Education is instrumental in shaping the mental faculties of an individual. Through education, a society transmits knowledge and skills from one generation to the other. Educational institutions serve to properly guide students by teaching them a variety of skills that can be applied in their daily lives. Education plays a vital role in personality formation. It also raises the productivity and efficiency of individuals helping them to lead successful lives. Like any other sector, the education sector also has its share of problems with the majority of issues arising in state-sponsored public schools.
Among one of the major issues faced by schools is that of a standardized curriculum. In most countries the curriculum varies from region to region, with most private schools offering a wide range of subjects to cater to a particular section of society. Some schools provide a curriculum that is entirely based on religion, while others take a more contemporary stance. As the world enters the age of globalization, educational institutions also move on and introduce curriculums that do not focus so much on subjects like history, astronomy or geography any more, instead focusing on subjects related to IT. This has raised some serious questions from parents. Governments have also been blamed for influencing textbook publishers, to edit or remove certain content about subjects, such as Darwin’s Theory of Evolution.
Another issue faced by an increasing number of institutions is academic dishonesty or cheating. It can include plagiarism which is the reproduction of somebody’s work without permission, falsification of records, results or identity and bribery. Even academic staff are not immune from such practices, and the number of cases of professional misconduct has been on the rise. Schools with data stored on the internet are becoming a popular target for hackers, who charge hefty sums from students for providing exam papers. Many students admit to plagiarizing other people’s work due to time constraints and a large number of assignments or projects to complete in a short span of time.
Corporal punishment is also being raised as a serious issue for the education system today, and with recent stories about students being brutally beaten – in some cases, even killed – by their teachers under the pretext of being ‘disciplined’, corporal punishment has been outlawed in most countries, being replaced by counseling for students. However in some countries where the practice is still allowed, broken bones and bruises are nothing new to the parents. Another sensitive issue is that of educational inequality, and if one ventures out into the poor districts of a city, it becomes obvious how government funding has failed enormously; rickety old buildings with spray painted walls, bars on the windows, metal detectors and in extreme cases, even armed guards tell the story of a much deeper problem as compared to the modern and beautiful schools found in the richer areas of a city.
Another problem that needs to be addressed urgently is of children facing learning difficulties, such as Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder or Tourette’s syndrome. Such students need specially trained teachers on hand to help them in case they have a sudden attack. In addition, schools also need to focus on promoting more healthy activities as well as maintaining an environment which will protect students from any health hazards. All in all, while schools are facing an increasing number of problems today, highly trained and dedicated professionals in the education sector can guide schools back onto the right track and solve many of the problems.