Since time immemorial, the problem of school dropouts in the education system has been ubiquitous. Many changes have been suggested but have not given conclusive results to improve the situation. The time has come for a completely new approach to inspire our young people to enroll and stay in school.
With industrial revolution and explosion of computer technology, the last hundred years have witnessed a sea change, which has indeed improved our lifestyle. Despite this, problems such as school dropouts could not be solved. These issues urgently require new and creative ways of analysis and intervention.
Understand new generations
The school system made considerable efforts to identify academic progress and skills developed by students. One may wonder whether the academic programs are tailored to the needs of the generations that are currently in school. According to many observers and experts on generation Y (1978 to 1994) and Z (1995-present), it seems they are not. The needs of the new generation must be understood better if we want to lower the rate of school dropouts in the future.
With so much information on the Internet, members of Generation Z are fully aware of their needs, their potential, and goals for their future. Having seen their parents often overwhelmed by the obligations of life and work, without the benefit of freedom and relaxation, they do not readily accept constraints that deny them immediate pleasures.
In this context, generations Y and Z want to learn in an environment that will allow them to bypass the difficulties faced by their parents.
Therefore, they challenge rigid teaching methods and just as easily drop a job that does not allow them good social or family time.
The importance of recognition in education
It’s sort of the return of “Employee of the Month”, but on a large scale. Students want their achievements, big and small, to be recognized, signed and framed. They want to necessarily make a difference and be the pioneers. The times when a pat on the back was useless, is a thing of the past. Whether it is success in examinations, good behavior or just making their beds, children want all their invested efforts to be acknowledged.
Recognition for them does not stop at a simple gesture of appreciation. They perceive their self-worth by the quality and scope of projects entrusted to them. If you think they are lazy and without energy, give them a social project and they will work hard to prove that they are inexhaustible. In school, they not only want to be recognized for their efforts and notes, but also for their initiative, creativity and originality. They want to be part of a leading institution that connects them with the true realities of life today – such as environment and poverty. Great thinkers have therefore gone beyond the scope of technical knowledge to bring young people on the ground and stimulate their interest.
Outside the scope
We find ourselves in a “win-win” situation, with all the big companies facing problems and a younger generation just waiting to be involved in the solution process. This will obviously require a huge change in learning paradigms in schools. Besides technical knowledge, which is always required, we will all benefit as a society if we gave our children a greater place for “field” learning. Is that not how we grew? Thus, we will increase their interest in teaching significantly and naturally.
Stepping outside the comfort zone will not be easy, because these approaches are deeply rooted in our habits and lifestyle. However, we will eventually do things differently if we want different results. The concept of sport-study, is a great example which allows students to learn while pursuing their sporting dream. It is perhaps time to think of similar programs inspired by success and gender-study projects that already exists. With the simple yet noble gesture of planting a tree, students will not only feel involved in all stages, from development to implementation, but also want to learn more about the project and have a real impact on the environment. It is high time to give these kids the tools they need to thrive today and tomorrow.
Three tips for periods of effective homework
1. Decide upon an “acceptable” duration of study time for your child’s homework.
2. Establish a short and long-term reward system in exchange for academic performances and daily duties.
3. Plan a joint project with your child – something that you both can enjoy and complete at your own pace. Examples: tree plantation, toy collection for sick children etc.