LETTER OF THE DAY - Rethink how we educate our children
THE EDITOR, Sir:
I write in support of a column published in The Gleaner on September 2, 2014, titled 'What if we rethink school?'. The writer touched on some important points.
I would like to add that not only should we rethink schools, but we should also rethink our curriculum. It needs to be revised to accommodate more reasoning and critical thinking rather than recall. The article stated that, "The fact is, most will never get a tertiary education, either because they can't afford it or because they just don't have the academic aptitude for further studies."
That is the truth, not everyone will be given to 'a' squared plus 'b' squared equal 'c' squared. But it is fitting that every child should be able to learn basic mathematics principles, concepts and formulas. Having a basic grasp of such will enable one to be on track to functional literacy. Not everyone is cut out to be a doctor or a lawyer, but we treat traditional jobs such as farming as a job for the poorer class while ignoring how important farming is to our economy and our future.
The reality is that some jobs are contracting, even traditional ones. There are jobs that are in high demand, such as some in the ICT sector. This is where some schools should be focused. In an era where technology is advancing, we are to stop allowing our children to be consumers, but creators and innovators. Our students should not only know how to use a tablet, but be able to know how the tablet works and how to create it.
I am longing for the day when I can have a tablet or mobile phone in my hand and I see the label, 'Made in Jamaica'. A recent media report highlights where some young girls were given the chance to learn the basics of animation; this is an industry that is lacking professionals and competent workers in Jamaica.
The animation industry has a lot of potential, and schools should indeed revise and/or expand their programmes and curricula to train competent workers for the field who will demonstrate world-class expertise. I think we could do well on the international market if we put serious work into the development of our nation's human resources to fill these jobs on high demand. I have confidence that we possess the talents and expertise to compete on the international market, but indeed, we ought to rethink how we educate our children.
Hyde District, Clark's Town,