This education system is failing us.
We, the younger generation born in the 21st century, are treated with the same education of those from the 19th century. We are trained to be on tight schedules, working eight long hours with a 20-minute lunch break and spending hours after school doing more work.
Originally, the point of having eight hours of school was to prepare students for factory work.
Now, in the 21st century, there are more jobs than just factory work.
Technology has evolved, careers have taken new forms and culture has evolved as well as our society, but why has our education stayed the same?
More than ever, students are having more and more mental health issues. We are forced to go to school eight hours a day, go to after school activities, go to work, do homework and try to get at least nine hours of sleep.
It is impossible to do every one of those successfully, all at the same time. On top of that, social media holds standards on teenagers on who they should be. With school, extracurricular activities, work, homework, social media and friends and family, it is no wonder why teenagers are depressed. They cannot do all of those at the same time, no matter how much society will push back at them.
For example, a student with good grades who is in a lot of extracurricular activities probably does not have a job or is not on social media much. However, if you are poor, this is not really something you can do. A poor student with hopes of going to college will get a job, however, their grades may suffer or their social life may suffer, and they will not be involved in many activities.
With these unrealistic ideals set on students, many of them become depressed. Depression can leave students unmotivated, tired and unbothered. This can come off as laziness or being ‘burnt out.’
Now, what can America do instead? What do students need?
Breaks. We need breaks.
And, not a Spring Break or a Winter Break — breaks during the day. Not being on a tight schedule, constantly. We need less pointless homework and standardized tests just flat out do not work.
An example of a country that has one of the best education systems in the world is Finland.
There are multiple reasons why they are so successful. No standardized tests, a high bar that is set for its teachers, cooperation rather than competition, school starts around 9 a.m. and ends at 3 p.m. with large breaks in between, a relaxed atmosphere and less homework are all reasons why they rank high in education.
Let me clarify. This is a problem with the American education system as a whole, and not individual schools. Many schools are trying to do what they think is right for their students while at the same time meeting the legal requirements for that state. However, there are things that states as a whole can do.
If this education system continues without any changes, the next generations will be more worse off than the last by not being prepared for this century’s challenges. Other countries will prosper by having good education, and America will fall behind quickly.