Does our education system reflect the current needs of society?

Students during a lecture. Net photo.

When the world experienced the great economic depression, times became so strenuous that they required quick measures to address them. Brains blistered to overcome this because humanity is driven by the need for a structured society.  This is why policies are enacted to guide and inform institutional management.

But while the existing structure seems to be content with the way matters of education are addressed across the globe, the reality at hand in relation to the current needs makes education a ‘total joke’ hence undermining the possibilities of certain factors, such as employment.

Education as perceived by philosopher Theodore Brameld would help explain my stand on the need to reconsider the kind of education that we continue to seek.

Brameld believed that the “jockish” nature of education failed to address the problems society faced, hence the persistent social questions. The scholar supposed that classroom and society existed in different worlds yet one influences the other for social order.

He actually noted that education and the content taught did not reflect real world problems which, therefore, disassociated man from the kind of society that harbours him and eventually brought about human suffering.

In fact, human awareness and intellect would be highly exposed if we continue to think that the education we offer is actually significant to the needs of today. Gandhi endeavoured to envision a country where its citizens would be the solution to human resource challenges, an idea that influenced his education philosophy of “purposeful education”. 

Indeed, this can be defined as the gene of India’s education and economic might.  Young university students from different disciplines were sent out to work and gained practical experiences, and teachers’ mode of instruction was highly checked and more democratic. This gave Indian students the ability to understand and comprehend issues from their own perspective and in return, India became one of the dominant nations in the field of medicine and computer technology.

Education and employment are two different factors but intertwined variables that are equally significant. Society continues to suffer because education itself is suffering, indeed our education seems to fail us on many occasions. While politicians and other policymakers keep on promising the best quality education, there is need to walk the talk.

However, we need to work together; as policymakers are busy weighing up on the need for new computers, other players should, for instance, propose for more funding and well facilitated libraries with well instructional aides and simplified materials for the facilitation of teaching and learning.

There stands the need to unearth the norms that can help address these technical questions in our education and make it relevant to the needs of today.

The writer is a PhD student at Beijing Normal University