Recent studies show that the top three reasons students drop out of school: first, it’s because they’re failing too many classes (27.6 %), they’re bored (25.9 %), and “school wasn’t relevant to my life” (20.3%). Other reasons are because of drugs, bullying, mental health or financial issues.
Why drop out exist in the first place? Looking at the reasons above, we know that we need to fix our education system. Funny fact that some of the world’s most impactful people are school dropouts. The coincidence is that they share something in common: they’re passionate and curious about one particular thing that interested them; which you can’t get from most of the schools today. These dropouts are lucky because when most teenage go to college to explore, they already know what they love deeply and what they’re good at and how they can make a profit out of it.
In the world of today, various problems occur: poverty, crime, corruption, unemployment. Don’t you think that all of these crises have to do with education? Economist predicts that improving the education system would boost the economy. Education is a life. A human spends its most crucial first 20 years and golden time of life in schools. Like a building’s foundation for a construction, the foundation of someone’s future lay on schools. As Benjamin Franklin said, “an investment of knowledge always pays the best interest”.
The basic goal of school has been the same for centuries: to produce compliant standardized workers. Schools or universities weren’t built to give you skill in your profession. They’re rather about how good you are at taking exams (Let’s be honest, most of us forget 80 percent of what we memorized only three days after the exam). Standardized tests shouldn’t be the foremost custom of education. As Diane Ravitch said, “sometimes, the most brilliant and intelligent mind does not shine in standardized tests because they don’t have standardized minds”.
Let’s imagine building a strong foundation for someone’s future. With an ideology that school doesn’t end with childhood or fun. The main syllabus is to invite students to develop their own ideas, construct their own learning by expanding, clarifying and developing their thinking. Children should start school at age 7. In the first six years of school, children shouldn’t be measured in any way. It doesn’t matter how they perform in class. And there should be no homework. The main purpose is to spark curiosity in them. Teach them any lessons they want with determination and genuine interest and passion. Allow them to experiment with everything, all in the name of fun. Build their natural interests, as children are natural learners. If schools are early to recognize the students’ interests and provided as much support and encouragement, we might produce exceptionally high achieving doctors, artists or architects which will end up boosting our economy.
Life is sometimes about trying everything and find out which to pursue and which to stop. Most children love to learn anything. They start out with an instinct to explore and discover. Talk to them about anything: music, sport, math, art, cooking, or literature. Explain it in simple terms, why this lesson is interesting, or what is the best thing about this lesson. An individual learns and attains knowledge by its influences, interest, and curiosity, as well as having the right people around to offer mentorship.
Surround students with books. Harvard University researchers found that consistent access to books can increase a child’s motivation to read. Schools should provide books like magazines, encyclopedias, literature, science. Place them in every corner of the school. Classes, corridors, walls, and even canteen. Allow them 15 to 25 minutes time to read anything before class begins. Reading a lot will help students to determine what stuff that interested them. After every lesson, there should be a 15 minutes break for students. As recent studies show that more break time actually increases test scores and learning and decreases mental illness, depression and general bad behavior.
Another important thing to consider is the teacher. You can’t improve education if you don’t pick great people to teach. Give them constant support and professional development, helping them to be better teachers. Teachers should have the ability to understand students’ personalities and characters. Let students to express the ideas without fear of being wrong. Stop saying “you are doing that wrong” to them, but help them to gain the sense of competence, something that all enthusiastic learners share. Anyone would prefer to do any activities they’re good at and love.
There are times to observe the students, times to encourage them, times to interact with them, listen and watch, encourage and accept, inspire and assist. As teachers should be the second parents for students. Every student has the right to confide and tell their passion to teachers. And teachers should be ready to help students in any cases.
Apart from academic lessons, School should teach students how to face life. How life sometimes isn’t happy. How to get used to the reality of the world. How to speak in a good manner, how to care and love one another. Engage them in voluntary activities, investigating worthwhile topics that provide experiences that are intellectually challenging. Engage them in meaningful conversation about their activities. Make open questions and discussions. You know, school is also about building mentality and personality in someone’s childhood and teenage life.
Improve soft skill development, how to deliver their mind so others would want to hear, how to present, how to teamwork. Develop the student’s creativity, self-motivation, and innovation. When students know their passion and ambition already,the school should continue to teach them how to make profit from doing what they love. Also teach them how the tax works, how the rent works, how the bank and money works. Inevitably, whatever your professions are, you’re going to engage in these things anyway.
Last but not the least, schools should focus on the process, not the outcome. The successful dropouts were dropouts from schools, but they didn’t drop out of learning and working hard. They simply take a different route to achieve an extraordinary goal. Having a good education system would minimize the top reasons above on dropping out schools, and produce great individuals with their own unique field.