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Why the Dutch education system is a miserable failure.
1. It ignores the opinions of teachers.
Teachers. You know, the grossly underpaid people who try to run this mess day to day all the way innovating the crap out of themselves and the school in order to just teach the kids something. Theyíre confronted with the immensity of their task every day and most find out theyíre not only unable to do their job, theyíre barely able to hold on to their sanity and no, thatís not even that big an exaggeration.
The main problem is that the managers and the schools and the ministry of education rarely takes the time to listen to the people on the floor and in the classrooms. Theyíre like generals pouring over maps while the soldiers die in the field with no ammo or food and no maps to show their goddamn students where the fuck Africa is. Itís the big penis shaped continent directly below Europe you idiots!
This has been going on for years (not the lions, the sucky education!), one government after the other dictating how the educational system should work and what ideals we should pursue. First they wanted us to be bigger so schools started merging together in gigantic super schools. Then, barely 5 years later they were told that perhaps smaller schools were a better idea. Naturally this was impossible since many schools had already built monstrous mega school complexes that could house thousands of students. Another example is computers. These magical wonder machines were seen as the ultimate future of education where teachers would become obsolete altogether and the students did the work on their own, on their computers! What wasnít taken into account that a computer isnít a teacher. Its not even capable of protecting itself against sabotage and students learned this quickly. They started breaking down and breaking down fast! Now, after a couple of years of fighting against massive computer breakdowns do we realize that perhaps its unwise to leave students alone with the hardwareÖ.
2. It assumes students come to school in order to learn shit.
Thatís basically the base of the entire system. Students come to school to do assignments, do presentations, make tests, listen to the teacher and spent hours on end perfecting their own skills on workstations with the teacher as supervisor.
The next suggestions might as well be to add a garden made of candy and fill it with a chocolate waterfall and have unicorns march in unison while the wizards of lala land cast their spells and sing their songs of merriness because thatís about as far from the truth as the education system assumption.
Why did you go to school when you were young? And by young I mean before your hair started to turn grey or falling out or looking really funny and withered. You got 3 options:
You picked A. Come on, donít lie to the internet! We all had to go to school where our teachers told us to shut up and learn. And if we didnít we were beaten. Well, for some of us thatís probably trueÖ. But even without the beatings we only came to school because we had to and certainly not because of some vain ideal that learning is good. Even now I only go to school because it A, pays my salary and B, I have to follow courses in order to make more money. Nowhere do I even consider the idea that learning in itself is good, only that it makes me more money. If I want to learn Iíll read a book or even better, go to Wikipedia.
3. No one wants to be in charge anymore.
Naturally Iím speaking from my own point of view but I have seen this at many schools already. After the failures of several completely different systems of education no manager is anxious to take charge of the mess and lead the way to the future. It is actually becoming hard to find people who are willing to be directors of entire schools or even single school locations. One temporary manager follows the next and no one dares to make any significant changes anymore unless they come from the government itself. Live and let live. Donít stir the hornets nest and you wonít get stung or whatever figure of speech you can come up with would fit here.
Problem with this attitude is of course that complaints get even more ignored then usually and teachers are getting more and more aware that theyíre dealing with a management who doesnít only want to keep things as they are they want to freeze time itself so that they wonít have to do any work or make anything happen but still get paid.
Luckily teachers are more then capable of ignoring the management and doing things as they see fit. Theyíve been doing that for a long time after all.
Goddamnit I hate Steve Carrell so much.... Oh and he plays a manager in the office US so I suppose its related to this article. Right?
4. Thereís never enough beer!
We all deal with lifeís little problems in our own fashion. If my way of dealing with it is called alcoholism then yes, Iím an alcoholic. But if Iím heading for a nervous breakdown I might as well enjoy the way to it and thatís why our school has a bar. I understand most schools have some sort of alcoholic afternoon for the staff but ours seems to have an entire culture developed around the consumption of alcohol on the Friday afternoon. And why not? You get to see colleagueís drunk, you can discuss stuff youíd never talk about and its fun!
Annoyingly though, the new beer kegs introduced in order to be compliant with new weight lifting laws only allow us to drink 25 liters at a time which, to any sizeable group is a laughable small amount so every 10 minutes we need to change the goddamn keg. Canít this be different? Canít we be met in at least one demand? Bigger kegs!
Thatís what the Dutch educational system needs the most.
The Dutch educational system sucks!