Govt should change education system

EDITOR — We have a deep-rooted fatuous notion among Zimbabweans that obtaining a university degree equals future economic success.

Growing up, I was taught like most Zimbabwean children, that the key to success in life is to do well in high school, this in turn will guarantee acceptance to university.

We were further programmed that an undergraduate degree renders you any type of job you desire in the discipline of your choice.

As a result children grow up believing university is the exclusive passport to their future.

This type of thinking is counterproductive.

The high school industrial complex is designed in such a way that it only prepares learners for university and not the real world. We need a different approach. Educators should change the system to prepare students for life.

At school, pupils are bombarded with information that will never help them have successful careers.

Which high school in Zimbabwe gives pupils grounding in the knowledge necessary to solve problems, invent and create their own product?

Our children are being given convenient truths in school, which go completely unchallenged, in science, arts and mathematics classes.

This type of education is filled with holes.

Because of the government-controlled education syllabus, children are taught to only focus on the so-called facts, figures and numbers.

Repetition is used to train children subconsciously to accept what they are learning in school, and teachers, many of whom are parents, do not question the validity of the information they convey to children.

Children are sent to school and moulded into public approved homogenous teenagers that cannot think outside the prescribed consensus.

Children are taught to repeat information instead of how-to-think. Those that dare think beyond the prescribed consensus are often ridiculed and ostracised by kith and kin because they are seen as a threat to the status quo.

This education system does not liberate, instead it crushes children’s genius — only tells our teenagers the ability to remember and repeat is intelligence. It promotes conformity.

After blindly accepting and regurgitating this information on command, those children go on to become the decision makers in our government, law, medicine, and every other occupation with power and prestige.

This explains why we have so many perpetual social ills within our community; we have people in power today who went through the same system, who were taught what-to-think and not how-to-think.

Today the teacher-student relationship has deteriorated to appalling levels and is best described by Paulo Freire in the Pedagogy of the Oppressed.

“Narration leads the student to memorise mechanically the narrated content. Worse still, it leads them into containers, into receptacles to be filled by the teacher.

“The more meekly the receptacles permit themselves to be filled, the better students they are.”

This is the sad reality.

We all want success for our children but the pressure put on them to keep up is massive.

But because we live in a society in which it is a disgrace to not have money, we tend to value the money after the four years of university study, and not the knowledge the student would have acquired during that period.

The advancement of humanity should be concurrent with the liberation of the mind; and not the narration sickness in this nation.

The educator

Comments (8)

No truth can be said further than this. Lets move away from this conservative education system that produces drifters with no purpose. I believe everybody is born a genius with a unique talent. This education system only recognise one form of genius-one who crams abstract information.

kk - 15 July 2016

True,drivers of economic success are tradesman produced by the education system.Our system is designed to produce managers not tradesman.In any case, is it worthwhile to send a child for university studies only to be a bank teller at the end of all those gruelling fours,something that could be done by " O" Level Graduates who had managed to scratch Accounts and Commerce/Economics with grades E/better or alternatively who had done secretarial studies at certificate level with either Pitmans or LCCI,simply that.

Gen. Spinola - 15 July 2016

For sure.these days it pays to go to poly and do a motor motor mechanics certificate than a UZ or NUST degree in any engineering field..its all a fuss ..repetition..robots looking for work..lets take the chinese education model..izvozvi chirungu tinotaura too much but no results ---rubbish..thats why president mugabe cant even run such a small economy-12 million people but has 5 degrees..degrees in rubbish

hyperv - 15 July 2016

machinda kana Bob auraya nyika musangope zvimacomments zvekupenga....dainyika isina kuurawa nababa wachatunga zvange zvakaringana......kwete kungowawata wawata.....mamanagers asi hamuziwi basa rawo kani they work hand in hand naiwo ma artsans amurikutaura....kune specialisation.....saka pasina manager engineer iyeye agona kutengesa,,anoziwa competition management if similar products are available ....engineer iyeye anoziwa here coprigtht Law musataure zvamusingaziwi zvose zvinoshandirana....ngatirwire nyika idzoke pakare specilisation pamberimberi nayo you can not be jack of all trades

dofo - 16 July 2016

you missed it Mr editor. it is the economy not performing not the education system. as a parent I am involved in what my child is doing at school. for him to go out of the box he need to know what there otherwise he will invent the well. it is after the school program that he can go out of the box. I think u did not understand it well about what education bring along, it's not success but aN above average quality of life which if again attended to further, brings success. there is what is called the principle of minimum effort - whereby, below which no funder mental hold and above which all of them are true.

forbeska - 18 July 2016

We need the education system which is there. We can only add more vocational courses at high school so as to strike a balance between the purely academic and vocational. A poor performing economy may lead people to condemn an otherwise good education system. My experience in India almost shocked me when I first saw bank tellers who were holding degrees like BCom and BSc maths as way as 1978! The LLB degree was a postgraduate study only after one had completed any other degree, so you had lawyers who trained after doing engeneering (BSc Eng. LLB) or after medicine (MBBS. LLB) or after economics (BAEcon. LLB), etc. This was an eye opener. And back then India was already in the top 10 Most Industrialised Country. So we need to have the academic skills that help sharpen analytical and critical skills combined with the vocational to make our children all-round performers. The editor's article has largely condemned the current system without proffering alternatives. Dr Manuhwa

Dr Eliah Manuhwa - 19 July 2016

We need the education system which is there. We can only add more vocational courses at high school so as to strike a balance between the purely academic and vocational. A poor performing economy may lead people to condemn an otherwise good education system. My experience in India almost shocked me when I first saw bank tellers who were holding degrees like BCom and BSc maths as way as 1978! The LLB degree was a postgraduate study only after one had completed any other degree, so you had lawyers who trained after doing engeneering (BSc Eng. LLB) or after medicine (MBBS. LLB) or after economics (BAEcon. LLB), etc. This was an eye opener. And back then India was already in the top 10 Most Industrialised Country. So we need to have the academic skills that help sharpen analytical and critical skills combined with the vocational to make our children all-round performers. The editor's article has largely condemned the current system without proffering alternatives. Dr Manuhwa

Dr Eliah Manuhwa - 19 July 2016

the education system haina proble.roblem is the economy. Those educated pple are still being employed in working economies across the globe which must tell you that the system is not that bad. Tell Bob to bring back Zimbabwe.

Donato Matobili - 29 August 2016

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.