What Is So Wrong With Education in the West?
Here’s The Problem: This problem is fundamentally two-fold, as I see it.
Fold #1 – Obsolete/outdated Architecture. We are educating our children using a broken and fragmented system left over from the Industrial Age and is continually band-aided, piece-milled together, and applied to a youth that is clearly far beyond it. Example: The way that a ringing bell notifies students that it is time to move on from one class to the next (regardless of whether the student has learned what is needed). This system is consistent with the bell that was rang inside of factories during the late 1700s to early 1800s, to notify workers to move on from one point of the assembly line to another. This is the pattern after which our current educational system was formed. As a species we have outgrown it – the education system needs a complete overhaul – but very little attention is given to this issue. Instead we have come to promote and reward mediocrity via legislation such as the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. The system is consistently re-designed to dumb our students down. Kids are not robots or drones, and standardized testing cannot be used to determine levels of intelligence; they can only measure an individual’s ability to memorize information and apply it to a test.
Fold #2 – Misappropriation of Funds. Over the last several decades we have observed a significant increase in the The United States government’s efforts to shove federal funds toward our youth from numerous angles, attempting to motivate them with promised future benefits with the use of commercial images bearing an ideal of material success and a “bright future” via earning a college degree – which is discreetly accompanied by instant post-graduation debt. This part is cleverly left out. It would seem that this is a great thing – they are helping our children to achieve, right? Not. When these images are all our youth is seeing and dictates how they are learning to shape and define success and personal worth, how can they possibly turn it away? Surely not without strong and WISE parental or other influences to the contrary – note that I said WISE. Many parents do not possess wisdom, and to no fault of their own necessarily. Our youth are constantly led to believe that money = success = happiness, while at the same time we see a lost/directionless, unhappy and unhealthy, indebted youth. Money becomes the dangling carrot driving our youth to seek knowledge, degrees of higher education just to attain more money and more “stuff”. Education surely has its place, there is no denying that; a certain level is needed to gain the basic skills of maneuvering through life in many parts of the civilized world. But the value we have placed on it today is far too great in my opinion. We have failed to include in our education package, a very key and critically important element. I will talk about this more later in this post.
The Burden of Debt: The student loan debt that follows the majority of college graduates today, becomes a hindrance to what should be the beginning and building of a relatively stress-free, professional career or entrepreneurship. The young adult is still feeling her way around in the adult working world, and to be burden down with student loans, even considering rolling deferments, is quite disadvantageous. This professional commencement for young professionals should be bubbling with learning opportunities in their chosen professions, not with trying to manage an enslaving debt that was created out of ignorance and that now becomes the inescapable noose around their necks. Many have to move back in with parents until they are able to find employment that will enable them to live in a place with other indebted roommates and still manage the debt created from the pursuit of their illustrious education. The loose manner in which these funds are awarded (much like what caused the housing market crash a few years ago) has placed an immense strain and pressure on the financial wheels that run our economic machine, and in turn also returns this same strain on the American people to provide the oil (or money) needed to keep it running. This “oil” is not only the principal being paid back into the system, but the interest that is owed along with it. The majority of which is paid back to The Federal Reserve Bank, a private corporation that loans the United States government money at an interest rate. Many people don’t realize this fact – don’t believe me, look it up! Federal Reserve Bank.
College graduates in 2013 will graduate with much more than just a degree that guarantees neither success nor even a decent paying job to aid in the repayment of their student loan debt; but it does guarantee an average of around $28,000 in debt per graduate on average. With interest and minimum payments over a 20 plus year period, the total paid back (if ever fully repaid – most aren’t) will easily double, if not triple. Besides the purchase of a home, this is likely the most expensive debt they will take on in their entire lives.
Debt is one of the primary ways of keeping this slave-like foothold on us firmly in place. The earlier in life we can be locked into this debt continuum, the easier it is to keep us there. And what better time to get us than when we are striving toward the next major step in our lives, knowing that we will do what it takes to get it done. They have created debt whores of us. It is no coincidence that several years ago student loan loans were declared ineligible for inclusion into a bankruptcy filing.
Solution: Education should be FREE! Point blank, period!! Let’s just make that crystal clear. Now, how can this be accomplished? Easily, and I’m glad you asked. If the United States would simply keep its troops in the homeland instead of imploring “democracy” in other countries around the globe, we would have an abundance of funds available to provide every single child in this country the opportunity to pursue higher education if they so choose – FREE of charge. We spend reportedly over $1 trillion annually on funding wars and conflicts, provided support, etc outside of our own country. Now, let me say this, I do believe that to whom much is given much is required; and that we should protect those who might be unable to protect themselves. So I do agree that we as having so much, should be concerned with the well-being of other nations. That is the noble thing to do. But when those countries can’t get it together enough, and their fighting starts to take food out of the mouths of those at home base, here is where I have a problem. Simply put, we would save at least a trillion dollars a year by ceasing to participate in foreign affairs at the warring level. Some people don’t desire peace, and ya just can’t force it onto them like talking about it. I don’t claim to be an expert in foreign affairs, nor do I claim to fully understand all of its complexities. But one thing I do know is that there is usually the option of walking away from a fight, but we war for reasons other than “democracy” – but that’s another post for another day. 🙂
Lastly, we must implement a school of Wisdom into our public and private school systems. No educational institution should receive a red cent of federal funding without meeting this minimum requirement, and no student should be granted a diploma, certificate or degree without proof of having mastered these fundamental pillars on which we will found this new educational framework. A more holistic approach to learning and living is in extreme need of being infused into current generations and passed down to future ones. The teaching of science, math, social studies, and language arts is only an education in part, and teaches nothing about the life lessons we need. It totally ignores other important aspects of the human being that need great attention and development along the way. A much more conscious view of our environment, the world, and of each other, must be supplanted over the current teaching methods. This way of thinking and teaching is Life Mastery; it is wise, and it is the way in which highly evolved civilizations operate. So we need to catch up with the pace of evolution that we claim we are at. Even though we are technologically advanced, we still operate as lowly evolved beings. Wisdom should not only be learned at home, it must also permeate the classrooms walls and the hallways in our educational institutions. What will your part in carrying forth this mission? Collectively, nothing is beyond our reach; we need only to make it a priority, make a plan, and take action.
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