Education is the process of facilitating learning or acquiring knowledge, skills or habits through methods such as teaching, training or discussion; it is a vital aspect of every individual's life, and this is why it has been made a fundamental right globally. There is a broad range of reasons that entice people to get an education; some are curious and interested in learning whereas others simply do it so that they can get a job so that they can be able to fit into society. In light of the importance of education, it is essential that all stakeholders – teachers, parents, government, students – are involved when making decisions on the best educational practices for students so as to ensure a conducive environment for learning. Although the current education system has been in use for decades and is reasonably functional, it is necessary to improve it so that the stakeholders realize better outcomes from the system, which can be achieved by having proper grading systems, encouraging practical learning methods, increasing school funding and improving the attitude teachers have towards their student.
How to Improve the Education System
It is important that education methods are hands on and practical; students prefer methods that allow them to apply their knowledge practically. Going on field trips and inviting professional motivational speakers are examples of actual exposure that students need so that they can easily understand their field of study. A study conducted showed practical classwork is more involving when compared to theory-based classwork, where students just memorize information. Students should apply information covered in previous courses in their current social and academic lives. Practical aspects of a subject entice students, and they consequently develop an intrinsic interest to learn.
Grading standards have, over the years, become a sensitive issue in the academic community. There is a significant increase in the number of cases of teachers giving good grades to students who did not deserve to pass. This is a worrying trend as it interferes with the quality of education a student acquires and additionally demotivates the students who are not favored by the teachers. Grading standards are, hence, essential; these standards are put in place for a reason and that is to grade students according to how they fared in each subject. Teachers are obligated to allocate an appropriate grade for the student’s performance without favor or prejudice. This, however, is not being implemented by the all the teachers. Some feel guilty when students fail and others want to alter the final statistics of the performance of the students in their class; they thus refrain from changing their grading standards, which only encourages students to be lazy as they are assured of passing. Not only should these grades be adhered to but they should also be reviewed. This will challenge both the lecturers and students and will consequently motivate both parties to do better. This move will, additionally, enable the students to develop the proper attitude, knowledge, and skills to tackle challenges in the future. Moreover, a proper grading systems will enable the teachers identify the students’ academic strengths and weaknesses. This will sensitize the student on their possible talents and additionally give them a general perspective of the career they might succeed at in future. Consistent low grades will also prompt the teacher to involve the students’ parents and this will ensure the student has a holistic and well-merged home and school life. This will reduce degradation of the education system and ensure it produces graduates with high quality knowledge.
The structure, facilities and resources in a school greatly influence the quality of education a student acquires. Making improvements to a school, or even building a new school, is often expensive and therefore government funding needs to be increased so that schools can operate optimally. The amount of money allocated for a particular school should be tailored to the school's needs and should be enough to cater for the essential needs. Each classroom should be able to accommodate a good number of students without congestion. Additionally, the classrooms have to be properly ventilated and well lit. The school should also have a playing field and office spaces for teachers. All these have to be considered for a conducive learning environment for both the students and teachers. The body in charge of registering and licensing schools should also be keen on their assessment of the schools and should, moreover, make regular visits. This will ensure continued review of the academic programs, departments and the school itself. This will consequently facilitate the closing down of schools that are not up to par, ensuring all students get a good education.
The current school curriculum is mainly theoretical and this is one of the factors that has contributed to the decreased interest students have towards school. A broad curriculum offering a broad range of subjects acts as an additional motivator for the student. However, due to lack of proper funding, most schools are cutting down on the number of courses they offer and only retaining the core subjects. This decision is often influenced by the lack of teachers, classrooms and equipment. The government should, additionally, look into funding additional subjects and co-curricular activities. This will greatly motivate students to learn and improve the overall quality of education acquired.
It is also crucial that each student receives individual attention from the teacher as some students tend to hide behind other students both literally and academically. They do this to avoid attracting attention to themselves, often due to shyness, or the student having a general disinterest in learning. These students tend to get left behind and often end up failing. Individual attention to each student will ensure equal participation from all students and this facilitate an increased learning curve. Teachers can do this by forming small group discussions or arranging a schedule in which each student is allowed to have individual meetings with the teacher.
Teachers are a key tool in education and should thus be well trained, disciplined and approachable. Training of teachers has to be of a high standard, the process of hiring teachers should be fair and thorough. In recent years, a significant number of cases have appeared in the media in regards to undisciplined teachers who have caused physical or mental harm to their students. This is one of the consequences of hiring a teacher without doing a thorough background check. The presence of unqualified teachers in schools is, additionally, another reason behind the degradation of the education system. A good teacher should patiently understand their students, their interests and learning ability; they should be firm but also approachable by students on both academic and personal issues. Improving the recruitment process of teachers will greatly contribute to improved students’ success.
Preparing a person for a teaching career should follow the model of apprenticeship, in which student teachers learn from experienced teachers. Teaching skills should be continually sharpened, since teachers play a crucial role in coaching and guiding students throughout the learning process. The training process for teachers should be looked at and improved on and this will ensure a quality teaching staff focused on improving students’ success.
Most of the parents in the modern families both work. This leads to the said parents lacking time to help their children study or do their homework. However, when parents are involved in their children’s schoolwork, it helps the student to learn more. Parents are their child's first teacher and can teach these children values that encourage the child to learn. Learning institutions should build strong bonds with parents and consistently invite their active participation in the classroom. Teachers should, moreover, remind parents on the importance of education for their child and show the parents ways of assisting the students with their home and class work.
All the educational practices mentioned are aimed at ensuring the education system is optimal for students and best promotes the students’ success. Every aspect of life as a student has been looked at from the home life, where the parent is a child's first teacher, to school where teachers also nurture the students into responsible, well-educated adults. Teachers should respect the standard grading and this will curb the degrading of education. Moreover, school boards and school heads should address the issue of grading standards with the seriousness it deserves. This will ensure that only students who qualify are the only ones rightfully promoted to the next class. Factors that surround a student such as a school itself, classrooms and overall facilities, may either facilitate them to learn better or act as a barrier and hinder them from learning. It is thus vital that the government avails sufficient funding to ensure that good quality education is upheld. Teachers have to be well taught and mentored for them to become good teachers and nurturers and the best way to ensure that is through apprenticeship. These practices will only work if teachers, parents, government, students and the community work together to promote students’ success.