Why School Needs to Change
By Niklas Håkansson
A high school student’s perspective...
Life is hard, and school doesn’t make it easier. From a young age we are all told, go to school to get an education, to get a job, to get money. This was the way to think of life for a long time. However, in recent times a so called, “good job” isn’t necessary to make much money. In other words, the school system needs to change. There are many ways to make a living now through alternative avenues; from making entertaining videos on the internet to starting a multibillion dollar corporation.
Why is school like this?
The traditional school system is an old system that determines if you fit the criteria of what makes a good worker in a company that someone else owns. You get graded on how good you follow instructions, how much you remember an instruction, and how good of a ‘problem solver’ you are. You can see this from a young age when we are told to keep quiet and raise your hand if you have a question.. This a great example on how school teaches us to follow instructions, and how it limits curiosity by placing a spotlight on those of us that express it.
The school system grades us like this because it was founded in the industrial age which means that the traditional school was only made to make the best workers. The industrial age ended in the 1840 – 1850’s and schools haven’t drastically changed with the same pace as the rest of the world. It’s 2018 now and there are many new options to make a living without extensive formal education.
What are the alternatives?
If you look at the most influential people in the world they didn’t finish their college education. The most subscribed YouTuber in the world (PewDiePie) never finished his degree, similarly the founder of Facebook (Mark Zuckerberg) dropped out of college so he could work full time on Facebook. Just like PewDiePie and Zuckerberg, there are many other individuals who find success in life through pathways not promoted in school. In fact, school can prove a barrier to students whose skillsets are not fostered by the education system.
What can we do about it?
Right now, teenagers can’t do much to change the system, but we can change it for the better in the future. What we need is not only a huge systematic change in education, but changes that allow education to innovate along with the world. .
The right system should make it more personalised to the student; you learn at your own pace and have a schedule that fits the individual not the masses. However, there are many suggestions on how to make it better and we need to find something that works.
A country that has changed their whole system to be more modern is Finland. Right now, Finland gets extremely high results through school; with them being on top of almost every category, and Finland hasn’t made the schools harder but the opposite. They have shorter classes and school days. No homework and more personalized education.
When most countries see their schools getting worse results; they make it harder on students through more intense environments, which makes the problem worse. They really should learn a thing or two from Finland. In your country, teachers are probably not seen as prestigious as a doctor or lawyer, but in Finland teachers are the same if not more. A great first step is to make it harder to be classified as a teacher and reward teachers more than they are rewarded now.
Why isn’t everyone an owner of a company?
It’s often too late to start one when you realise that it’s possible. Because how can you know? No one tells you. There is rarely a subject in school for aspiring entrepreneurs, or even a mention of entrepreneurship, in traditional schools. The generation before us never saw a need for change because they didn’t see all the different options. Fortunately, our generation can learn from each other through the internet. We can share our knowledge with anyone in the world. You can see other teenagers making a fortune without school’s help so why shouldn’t you? With all this knowledge from around the world we can see that traditional school systems need to change, we need to facilitate the opportunities innovation provides new generations.
If you don’t want to be an entrepreneur?
Then you don’t need to be! But you can still make a living without needing school’s help; there are many options. Just find your way to make an income and grow in that way. That is for the individual to decide. For some jobs you need to have an education but there are many options for us all.
However, you absolutely shouldn’t end school because of this. School isn’t a complete waste of time and most of our important memories are from school. The point of this article is to give you a new perspective. School is a great option for most people. This article is for you who wants to do something different. School can help you in many ways to make your dream come true, but it doesn’t have to be necessary. You don’t have to worry too much, as school isn’t everything. If you are stressed about the exam you have coming up, then you now know that there are still ways to make it without the best grades; there are other ways to be successful. Despite all of this, the most important part is to BE YOURSELF. Do what makes you happy and you will always have made it in your heart.
Meet the author
Niklas is a 16-year-old teenager that is passionate about school politics and entrepreneurship. He was born and raised in Sweden, and his dream is to have a LGO (Leader of global organisations) master’s degree in MIT and to start a successful company. He loves to fish, watch interesting movies, browse the internet and spend my time doing something useful. Niklas applied for leangap 2018 in California and was accepted. He also love to learn about different inequalities in our world so can try and fix them. Above all Niklas loves to help people, which can be in the form of information or for advice.