I’m a 17 year old girl currently in Year 12. I study Psychology, English, Art and Legal. At the start of the year I dropped one of my subjects due to my anxiety and stress levels. I was able to do this because I completed unit 3 and 4 Further Maths last year as a year 11.
Today I wanted to write about the education system. As a year 12, and therefore someone who is drawing near to the end of my 13 years of compulsory education, I feel the need to rant a bit about my schooling.
As I’m constantly told by adults and my parents, I’m about to enter the mysterious and terrifying “real world”. I feel somewhat prepared for this adventure as I’ve had a job for the last 2 and a half years and have seen some of what it’s like. However, I still find myself in the dark when it comes to how to apply for loans, how to apply to uni, how to buy a house or how to do any of those kind of things.
School does not teach you life skills as it so expertly claims. Yes, I may know how short term memory is transfered to long term memory. I may know the strengths and weaknesses of courts as law-makers. I may know the elements and principles of the formal analytical framework. But I do not have the life skills such as how to claim insurance, what taxes are and how I can claim things on my medicare card. Where is the class for that?
While I do learn valuable information from certain subjects like english and maths, there is also a hell of a lot of information in those classes that is completely useless and irrelevant in my life. When am i ever going to need to know how to analyse a persuasive editorial piece or how to apply the pythagoras’ thereom in my head? If I decided to further my studies at uni in relation to one of those subjects then I would be taught the information I needed for the job that I want. Why cram our brains full of information when we’re likely to never use 98% of it? School does not teach us the skills we need to enter the strange and complex “real world” that we, as teenagers, are constantly reminded in a condescending way that we know nothing about.
The education system needs to up its game. It’s spitting out thousands of kids a year with knowledge about how to write an essay and how to construct a hypothesis and yet only a tiny minority of these youth actually know how to do basic life tasks. Perhaps there should be a new class that teaches us the things we need to know about the world, a class that gives us a glimpse into this “real world”. A class that will actually help me in my day to day life.
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