August 20, 2016

Let children wonder and wander

It is undeniable that the appropriate education system for the 21st century calls for visionary teachers armed with a pedagogy that arouses children’s quests for information and understanding and awakens their natural curiosity.
Unfortunately, our schools still operate under a deteriorating educational system based on the assumption that all knowledge is available in books and that students must store information in their brains just to pass exams.
In addition, assessments are no more than a system that rewards students for their ability to memorise rather than exercise imagination and creativity. Educators must learn that school curricula and syllabi, no matter how excellent, are not set in stone.
One threat to education in Myanmar right now is the trend of businesspeople running schools for profit; private schools run by people with no experience in education are popping up across the country. The children who attend them are dealt with punishing workloads as a direct consequence of having to attend ineffective schools in the morning and remedial lessons in the evening. Simply put, they are robbed of their free time.
Education reform must, therefore, centre on approaches that enable children to unlock their vitality and potential. The onus is on all stakeholders in the education system to ensure that education reform is not carried out merely in name—another lie in new clothing. In other words, the movement should make a critical difference this time.


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