Bell Hooks, a modern educationist and an ardent student of participative learning, talks about learning as a freedom of practice and explains that teachers who have still failed to recognise the role of students in the process of learning and teaching are a threat to the quality in education hence half-baked graduates.
Throughout the world, academic institutions that offer higher education as well as professional education courses are going through a process of revolutionarising their system of education such that institutions can match the changes business organisations have undergone over decades due to growing competition other trends.
These changes are determined by several factors, among which is the ever increasing demand from employers around the world for the information-age mindset with the intellectual weaponry to counter this augmented competition.
Many times those who dreamed of becoming doctors and engineers while in lower classes, but when reality set in they found themselves in law class or business related courses; but the bigger question here is not what someone dreamed of at a young age in the academic arena, but how informed they are to be able to cope in the current domain.
The answer to these remains the ability of higher institutions of learning and other education centres to be able to deal with the current drift in the market and technological changes.
Countries such as Germany, Finland, Canada and Singapore have taken it upon themselves to empower their strongest stakeholders - teachers – as a major part of the card holders in the process of building a well-educated society. These countries have well-defined, elaborate and fully supported curricula that are in line with the current global demands.
So, why not borrow a leaf from these countries’ education endeavors to better ours? Singapore serves as an example on how countries can repossess themselves from the ambers of less developed to a semi- or even a developed economy. It should however be noted that the exodus of Singapore’s development began with the constructive reforms in its education system. It remains on record that Singapore made the biggest number of reforms in education in the period of less than 4 years while trying to look for a fitting system that would support its development agenda and international requirements.
In this regard, it is important that all institutions, especially higher education programmes, re-design the course materials they use while facilitating teaching and learning coupled with well-designed and holistic teaching methodologies that are effective from learner’s point of view.
To achieve this requires educators and faculties to continuously evaluate themselves and improve on issues of nurturing quality human resource.
For many decades and throughout the world, higher education institutions are considered as the seat of intellectualism, simply because they advance students to new frontiers of knowledge in different walks of life, more so in the subject domains.
Therefore, writing up and defending their dissertations helps students develop their ability to question and seek truth and makes them competent to critique contemporary issues. It broadens the intellectual powers of the individual within a narrow specialisation, but also gives them a wider perspective of the world around them.
Those with the cards, namely, policy-makers, teachers and other decision-makers, should play them well to leave behind a remarkable legacy that would stand the test of time.
The write is a PhD student of Comparative Education and leadership at Beijing Normal University