The school system is flawed. I believe it is based on old values that are no longer relevant to our generation and nowadays students should have less homework.
For many years, the education system has been based on a very repetitive, “sit down and read”, “be quiet”, and “do your work” attitude. Although some changes have occurred in an attempt to keep up with the technological age, students have been required to learn the same ‘required by the government’ material. From a very young age, we have been told to be unique, and stand out from everyone else. However, there is still a major factor that isn’t allowing us to fulfill this lesson. The current school system doesn’t allow us to explore our creativity and develop unique personal characteristics. Going to school every day, and learning the same thing that everyone else learned, even on our parent’s day, does not allow us to be unique.
As a grade nine student at Herzliah High School, it is mandatory that we take twelve specific classes. And in these classes, we are taught in the same way, to take the information as it is and not question it. If you think about it, what we are learning in school today might not even be useful for our future lives! We may be learning about science and end up following a career in music. We may be learning about the history of Quebec and end up moving to Europe unaware of the history of Europe. So, who decides what is important to learn in school? Basing our grades on being good at every subject may discourage students and make them think they are not smart. But maybe they are extremely smart in a specific subject. Why does this grade have to reflect how ‘smart’ we are? Why are we forcing children and teenagers to study what doesn’t interest them? If these courses don’t interest them or benefit their future, then what is the point? All our lives start out with this same pattern, going to school, learning, coming home, and working. The school system is lacking innovation and creativeness that doesn’t allow students to differentiate themselves in society.
There is a growing argument that adults are starting to recognize, and that students have been complaining about for decades. This is because students have been receiving too much homework. Let’s do the math: There are 168 hours in one full week. We go to school 5 days a week for 7 hours – that leaves us 133 hours a week. On average, teenagers should be getting 8 hours of sleep a night – so that leaves us 77 hours a week. Let’s say on average, students do 4 hours of homework after school ends and including weekends (which may be more when we have midterms) – that leaves us with 49 hours a week to not be in school, doing homework, or sleeping. That means we have 7 hours left in our day to do whatever we want. But don’t forget about eating, after-school activities, transportation, spending time with family and friends, doctor’s appointments, and exercise. That doesn’t leave us with many hours for ourselves to explore our interests, be creative, and self-develop. However, we are told to prioritize school and we are forced to be in our rooms working for many hours at a time. It can sometimes be too much to handle and can result in sleep deprivation, anxiety, and sadness. I agree that school is important, and that going to school should always be mandatory, however, at school, we must spend our day sitting and listening to a huge amount of information, and then after all this, go home and continue working until all homework is complete or else we get into trouble. It is a problem, I think, and almost every student in high school, Cegep, or university suffers from it. We aren’t able to do anything about it because the traditional school system is not ready to change.
I believe there are three main solutions that can improve the school system. Firstly, having teachers who are passionate about their subjects and who really care about their students' understanding. These teachers should be innovative with different ways of teaching and try to apply what we are learning to the real world. This way, learning may become more interesting for students. Second, having a designated nap time for students who are sleep deprived. It is extremely important to get enough sleep when you are a teenager in order to grow and absorb all the information we are learning in school. Having this nap time can also help students concentrate better in class. Thirdly, students should have less homework every day in order to have free time without constantly worrying and stressing about school.
In conclusion, I believe a combination of these three solutions can help innovate the school system to help students learn more relevant information, develop important traits for their future, help students be more attentive in school, and allow students some more free time.
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