16 Jul 2018

TRANSFORMING EDUCATION FROM THE GRASSROOTS

Grassroots Education educates, organizes, and mobilizes educators, parents, students and communities to defend public education. Too many current corporate and government policies seek to underfund undermine and privatize public school system. Education should advocates around issues dealing with the equality and quality of public educational services as well as the rights of teachers and school workers. Africa has been struggling with development ever since, and into the 21st century. And the indices of our struggles keep getting aggravated with bad statistics and it is a home to most of the least developed states in the world. It has the highest mortality, illiteracy and child education rate.

Although, technology is entering the mainstream and is accessible to everyone, still, education in the developing regions is not much explored, highly qualified teachers do not prefer to serve in the under-developed schools. There is always a challenge of less availability of high proficient teachers in low-income schools. Therefore, the rural children have to attend schools that provide the limited quality of education, nowadays students like using computer technology in the rural areas and urban slums. Students lack motivation to attend classes, as they do not find them exciting and interactive. And it seems like common sense today that a highly standardized education system will only hinder the creativity of both teachers and students, ultimately damaging their ability to teach and truly learn. Students are often lost and disenchanted within this vast, competitive system. True that the highest aim of education ought to be supporting every student in discovering and cultivating his or her unique gifts, while promoting a lifelong love of learning, but to ensure that every child gets an equal opportunity is complex. It’s so complicated to fix that those of us who have our own children realize how hard it is to get it right with just one child. To get it right with millions of children is an immense challenge. Firstly, we should think about the complexity of the system.

There are many things that need to change, both in and out of the education system. What need to be done is actually taking a step backwards and build a leadership force of people who will go out and do things both in and out of education like changing teachers training, providing schools with great school leaders, and changing educational policies, others are outside education such as media campaigns for education, corporate initiatives for education and increased laws for education. If high caliber, motivated and committed leaders are placed into each one of those puzzled pieces, and kept well connected, perhaps, it could change a lot. Educators and leaders have to focus on guiding and mentoring youth toward living more fulfilled, empowered, and joyous lives while promoting health and wellness, ecological awareness, and social justice.

It’s no secret: public schools (and traditional private schools too) are focusing on the numbers and forgetting about the students but efforts need to be made to return to a more organic model that understands human unfolding and learning as a natural process that requires diverse environments, specialized attention, and unique inputs in order to nourish optimal growth and well-being. Although, education reformers have long recognized these structural obstacles to change and have made real progress in building the political power necessary to persuade incumbents and to elect education reform champions at all levels of government. However, grassroots supports in some communities are lacking and those grassroots organizations try and seek to help, leaving the organizations vulnerable to familiar charges of elitism and corporate reform.

Today, education revolution is in full swing, and it’s not led by any one model of education to universally replace public schools. It’s a movement comprising homeschoolers, unschoolers, co-ops, small independent schools, charter schools, families, and educators choosing options that they’re aligned with—options that see their children and students as more than cogs in a machine being prepared for the workforce, options that recognize that everyone learns differently and honor and support each child’s unique strengths and weaknesses, that recognize the importance of social-emotional learning along with academic study, options that facilitate a connection to nature and promote ecological awareness, social justice, and global citizenship. Ultimately, education revolution is not about fixing the current system or finding/creating another system to replace it. It is about supporting the creation of a diverse range of options for families to choose from, while making those options accessible for families, whatever their economic circumstances may be.

Every child is unique, every family is different, It is time we recognize that in order to transform our world to a more just, sustainable, and peaceful place, we need to start by transforming education.

Article by: Blessing Bassey

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