There is much work to do to improve schools across the globe, says Geetha Kanniah, 17, a Correspondent from Malaysia, who describes attributes that she would like to see as common standards for all schools.
My dream school is first of all a school where life begins with the teacher who is full of passion and liveliness. The teacher not only grabs the students’ attention but keeps them on the edge of their seats wanting to know more. His or her enthusiasm ignites that spark of excitement that opens receiving minds to wider fields of knowledge. Such a teacher asks more questions from the students, explores with the students and is a friend to them.
My dream school is a school where teaching methods vary from the use of contemporary technologies like robotics to out-of-class experiences. Those experiences are important because they do not confine students to the four walls of a classroom.
There would also be integrated learning of subjects both in the Arts and Sciences so that the education received would not be about confining but expanding. Given choices, students get a sense of freedom, can express opinions and will be more sociable. All these make them better persons in society, possessing a wide range of skills.
My dream school would be complete with amazing facilities like classroom labs, pools, and gyms. A library and counselling centre would be at hand to enable students to be more familiar with their subjects and themselves. Studying in a hands-on environment allows students to use their five senses to gain knowledge. It moulds them to be excited about their abilities and excel with them. Also at hand would be a canteen stocked with healthy food. A balanced diet is vital for students who spend many hours in school. Clean, non-processed, nutritious food is a key feeding requirement for students.
Foreign exchange programs in my dream school would create understanding and respect. They would satisfy curiosities and instil intercultural awareness. They would be open to all students, rich and poor. Including students from all parts of the world would make this education truly global.
Sports would be given equal emphasis with academics. After all, education is not only for the mind but for the whole self – mentally and physically. Sporting activities instil a healthy lifestyle by encouraging students to be physically fit, emotionally strong, and have good self-esteem. They build team spirit, and at the same time encourage individuality. Through sports, people from different backgrounds meet and learn to respect each other.
Academic subjects must be relevant. The syllabus would include significant impact fields like environmental studies, political views, and economic struggles. It would grab the attention of students and lead them to action.
Improving schools would require international collaboration. Such cooperation would encourage dialogue and lead to common standards. Nelson Mandela once said, “Education is the great engine of development. It is through education that the daughter of a peasant can become a doctor, that the son of a mineworker can become the head of the mine, that the child of farm workers can become the president of a great nation”.
Education can bring a change in someone’s future as Mr. Mandela observed. The struggle to keep fulfilling that observation must be made by us. Students need to be inspired, amazed and be aware of endless opportunities.
While school is the best thing that ever happened to mankind, there is still yet more to do.
Photo credit: scottwills via photopincc
I am a Malaysian, who looks for adventure and thrill, and is passionate about sports. I enjoy tennis, swimming, badminton and most recently, longboarding. I also spend a lot of my time with my camera, capturing as much as I can, while documenting them on my blog: journeywithacamera.wordpress.com.
My travels give me the exposure to learn about the world. And to know and do more, I volunteer with different organizations, particularly in the marine field. My ambition is to be an explorer and to reach out to people.
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth Youth Programme. Articles are published in a spirit of dialogue, respect and understanding. If you disagree, why not submit a response?
To learn more about becoming a Commonwealth Correspondent please visit: http://www.yourcommonwealth.org/submit-articles/commonwealthcorrespondents/
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Hope, I find, is something we rely on too much. We use our hope for better as a scapegoat for our current mistakes or situations. All our lives, people ask us how we hope to see ourselves or our world in five, ten, fifteen years from now. Honestly, though, can we really answer that question? We have no idea what the world will be like in any given amount of time; we don't even know if we'll be alive at that given time. Even if I don't wind up being alive in the next five, ten, fifteen years, there are many things that I hope for the entire world of the future.
. One thing I would like for future Earth is peace. Though many have pointed out that complete world peace is impossible, that there will always be a war, I have a different definition of peace. I like to picture the world as a group or a team, where everyone works together to reach the same goal. Each person on the team might have their differences that they may ignore, and sometimes teammates fight with each other. Minus their differences, they all join together to work towards their goal. This is my vision of a peaceful world. We know that there are some countries that want to blow up other ones; they don't get along. I think that every person from every country being best friends is unrealistic, but I do think that we can all band together to work towards our main goal: staying alive. Because in the end, isn't that what we're all trying to do? War is inevitable in some cases but sometimes a simple conversation can change everything. I can't deny that this won't be easy, but this is something I would hope someone, whether in 50 or 500 years, gets to be a part of: a friendly world.
Another thing that I hope for the future is that the people are more conscious and responsible. I find that people in our society take advantage of things that are actually extraordinary. As I'm writing this, I'm walking up the stairs of a fifteen level cruise boat. I hear people complaining all around me: the food is cold, the rooms are small, the list goes on. Can they not comprehend the greatness of this? We are on a boat, in the middle of the ocean, traveling to an island for pleasure! Hundreds of years ago, we traveled by boat to find new land or to make a living. We as people have come so far, and some people today are just completely oblivious to greatness. I would hope that people of our future would recognize how far we've come and that sometimes the amazing things in life should just be enjoyed rather than criticized. The second part of this is that I hope the people of the future will be more responsible about how they act. I've already pointed out that we have amazing things, including a planet. Ours is the only known planet that can sustain life, so it drives me crazy to see someone throw garbage out the car window or watch factories emit tons of harmful gases in a day. My next hope is that the people of the future will realize that we've all been given a gift and we should stop destroying it before it's too late. I know there's controversy about whether global warming exists or not, and even if it doesn't, we can all agree our world has gotten worse in the past years. I hope that future Earth will try to help our planet instead of hurt it.
The last thing I hope for the people of the future is that they keep religion. Whether the whole world is Jewish or if it's the same amount it is now, I don't care. Every other hope I have for the future comes from something I've learned in our religious studies. I think that religion is extremely important for people of all ages; it gives us a set of morals, rules to live by, and a community to be a part of. Religion in general is decreasing in family life for an endless list of reasons. So my last hope for the world is that being religious will continue to thrive.
In the end, my hopes for the world are simple. I think that most of them can be accomplished if people stop and think about the points I've made, and also think we each need to look at the point of view of someone else. I hope at least one of these things can be achieved, so the future of the Earth can be a little bit better.