Australia Education System
Australian schools have been sliding down world rankings in the past decade, with students around the country lowering standards for reading, science and maths. Now, it’s easy to blame us students and teachers but the real problem is Australia’s education system. I mean how many of you have ever come to school and just wondered why am I here, I know I do this nearly every day. The system is just outdated, unequal to students and our learning is ineffective.
First off this system was made fit for a purpose around 100 years ago. Australian schools today are based on old fashioned industrial aged values, which I guess explains why we are treated like mindless robots, getting told what to think, when to eat, when to speak and when we get urinate like I’m sorry I can’t control my bladder unless you want me to become dehydrated. You see these industrial age values were important for factory workers, a successful American business executive, Seth Godin said, “The sole intent of the education system was to train people to be willing to work in a factory.” The world we live in today now values creativity, communication and collaboration but I’m afraid all our creativity is killed by the outdated education system. Australia needs to update the school system like Finland. Finland doesn’t concentrate on standardized tests and tedious lectures but instead problem-solving skills and hands-on learning and look where they are now, they’re global education leaders. Also get this, 75% of future jobs will require science, technology, engineering and math skills and knowledge yet fewer than 1 in 10 year 12 students are taking advanced maths and in 2013 only 1.5% of girls studied advanced math, chemistry and physics in NSW according to the journal The Conversation. These results are tragic. The education system just doesn’t meet the demands of our future. Our world is changing fast and it’s about time our schools change with it.
Secondly, the education system is built on an unjust and unequal basis. When I say this I mean usually children’s educational performance links to the student’s wealth, who their parents are and what school they attend. A report by the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund shows that Australia’s education system is one of the most segregated in the developed world. Schools in privileged suburbs such as St Marks receive more educational advantages whereas disadvantaged schools can’t afford simple necessities such as books and school supplies and some can’t even provide for the Arts. This shows as 4 of the top 5 schools with the highest median ATAR in WA were private schools which sucks because what happens to kids that can’t afford it. This is so upsetting considering every kid should grow up with equal opportunities, it doesn’t matter of their socio-economic value or whether they go to private school or public. Now, a way to make schools fairer is make them 100% state funded like Finland. In fact it is illegal there to set up a school and charge tuition which is why private schools are extremely rare. This makes sure that all the rich kids don’t have a better education and instead everyone has a better education. You see we go to a good school in a good suburb but the reality is not everyone does and I’m sorry but I do not believe in an education system that just cares about money and is really out here saying if you can afford the best you get the best and if you can’t then to bad. Every child deserves a good education no matter where they’re from.
Now I know you might say that teachers just need to teach us better but I find it so appalling that every single kid in Australia is taught exactly the same way. Like no wonder why some kids are failing. The education system organise classes by whoever gets the better grades, for example, we’re all in extension english because we get the best grades in it but I hate to admit this and I know I’m not the only one but I’m not in the extension class because I’m smart or intelligent or work hard in class, I’m here because I work hard outside of class because when I’m in class I can’t keep up with all these naturally smart people and then when a test comes I realise I know nothing and then I end up cramming for all my tests. This happens to so many students and if it’s going to be like this we might as well be homeschooled and teach ourselves, I’d probably save a lot of time and money. But look I’m not saying this is the way it should be, what I’m saying is we should take a test every year categorizing us into visual, auditory, kinesthetic or reading/writing learners and be placed with people that work similarly to us. It’s not the teachers fault they’re stuck in a system that doesn’t recognise our differences.
So, in conclusion the education system needs to change. It needs to be updated for a 21st century classroom and not hang onto old industrial values. Every school should be equal, we can’t have this social hierarchy anymore where the best schools are the expensive schools. And lastly, every student is different, schools need to stop teaching us all the same way and leaving students feeling dumb and usless. So, tell me my fellow year 9s do you really want to be in a school system that treats us like robots, that doesn’t meet our demands for the future and where our learning is completely ineffective because I know I don’t.