Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Failing School or Failing Pupils

There are a lot of angst in the US - our school systems are failing and we cannot compete with China or India in the future.

I have to agree with this sentiment but I have to disagree with prevailing diagnose and it cure - more money, smaller classroom, No Child Behind, etc.

In our high school, students learned no practical skill but preparation courses for higher education. However, how many of them are built for and destined for a rigorous academic career? If not, then we are setting them up for their failure by failing to provide them a practical skills so they can learn to be a respectable technicians.

Germany sets a great example here. There, students are to choose either to head for a college training or technical skill early one (roughly our junior high school level). Therefore, they produce both scholars and high skilled workers and both camps are respected and well paid. No sense of failure is attached to those don't go to universities. Actually, their high schools are more like our colleges while their universities are more like our graduate schools.

People argued that high school educations are needed for every student to learn how to be a citizen. Those training can be provided at technical schools as well.

Recently, I read a disturbing story took place in China - a few college graduates applied for and was hired to clean manure in dry toilets. When confronted with the waste for resources, someone had the nerve of saying that the higher education enabled them to understand how to use the tools (ladles, poles and buckets) better.

Jianan five college grads hired to clean dry toilets

With the declining of the American's economic power, I'm afraid that kind of joke will take place here too.

Epic / 史詩 / Epos

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