Cliff Buchler
2 minute read
2 May 2018
8:55 am

Our schools are churning out square pegs for round holes

Cliff Buchler

I know of bankers, even lawyers and varsity professors, who hate their jobs and would’ve preferred working with their hands.

File image.

The flaw in our education system is there’s no education in the system. Even the essential basics of reading, writing and ’rithmetic have been tarnished with slipshod teaching methods, leaving our kids semiliterate.

Thing is, too many teachers aren’t equipped to teach. Colleges are closed down. Another failure in the system.

Over and above that, what is the biggest problem facing our pupils (sorry, learners)? After matric, they’ve no idea on which career to embark. They flounder around in the dark and like the blindfold game of pin the tail on the donkey, they miss the path to suit their make-up.

The astronomical number of first-year varsity students who fall by the wayside tells the story.

Back in my high school days, the curriculum included a subject called vocational guidance.

A period was set aside each week during which different careers were highlighted. Only problem, it was left to a teacher who read from books. So, no opportunity for relevant questions from those interested in a particular job or profession.

And our teacher, Miss Porky Choppes, in an unmodulated voice, stuttered through boring text. Instead of taking in the subject matter, we waited for every stutter, giving it the giggling treatment.

But the idea was sound. The subject, that is.

And it should be revived – but with one difference.

Qualified people must be brought in to share their experiences hands-on in the classroom. Like an engineer. Or electrician. Or plumber. Or accountant. Or orthodontist.

And they must bring with them the trappings of the job to illustrate what the work entails.

A double period should be allotted for these sessions, allowing for proper discussions and questions.

Today, too much emphasis is placed on university education.

A perception has been created at school that trades are menial and only for the dumb.

Wrong. Look what woodwork did for Julius. Okay, so that’s an exception.

I know of bankers, even lawyers and varsity professors, who hate their jobs and would’ve preferred working with their hands.

Vocational guidance is real education in action.

And please, reopen the teaching colleges.

Cliff Buchler

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