Title: What’s Wrong With School? (Answer: Everything)
Author: James Hutchings
Source: Retrieved on January 1, 2005 from www.cat.org.au

Have you ever sat in class, falling asleep with boredom, and wondered what the lesson had to do with anything? Are you really going to end up in the gutter because you don’t know the sixteenth element in the periodic table? This is the first thing that’s wrong with school. You don’t get to decide what’s important to you and what isn’t. Everyone has to learn the same things at the same time. But everyone’s different — everyone wants to do different things, some people learn things at a different speed and in a different way. No matter: what you want to learn isn’t important. It’s what they decide is good for you. And if you don’t fit their pattern, or if they just decide to pick on you, too bad for you.

Everyone’s supposed to have the same chance to get an education. But money talks. Some people can afford to send their kids to private schools. Kids from ordinary families are supposed to put up with worse education, and yet compete with people who’ve gone to the best schools. People who’ve had private tutors. People who have more privacy to study. People who don’t have to get a part time job because their parents give them all the money they want. If your parents aren’t rich, it doesn’t really matter how smart you are — you’ll miss out while other people get all the chances.

So, school is bad because you’re told what to do, it’s run by people who don’t really care about you or treat you equally, and what you get is based on how much money you have. It’s no wonder a lot of people can’t wait to leave school. But, is it any better out of school? Politicians don’t care about people any more than teachers do (probably less). The police will pick on people a lot worse than teachers (teachers don’t usually bash people). And, you get what you pay for, not what you deserve. So it isn’t just that school has to be changed. If you don’t like what you’re given at school, you won’t like what you’re given outside of school. And if that’s true, you should help us fight for something better.