What if tomorrow, there was a law that would require all adults to enroll in a special school that would teach you the basic skills in surviving today’s world? You would need to go to this school from Monday to Friday for half a day every day and take some classes.
From 7:30 to 8:30, you would study Social Media (What? You don’t have a Facebook account? That’s unacceptable in today’s world). Then from 8:30 to 9:30, you’d have classes on Using Email. Then there would be a 30-minute break, then from 10:00 to 11:00, it would be time for Using Smart Devices – Smartphones, Smart TV’s, Refrigerators, etc. Then from 11:00 to 12:00, you can choose from several electives such as Operating a Drone, or How to Take Better Selfies, or Basic Wifi Troubleshooting.
You would need to take these courses daily for the next 10 months, and there would be required coursework like seatwork, quizzes, projects and exams and if you pass all of them, you would get a diploma stating that you are now 21st Century literate and fit to work in most job environments. Most companies would be giving job priorities to those adults possessing these diplomas.
For those of you who think this is fun, think again. This is 10 months of your life and it is compulsory. It doesn’t matter if you already think you know these things. You need to have a piece of paper that certifies you.
Some of you may be thinking, “This is ridiculous. 10 months studying how to email? I can do that in a couple of hours.” But the experts would reply, “But we would be teaching you more than just how to send and receive messages. We’ll break down the SMTP Protocol, teach you how to read email headers, how to recognize spam and phishing attempts, then how to setup your own mail server and so on.”
Then you might think, “But that’s crazy, I don’t need to learn all that. I’ve been emailing for the past 10 years and I’ve been running my business that way and it’s fine.”
“Oh no,” they will tell you. “The experts have determined that these are essential skills for you to learn. You simply need to go through them because you might need them someday in the future.”
If you think it is a crazy idea to force adults to take classes that other people have deemed is important and essential for them to learn in order to survive and properly function in today’s society, then think about what we are doing to our kids.
We let them sit through 12 years of “basic” education (more if you count preschool), with no regard for their interest nor even their skill level in a particular subject. A student who finds math easy has to sit through an hour listening to a lesson he already understands, while a student who is struggling with it has to sit through the same hour trying hard to catch up.
A 10-year old who wants to be a professional dancer has to go through 12 years of sitting through different subjects of little or passing interest before they can really pursue what they want. They’re told that these subjects are “important” and “fundamental” and they need to learn these in order to function properly in the world they will enter as adults.
There is something very wrong with this.