Let them in or they will go bad...

According to this article,
http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/education/3760187/Uni-rules-may-force-pupils-on-to-dole , apparently kids will become welfare bums if they don't get into University. That should be reason enough not to raise the bar on entrance exams. (Where is that sarcasm font when you need it?)

It's unbelievable to me that anyone would actually make such a statement, but that's the latest comment on raising the bar on University entrance exams. But, then it's a typical Kiwi attitude.

In case you didn't know, I am not exactly in love with the NZ school system. (Just click 'school system' in my label cloud on the left and you can find out for sure.) I can appreciate that today's society needs kids that know it's ok to say 'no' to different situations. And I laud the system for teaching children how to deal with their emotions and those of others.

But, the 'touchy feely' attitude has gotten NZ a culture of kids who decide that anybody who doesn't agree with them is 'bullying' them. It's an opinion, get over it.

And, it's also gotten kids who rationalize that if it 'makes me uncomfortable' I don't have to do it. Sure, that works when your mates want to you to drive the get-away car for a robbery or if you are being pressured into having sex before you are ready.  But just because you're too lazy to learn to spell or multiply doesn't mean you can rationalize it and choose not to bother!

What I see are complacent little space-holders who have no desire to do anything that is not absolutely required.

What happened to teaching kids to take pride in themselves by trying something they didn't think they could do and succeeding? What happened to challenging kids to go 'above and beyond'? Most importantly, what happened to telling kids they are wrong and need to correct themselves?

Isn't that the reason that they go to school?  After all, if they didn't need to have someone evaluate their performance, then why aren't they out working and supporting themselves instead of leeching off adults? Food is expensive, you know.

Oh, yes....it's because they are children. They do not have the capacity to make such decisions and that's why they have parents. And teachers. So, why is the NZ school system letting these children call the shots? Is society afraid of hurting their widdle feelings?

Why aren't the teachers circling misspelled words with BIG, RED circles, like the olden days when I was a student, and expecting them to spell it right next time instead of just adding a small note at the bottom that says, 'you need to work on your spelling' with a smiley face? Where is the 'F' (or should I say 'I'--we don't want to warp their personality)  because the student didn't bother to follow the rules or do half of the work?

I am all for raising the bar for university entrance exams. That means that the high schools will need to do a better job. And the primary schools will have to do better.  

If the kids have truly 'worked hard' (as in the article) and still can't get in, then DUH! they obviously haven't worked hard enough and someone needs to redirect their work.

This article makes me wonder what a University Degree is worth in NZ if the requirements are so low to begin with?


Tiffany in Topeka said...

Hear, hear!!

I am a teacher in the USA, and I totally agree with you. Your reasoning is right on the money! While it is important to teach children about abuse, peer pressure, etc. we should also be teaching them about ambition and excellence. We need to set the bar high.

Most children, not all but most, will strive to attain the goal their parents and teachers set for them - given that it is reasonably attainable. Are there those who won't do the work not matter how you motivate them? Yes, but they are FAR from the majority. I get very tired with schools and districts and systems that cater to the lowest common denominator!

You tell it!

chitra said...

An excellent post. I too have expressed my opinion in a post about the need to guide the present generation by the parents and schools. Both have a lackadaisical attitude and try to blame each other. I do not know where our society is heading to.

southseaislandhome said...

Just had to say 'Hear, Hear'! as well. That's why I homeschool my kiwikids, and it's why I use an American curriculum. :o)

Leanne said...

Rachel lol - One of the reasons we home schooled. DD was a head at school but had to re read all the easy books.
We have used usa curriculum & singapore maths

Now kids teens I am using NZ curr so they can get their NCEA - I keep saying to the kids - This will not educate you - but get you your NCEA.

Ann, Chen Jie Xue 陈洁雪 said...

I grew up in Borneo where the system is reds and crosses.

But as a teacher in New Zealand, i am told we mustn't discourage the kids. So instead, we tick the correct letters of the word, and tell them good job, Ka pai, and paki paki and high 5.

What can you do?

Kate said...

Yes Ann. That is why I taught for only two years after I trained as a teacher (2000).
And why I homeschooled my three children..
And why I am amazed at the low standard required for a pass in my present study: di.p fin. arts...

I am 54. When I began my first degree in 1974 only 7% of New Zealanders began year one university. (many did not finish of course.)
In 2010 30% begin university. Are there that many more capable of university standard learning? I don't think so!

merinz said...

I am inclined to agree with many of your comments. And many teachers will agree as well. But they are bound by the curriculum and the expectations of the time.

My son, who was very very bright, thought that he was failing at school because he was not good at sport. There is a huge emphasis on sport - which is all very well but academic subjects must take their place as well.

(He did go on to med school at Uni and is now a consultant doctor - dealing with many sporting injuries!)