Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Failures in Education

I believe there are many sides to the issue of where certain skills don't pay the bills. My personal position is that if certain jobs don't pay much then it's likely the job doesn't have much demand, but if the unemployment rate is high and skill level is low then it's likely the fault of government at all levels. I believe that much of the youth is not skilled because our educational system isn't working well. The increases in grade inflation across many schools, universities, and colleges may give students a false sense of how much they actually learn. Also, most teachers don't have much incentive to teach students at the highest standards and decide to teach students of all aptitudes at a common denominator, so those that are brightest may not be challenged and even the average students may fail to be challenged because the school aims to increase graduation rates to increase school funding by lowering standards. Meanwhile, instructor tenure simply means a bad teacher will be rewarded the same as a great teacher, so teachers are less likely to try their best to teach. Most of these problems of the educational system may be attributed to the government's failure to ensure all students are challenged equally and all instructors invest effort to teach. I have seen many great teachers not get rewarded and that's quite disheartening, while an instructor even openly told in class that they don't care how well they teach because they will not receive a bonus for great results. Furthermore, when a teacher is of lower quality or doesn't invest enough effort to teach then the students are less likely to want to learn, and when the teachers see students don't care they begin to care even less themselves. I believe the problem with youth unemployment and lack of skill is not a problem of the economy , the youth themselves or teachers. I believe the problem is in incentive. Why would a student want to acquire skills if there is no incentive to do so? Maybe the government should create more incentive in the educational system because even my parents from the former U.S.S.R. said there was incentive for teachers to teach with bonuses if there were great results, while students had a more extensive curriculum that had great demand for students to learn without the tremendous grade inflation. I believe those were some of the reasons why Russia ranked by the OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) as the  most educated country in the world with around 54% of adults having tertiary education when spending around 5% of GDP on education, while Canada is the most educated country out of the OECD members and the second most educated country overall by having 51% of its adult population possessing tertiary education with Japan essentially tied with Israel for third. On contrary, the U.S. has around 43% (fifth ranking) of the adults having tertiary education when spending over 7% of GDP on education. Still, it's important to note that Russia isn't even considered to be a developed country and not even a member of the OECD for that very reason. Also, lately the quality of education had been decreasing very significantly there too because they are doing more of what we do and experienced extremely high levels of corruption in the 90's.

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