went up to my parents and asked them to be self-educated. I was an all A student in a private school who understood what the teacher has taught me after the first session. After transferring to a public school that was being run by the government, I immediately distinguished the differences between the two systems. First, the teacher refused to let me write in cursive English, because everyone else in the class is still learning how to write normal English handwriting. Second, I was told to stop raising my hand all the time because the teacher had already given me enough marks for me to pass the class. In addition, as a class we were told to change into our gym clothes just to take attendance and were told to sit on the bleachers until the bell rang and after, we were dismissed, not doing any physical work. I have so many terrible memories of my experiences in the public school system; it’ll take another ten pages.

In the movie “Waiting for Superman”, the director states that he didn’t trust public schools, coming to a conclusion that he wasn’t afraid of public schools but rather failing schools. Sending your children to public schools is like taking a leap of faith with their future on the line. It is known that public schools provide bad or less education than private schools, so they decided to increase the prices. However, when did raising the prices ever erase problems? Statistics show that students’ grades stayed the same throughout the years. The director then mentions that students from the 5th grades going to the 6th and the 7th grade, are going from being A students to as low as a C or D’s. Then, asks if it’s the children’s fault or the education system’s fault. I’ve experienced exactly what the director has mentioned. I honestly thought I was the one to blame up until I was a junior in high school. I memorized and studied everything months ahead of time, I summarized everything that there is to summarize. I thought I really did well on my finals, I checked my answers after each exam and calculated my grades, thinking I would get at least 93% on my report card. The day the results came in I was very confident, checking my grades I was shocked to see that I lost almost 20 marks on each subject for no reason. I got a 79% on my report card, I was in such deep shock that I was shaking and I couldn’t talk for the whole day without crying. My mom usually grounded me if I got low grades, but in this situation she was shocked in the system rather than her daughter. We went to the Ministry of Education to complain only to find over 20 other students just like my situation and all the employees in a room eating breakfast and laughing. The ministry told me that there’s nothing they can do and I should go speak to my school. Once I complained to my school, they directed me straight back to the ministry and vice versa. After that experience, I am never going to put my children through public schooling ever. I was lucky to realize that it wasn’t my fault but the governments’ but what would other students think? Experts used to think that failing schools were blamed because of failing neighborhoods. However, reformers began to believe that failing neighborhoods happen because of failing schools. “It’s not about the children, it all becomes about the adults”. Adults won’t pay much attention or put any effort into something that benefits them and puts them in advantage even if it puts others in a disadvantage. This leads us back to being self-centered.

In the reading “Idiot Nation” by Michael Moore, The author expresses his frustration with the American education system and how the political system has in its downfall. Moore also tells Americans to find the truth by themselves rather than relying on weak sources. In addition to American schools having a poor curriculum, many facilities are in horrible conditions and lack the proper resources that students need in order to learn. Moore suggests to “walk into any public school, and the odds are high that you’ll find overflowing classrooms, leaking ceilings, and demoralized teachers”. A school’s environment is what sets the mood for learning. So if the environment is bad, it can only be expected for the students to not be as cooperative as they would be if they were in a proper environment. This means that schools must provide resources that contain correct and up-to-date information. All schools need to have a good library, computer lab, and recent textbooks. Moore explains that “in 1 out of 4 schools, you’ll find students “learning” from textbooks published in the 1980s — or earlier”. How can students be expected to learn if they are given false information? The older generation refuses to update or change their textbooks, claiming that the education they had received made them turn out alright. However, as we progress with technology, discoveries and inventions, the more the older generation needs to change their mindset and support the newer generation.

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