Why Education Is A Fundamental Right For Everyone
Education is the essence of what makes a society great. Yet, sadly, our hope and intentions to influence an improved education system is often undercut by perceptions of structuralism and the narrower perspectives it provides.
At the start of the Helsinki Declaration, the Global Movement for Quality Education, I read that we cannot expect huge improvements in education at the local or national level, and are not good at solving the underlying underlying problems of inequality and poverty. Many in the education sector simply look beyond the big picture of problems and governments, and as a result ignore the possible opportunities to contribute towards improving education. But, if we are serious about the role of education, the only way to be effective is to think about systemic solutions that are tackling the root causes.
Education is the basic education right for everyone. This means everyone must have access to education at a suitable level to ensure that every child grows up ready to carry on their responsibilities, knowledge and their communities. Education means that everyone should have access to the academic, intellectual, social and creative capacity needed to ensure individual and collective progress and development in life.
Other considerations that need to be considered when launching a stronger intervention towards improving education include how much time kids spend in school and outside of school, the positive environment that children have to play, and the health of the local community.
Schools need to work on the wellbeing of kids, and must be seen as a place of school lives – not only as a place for learning. Being able to communicate with peers outside of school activities is important for kids as they grow, and their creativity and motivation is inspired by this.
Exposure to countries outside the area of families is another crucial factor – especially for poorer kids in developing countries and disadvantaged kids. The typical focus on school readiness and academic achievement and immediate educational goals has led to some of these kids feeling lost and unloved at school. Kids thrive when they feel a sense of belonging at school, and when they learn about other cultures and languages. Having fun in and around the school, learning about places outside the school, and being able to do things outdoors also boosts kids’ self-esteem, and can make school feel more fun.
Children spend a lot of time in school, and at the end of the day parents want to ensure that their children have good health. This also depends on the process of education, where kids at school get exposure to healthier lifestyles and environments, and that they’re provided with a positive role model, who shows them healthy behavior.
Children living in poor environments often face tougher challenges. They are more at risk of poverty, crime, violence, illiteracy, and have limited access to information, so school should be a place where they feel safe and protected. A school should never look like a prison, or act as if it did. Teachers also need to find ways to implement self-management methods in the classroom, and to show the children what to do during challenging situations, including through emotional intelligence training.
Lastly, if a child has a family that can help them, they are likely to do better at school, and learn even more.
To really get an understanding of what’s wrong with current education systems, consider the following: In Finland, Finnish teachers train children to listen to them!
And, the last time I checked, a parent does not have to spend most of their time speaking on a walkabout on a week’s holiday, so teachers don’t use children as human billboards, like we do. Kids should not have to read for hours to learn new facts.
Similarly, it’s important to consider why our schools need to alter the way that they are managed, and why they are focusing so much time and effort on things like test prep, where we are continuing the same old way of doing things, when there’s a better way of doing things. There’s a good chance that these kinds of ideas are going to take some time to be implemented, but in the meantime, it’s important to always be thinking about new things that could do more good than damage, and to constantly try to improve, instead of being afraid of change and looking to hinder growth, as we too often see as the norm.