It wasn’t that long ago when I myself was a student going from Iskandharu to Kalaafaanu to Aminiya and then finally CHSE. It was during those times that a lot of teachers from Sri Lanka worked in our schools and I am sure that most of the students owe a huge vote of thanks for those teachers who spent most of the year away from their family and loved ones in a foreign country trying their hardest to prepare a generation of Maldivians who would be able to take our country forward in its journey towards progress. It was a time when trained Maldivian teachers were few and far in between, and those that did graduate from various institutions as teachers were of better quality.
For reasons that remain unknown, which some say have something to do with the huge amounts of money that personnel dealing with the recruitment of foreign teachers can make on the side, teachers from Sri Lanka became a thing of the past and lo and behold their arrived the Indian teachers, most of them whom I have to say scores zilch in the quality of education that they can offer. I don’t mean to demean the work that these teachers carry out in our country, but apart from a very selective few most of these teachers have a much worse grasp of the English language than most of the students. No laughing matter I assure you. I still remember what our class had to go through when our Chemistry teacher left the country when I was doing my A’Levels during our final year. After days of no classes, they brought in an Indian teacher who was really clueless on how to deal with a bunch of students who would walk all over anyone if half the chance is given. And the most depressing factor was that no one could really understand the lessons that she was trying to convey to us, which led to Chemistry periods being a time where anyone could do as they pleased whilst she went on teaching to the white board. Students started complaining and at last the Ministry of Education decided to send her off to some island to teach secondary level students, which appalled me to no end when I realized that the unfortunate students in that school would have a very weak foundation of the subject, which in the end would cause a lot of distress to the students.
And how about the crop of teachers that are educated by our very own Faculty of Education? I mean them no disrespect but I have my share of nephews and nieces who need help in various subjects and I have seen the level to which our education system has fallen. Students do not really require a brain these days, they just pretty much have to learn by heart the series of passages and lessons that are outlined before the start of every semester or term exam. How will young minds ever learn the benefit of thinking, pondering and arriving at their own conclusions about various subject matter if the need never arises for them to put their brains to good use? Even a mathematics exam, which is supposed to make one do the dreaded task of thinking and analyzing is not as it should be. I have a friend who is a Mathematics teacher in one of the primary schools in Male’ and according to her students are so set in their ways that a mathematical equation or question that requires them to think out of the box causes unimaginable horrors even to fellow Mathematics teachers. I remember when I was such a student myself and feeling the joy of coming up with the answer of a ‘difficult’ question, i.e. something that the teacher had not spoon fed related to the subject matter at hand.
Furthermore, these students passing their GCE O’Level exams, barely scraping by are the ones who mostly choose to become teachers because teaching is the only profession that would enable them to earn a relatively good salary whilst working in their home island. How a teacher who herself has problems solving a simple simultaneous equation pass on that knowledge to her fellow students is just beyond me! I cringe at the thought of the quality of the educated professionals who would come to be in positions of power in our country in the near future. If the personnel responsible for hiring foreign teachers weren’t so money hungry in the first place, our students would have been getting the quality of education that they rightfully deserve rather than what we are left with today.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology has detailed specification for a $100 laptop which is going to be the “source” of open source education for poor countries. It is considered to be an education project rather than a laptop project.
The proposed design would consist of a 500 MHz processor, 1 GB RAM, an innovational dual-mode display that can be used in full-color mode.The system would be powered by conventional current, batteries or by a windup attached to the side of the notebooks.
Linux would be the Operating System used in the system together with some applications that would be developed by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) researchers.
Connectivity issues regarding the laptop is going to be solved by Wi-Fi and cell phone enabled and the laptop will also include 4 USB ports.
If this highly ambitious venture of MIT becomes true, there is going to be a huge shift on the way computer systems are perceived by the general public.
Education is the foundation of our lives today and it is important nowadays at least to have a Bachelors Degree in some field for one to survive in the highly advanced and fast paced world we live in today.
What really pisses me off are educational institutions which compromises quality of what they are offering for money. I know that not each and everyone of us have the means to go over to UK and USA to have a higher education. But “cheap” education doesn’t mean what you learn or what you get from that institution should be valued at 0 dollars.
Being a victim of such an institution in Malaysia, I find it highly revolting that they produce an image which says that the quality is the main priority for them when it comes to education. But what really happens is there is no difference between the students who really try and work hard to reach their goals and those who wile away their time by copying from the hard working students. There is no difference applied when grading assignments and projects that have been done from scratch by a couple of handful of students whereas the majority just copy and paste from the Internet and pass up the required assignments and projects just because they have to do it so that the institution does not alert their parents.
Lecturers who come in is another story. They are fresh graduates who have little or no experience on what they are doing and what they should be doing. Even guidelines that a lecturer should know about the policies of the institution have to be told by students sometimes. Pathetic huh? They are just in it for the money only and do not really care about the students who would have to suffer. They make up for the lack of their expertise by providing an abundance of “tips” for the final exams which includes sometimes even the whole paper in terms of their notes.
Whilst the period of studying for the Bachelors Degree should be a period where the student takes up the skills of doing research and learning to cope with subjects on his or her own, this institution promotes the spoon feeding technology and expects the students to get the greatest results and pass up individual and high-tech projects in their final year when the moderating university from UK takes interest in the students performance. This has been my experience during the three years of studying for my degree.
There are situations far worse than mine. I know of friends and relatives who in India have come under worse circumstances where their educational institutions are just places where you go and pay loads of money for nothing. You go for classes which aren’t attended by any lecturer, or else the class is taught in a different language other than English etc. Such problems affect the student who has high hopes when he or she joins that institution in terms of the education and services that they would receive. Even if top notch services and quality of education provided by institutions in rich countries such as the UK and USA cannot be provided, I say that what is worthy of your money should be provided.
Education has become a money making business during the present day to the extent that quality is no longer the essence that drives this force. It is really sad to see that the quality is compromised for the quantity, in this case making humongous sums of money by enticing a large population of students for a smaller fee compared to higher quality institutions, and employing lecturers who have no idea what it is they are doing and making students suffer all the way through. People should really think about this because the future of our world depends on the children of today who get education from rotten institutions like ones I have encountered with.