Education makes a man. This is so true! The skills, knowledge and learning from school and college, carry us well into our personal and professional lives, in our later years. However, is our education system good enough to prepare the children, the future of our country, to lead their best life? Let's find the answers...
One of the biggest problems with education in the United States is that the entire teaching staff has the same salary structure. The education sector does not recognize or pay well teachers who make an extra effort or take an initiative to be innovative and creative in their teaching methods. This de-motivates the teachers to some extent and thus, may inculcate the tendency to not give their best, in many of them. Moreover, due to lower salaries of the teachers, intelligent and capable people do not want to enter this profession at all. This can create a dearth of quality teachers in the future in the United States.
Lesser Focus on Science and Math
The American education system does not focus on the most important subjects i.e. science, math and language. Researches have shown that America is far behind countries like Japan, in inculcating a scientific spirit amongst its students. Also, countries like Russia, Sweden, Italy and Canada, undertake awareness campaigns, from time to time to encourage literacy and reading amongst the children. Such initiatives are not given due importance in the United States. No wonder that the high school dropout rate has reached almost 50% in many of the cities.
Lack of Opportunities
It is often seen that students from poor families go to public schools. The education problems in public schools are manifold. One of the major drawbacks of public schools is that they are technologically backward. This means that children belonging to poor families, already are disadvantaged, compared to those who go to private schools as these schools are very advanced in terms of technology and teaching methods. This difference is one of the major problems of our education system.
Only One Language
Majority of the students in America know only one language i.e. English. Compare this with students in other countries in Europe and Middle East, who know two, three or even more than that! Today, when the world has become such a small place, with people of different cultures and countries working together in multinationals, it puts the multilingual students from other countries at an advantage over the American students who can only speak English.
Racial and Economic Segregation
Researches have shown that in the schools, groups get formed amongst the students, on the basis of the race or economic strata of the society, the students belong to. It is also seen, that teachers too behave with and treat the immigrants and African-American students differently. This may cause many self-esteem issues in such students, when they grow up.
There is a strange phenomenon which is observed in both public and private schools, which is proving to be detrimental to the students' knowledge and learning. In schools, teacher's expectations vary according to the face and ethnicity of the students. When it comes to African-Americans, there have been certain stereotypes established i.e. they are slow learners and they will do well only in sports like basketball and football. So, most of the teachers expect the African-American students to fare poorly in intellectual pursuits and thus, this can have a detrimental effect on these students. It is not surprising to see that most of the students in science and math clubs are whites while sports bodies are full of blacks.
Besides the ones mentioned above, other problems are - widening of gap in the academic performance of boys and girls (the grades of boys are falling steadily, especially as they reach higher grades), students belonging to rich or middle class families doing well in studies while those belonging to poor families run the risk of dropping out and lastly, lack of funds with the public schools to upgrade the infrastructure, curriculum and quality of teachers.
As you can see, there are numerous problems that exist in the education system. So, it can be rightly said that it would require a hell lot of initiative, zeal and hard work, on the part of the government authorities, schools and teachers, to do away with these negatives plaguing the education system.