Truthfully, I didn’t do well at school, but not through a lack of learning. But it got me thinking of how the education system has not changed in many years and how it came into being. When we look at it, we start primary school, usually around the age of five years old and progress to junior and then secondary/senior school.
All the time we’re being told that we need to do well at school so that we can make progress and get into a better school, then when we’re older, we can get a better job with more money. In the UK at the age of 13 and 14 years old, we’re asked to select subjects to study which we’ll be able to use in our future careers.
Then at the age of 16, we sit exams on these subjects. All this at a time when we’re growing into young adults with a plethora of hormones coursing throughout our bodies, not understanding what’s happening to us and we’re asked to make these important decisions.
We are told by society that we need to do well in these exams so that we’re able to continue on to further education and those that don’t will end up in low-paid menial jobs. For those that do well, they get the opportunity to go into further education with a promise of better jobs. And if they apply themselves really well, they can go to university for even higher paid jobs.
After all this we’re allowed to go and work for other people in jobs that could well be unfilling for the next 40 years, but we will get a pension at the end of it we’re told, with which we can eventually give up work and reap the benefits of our years of labor.
Benefits, that’s another subject we’ll cover later on.
Sound good? Well, not really, as the present education system came into existence after the industrial revolution when there was a need to educate people so they could get a job and become part of the workforce, working for large organisations with a few entrepreneurs in those days breaking through and starting their own businesses.
I was speaking to a friend about this, who explained that the education system was there so that there could be an objective measure to define what each of us is capable of, giving a structure of learning and measuring accomplishment by which we are all marked.
This is all well and good, but we are all individuals with different learning styles and if our learning style does not fit with the system, then sometimes we’re labeled as troublesome, disruptive or maybe even thick, sometimes not getting the education we deserve and being left and labeled by the system.
But it is not all doom and gloom. If you did not do well at school.
Did you know that not all successful people were good at school?
- Albert Einstein dropped out of school when he was 15.
- Simon Cowell only got two O levels
- Richard Branson, he quit school at 15 after struggling with severe dyslexia and no qualifications.
- Sir Alan Sugar, he left school at 16, with six O levels
- Deborah Meaden from Dragon’s den didn’t complete any of her O levels.
Yet they all went on to become very, very successful.
Please do not get me wrong. I think education is very important, but we all learn at different speeds with different styles so there is no one way that fits all system. Remember the word education is derived from the Latin word educa, meaning to educe, to draw out, to develop from within.