• August 15th, 2020

Opinion - The right to education

Marvin Mootseng

Public schools, as well as private, do not create the sort of graduates that Namibia (and Africa) needs. And by this, I mean graduates that can transform our economy and at the same time, improve lives and the condition of Africa. To achieve this, we need graduates that are knowledgeable, creative and morally responsible. Unfortunately, our education system does not provide this. Sir Ken Robinson eloquently demonstrates this through a ted talk presentation called “Do Schools kill creativity”.

An acclaimed psychiatrist, William Glasser said, “ We learn 10% of what we read, 20% of what we hear, 30% of what we see, and 80% of what we experience.” All the while, the predominant method of teaching in our school system is reading which has a 10% retention rate. This is why graduates either know too little or have poor comprehension and are not prepared for life (including work) after college.
As a start, we ought to focus more on the eighty per cent, this is what we call learning by doing. Further analysis of this method suggests that the types of activities that build experience include experiments, simulation and doing the real thing. This was discovered in the 1940s by Edgar Dale, who established the Cone of learning. By this logic, based on the literature, our education system should be practice-based as oppose to theory-based.

As for creativity, we should not only give credence to academic ability.
According to Sir Ken Robinson, an education system that places academic ability as its measure of success will suppress creativity, as creativity forms part of the arts. To put it simply, we should not only focus on subjects such as mathematics, history, science, commerce, etc. but elevate subjects such as dance, drama, art and the things we like, up to grade 12 and college, this will allow graduates who are academically able or otherwise to exercise their creative muscle.

Covid-19 has brought education in Namibia and elsewhere to a virtual standstill, therefore, the ministry of education has decided to roll out e-learning (distance learning) as a temporary measure. In light of learning by doing, I believe e-learning will not be as effective as we hope and its modality is nothing close to what the literature recommends.
While it will be cumbersome for the public education system to consider what we recommend, I believe it is up to us in our private capacity to advocate for the right education. Only then will we (Africa) be in a better position to create graduates that are knowledgeable and creative.
Join us in our efforts towards the right education, to improve the lives of fellow Africans and to build our economy.

Staff Reporter
2020-06-24 09:00:24 | 1 months ago

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