- Publish On: 10 April 2018
- Author: GP Tuition Simon Ng
Schools play a crucial role in the transfer of knowledge and skills to students. However, technological advancements have challenged the role of schools.
In today’s modern society, information is available everywhere. With the internet, information can be found so easily. This is even more easily accessible with the invention of handphones and laptops. However, this poses a topic of debate. One school of thought is that schools are no longer the key to overcoming a lack of knowledge, while the opposing school of thought is that schools are still the key to overcoming ignorance. This essay agrees with the first school of thought, that school is no longer key to overcoming ignorance.
Some may say that schools are the keys to overcoming ignorance because the things they teach in school are what is useful for students. Lessons in school are structured in a way that students get a solid foundation before they move on to learning more advanced things. As students move up the education ladder, they begin to learn in a smaller width but larger depth way such that they can learn more about what their interest lays so that they can use all these information in their future job. For example in Singapore, students go through the same classes and learn about the same subjects in primary school, before going to secondary school and choosing subjects they are interested in, so that they can learn more in-depth. This thus ensures that students are well-rounded in their knowledge.
However, the information we learn in school is restricted to what is available in books. Often times, students have to seek other sources to find out more than what teachers are teaching in school because even in schools, there are restrictions in how much teachers can do since there is very limited time. Recently, schools have even started adopting flipped classroom learning, where students learn online from videos teachers may have recorded of them teaching the lessons, so that students can learn from anywhere. On a larger scale, schools sometimes have e-learning days, where students learn their lessons and do all their homework from home. This thus means that students can learn without school, and that as the world is becoming modernised, teachers are making use of the technology to allow students to learn at a more customization pace such that students can take their time to go through the lessons so that they can continue to keep up and understand lessons. There are even places such as Khan Academy which run free online courses and lessons for students so that they can learn anything they are interested about. Hence as students do not need to go to school to get information, school is no longer a key to overcoming ignorance.
In addition, school cannot overcome cultural ignorance as organisations does it better. In school, the school is limited to just special days such as Chinese New Year, Hari Raya, Deepavali, and racial harmony day to allow students to understand more about racial and cultural differences. In school, students do not get to mix around with people of different races as much too, especially if the school is a Chinese-based school or a christian school, were there would be very few minorities. On the other hand, organisations such as National Integration Council and OnePeople.sg encourage people of different races to understand each other and to interact so that there is no cultural ignorance. For example, OnePeople.sg organises the Orange Ribbon Walk to promote respect, understanding and trust between people of different races.
Also, students cannot fully understand the economy simply by reading about them from books and learning about them in school. For something as complex as the econmy, students may learn better through experience. This can be done by them visiting the different industries. With the discovery of airplanes, people can now fly from country to country to look at their economic state, and can even get to see first hand things taught in textbooks for example the sweatshops in China and India, or how a drought in a certain place may cause a drop in goods and hence increase in the cost of that certain good. It is also only through buying goods online do they understand ideas such as why there is no longer a need to have a physical shop, and why it is cheaper and perhaps better to just sell things online, because they get to experience the convenience and the ease of buying things online from the comforts of their own home. These are things that may not be able to be taught well. Hence, school is taking the back seat in overcoming economic ignorance.
Lastly, schools do not usually teach about politics because it is not really in the child’s syllabus. Because the school is so restricted by time constraints, teachers are not able to even teach students much about the government. Also, teachers may not talk about politics because it is such a sensitive subject. In a survey done by the Education Week Research Center, it was found that 42% noted that it was difficult to discuss national politics with students. Hence instead, students have to turn to information online or the newspaper to read up on politics. Especially with Trump, new news on politics is coming quickly. Therefore in order for the students to learn fast and be more aware, they will have to turn to things such as online newspapers, newspapers or social media to find out instead of school. Thus schools are no longer key to overcoming political ignorance.
In conclusion, while school is still necessary to help students get their foundation of knowledge, students overcome ignorance with the internet, since there is only so much a school can teach. With the internet, students can find out almost about anything. Hence, school is no longer the key to overcoming ignorance. Instead, if students do not go beyond what a school teaches, then schools are breeding ignorance.
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