Education should be a fulfilling experience where individuals bring the learning skills they have developed all throughout their educational lives to their careers, in order to be successful, well-rounded people. Many valuable skills are taught at elementary school, high school, and college, although most of the times the academic curriculum does not include other practical and technical skills needed for a student’s development. This article has compiled a list of three important skills that our education system has failed to infuse in our youngsters.
1. Social Conduct
In our modern world, where technology thrives above human connections, good mannerisms have been lost. Manners are considered things of the past, whereby one is not required to use words like “thank you”, “please”, “excuse me”, or “I’m sorry”. Nowadays, children as young as 8 years old are swearing and disrespecting their elders. Teenagers from 11 years old onwards are using sexual terms to nickname their classmates and sometimes bully others they do not get along with. Proper conduct is becoming extinct as offensive behaviour is on the rise. With the increased emphasis on academics, such etiquettes have become secondary, and little time exists to put them into practice.
Yet, teachers and lecturers are often in a position where they can teach more; considering the fact that students spend more time outside their houses once they grow up and become independent enough. Teenagers coming from broken families might need support based on character development so as not to be affected on the level of self-confidence. In other homes where the parents are too busy making an income for the family, values such as: integrity, kindness, and respect, should be informally taught when they are not a primary focus in the house. Learning manners could then help students to get along with their colleagues at work, after university, and will help to show an overall good impression on acquaintances and significant others.
The education system does not have classes about how to negotiate in real life events. This skill is needed for the majority of times in our lives—when we are buying a house, reducing our bills, trying to get better salary, or even trying to talk our parents into things which matter a lot to us. Working with people needs such a skill, whether it is about managers, employees, contractors or sponsors. Formal education has failed to provide knowledge on managing relationships with people while maintaining good contracts with them. It has also failed to teach students how to spot good talent, measuring results, knowing when to leave or stay at a company, and much more. For instance, not knowing how to negotiate for promotions at work can be a disadvantage. Schooling does not teach any of this, and most individuals have to learn it from the hard times they have faced through their careers or personal lives. Due to this, great opportunities are missed by many when they lack the necessary negotiation skills.
Leadership is not defined by people merely having a title. It is a character trait – not something you do only by talking in front of an audience or just delegating tasks. Good leaders are not those who speak the loudest or have the most to say. Often, schools and colleges alike give students opportunities to create teams for presentations, and for one of them to lead the other members in their respective team. Having only this kind of experience however, will not be helpful for those youngsters later in life.
Presidents are referred to as the leaders of their country, even if some of them do not maintain their integrity. They might not take initiatives to bring up real issues, nor to actively tackle society’s problems. Making laws might be a solution, but thinking about the people who will or will not be affected by these laws is what counts the most. Laws alone cannot change much though. True leadership therefore requires discipline, critical thinking, listening to others, and most definitely the ability to understand others. The best leaders do not require rewards or praises to continue their work as leaders. Sometimes they may decide to lead from the front, and sometimes from behind. Like any other skill, leadership takes time to develop, and is probably one of the hardest skills to master.
These 3 points are just enough to stress on the failure of our education system. It is hence significant that students do not only retain information logically or temporarily for examinations. They should be applying those skills they have gained from their personal lives to help them get through their struggles in real-world scenarios. Employees can even benefit from these skills to gain better salaries or a higher status at their workplace.4