How Our Education Systems Are Failing And Need Revamping

by Mr. Hans


We don’t need no education
We don’t need no thought control
All in all it’s just another brick in the wall
All in all you’re just another brick in the wall

-Pink Floyd

Education is, without doubt, a vital and sensitive component of governance for both the developing and developed world today. Yet despite its strong initial ideological goals, the subject has been proving to be a baffling and difficult topic even for many national leaders to handle. Regardless of cultural doctrine or politics, few countries can disagree with education’s importance, and even fewer will concur that education provides the ideal long-term solution to a multitude of problems ranging from the plague of long-term poverty to that of domestic violence. It’s education that’s meant to prepare the next generation for the future’s unpredictability that we ourselves can barely grasp. It’s also education that is touted to be the only practical and probable solution to vital issues such as climate change.

Yet the ever-recurring controversies over rote-learning, the constant stigmatization of mistakes and the ongoing process of academic inflation only seem to warn us that perhaps our current system is starting to show signs of failure. The current system, built based on the demands of rapid industrialization over a hundred years ago, are fast becoming irrelevant in today’s new information age and urgently needs to be rethought before it perhaps becomes far too late.

Education guru Sir Ken Robinson made perhaps one of the strongest arguments against the usage of failure in the classroom, where he argued that current education systems squander human talent and educated people out of their creative capacities rather than into them. The constant stigmatization of mistakes and failure in national education systems, he argued, has created a situation where children eventually lose their capacity to be unafraid to take chances and make mistakes.

The impacts of this are severe, as while failure certainly does not equate to creativity, what perhaps is more important is that if people are not prepared to be wrong, they will never come up with anything original. Original and novel ideas are fast becoming a desperately important resource needed in the countless rapidly evolving industries today, and we simply cannot continue to ruthlessly squander away the creative capacities of entire generations if we still aspire to prepare them for the future that lies ahead of them. The skills of literacy and numeracy ultimately cannot be allowed to continue to take precedence over creativity – and supposing we truly recognize that, now might just be the time to put forth actions to support that stand.

Even then, creativity isn’t the only thing at stake. Thirty years on since Pink Floyd’s release of the song, “We don’t need no education,” their lyrics are still regularly quoted for debates on educational philosophy – and for good reason. Rote-learning and the standardized hierarchy of subjects in education systems (where math and languages are always valued above the arts) have long been criticized for creating mass-produced graduates of limited quality. Proponents of this argument contend that such a system merely creates graduates based on the economy’s demands instead of their natural aptitudes, thus often squandering the gifts of these otherwise talented people when the things they were good at in school simply wasn’t valued or was actually stigmatized. Perhaps one powerful accusation to ponder about would be asking if the products of this system have inevitably become incapable of original thought – merely just mass-produced social clones made to be puppets and slaves to the economy.

The current trend of academic inflation is a definite sign that the structure of our current education systems is failing and simply will not continue to service in the future. Despite more demanding syllabuses and increased scope of educational options available, degrees are constantly plunging in value. University graduates, once revered as the cream of the crop, are today increasingly being forced to stay at home and play video games.

We need to radically rethink our view of intelligence and the fundamental principles that we are educating our children on – or more and more of otherwise incredibly talented people will inevitably continue to go unappreciated and undiscovered, existing on simply as “just another brick on the wall.” Human intelligence operates in many ways: kinesthetically, musically, spatially, and more. These aspects simply can no longer continue to remain as blatantly ignored as they have been in the past; just as how the richness and diversity of human intellect absolutely cannot go on remaining hidden and forgotten.

We all wish for our children and the next generation to have a great number of positive and powerful character traits; we want them not only to be logical and linguistic, but also to be creative, talented, brilliant, and expressive. Now might perhaps be finally the time to educate them for it.


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  • Comments

    One Response to “How Our Education Systems Are Failing And Need Revamping”

    1. Mr Hans on August 18th, 2008 11:47 am

      I’m available at for comment/jobs.

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