Making the Grade: Today’s Education System is Killing Children

In his best-selling book, ‘Why ‘A’ Students Work for ‘C’ Students and ‘B’ Students Work for the Government‘, Robert Kiyosaki, expresses his belief that Grade A students who read well, memorize well and get high marks in exams are not necessarily destined to be the best creative thinkers, visionaries or entrepreneurs. Whereas, Grade C students, often grow up to be the creators of new ideas, businesses or innovative products. An education system focusing solely on academic attainment will not necessarily deliver the intended results.

A Different Type of Role Model

Bill Gates is one of the best example of this. Bill’s parents wanted him to finish school and go to college so that he could eventually become a lawyer. As a result, he enrolled at Harvard University to study, you guessed it, Law. However, he spent most of his time in the computer lab for computer programming instead of going to classes and eventually dropped out of Harvard. Now, he is one of the richest men in the world after creating the world’s largest software business – Microsoft. In his book, Kiyosaki urges parents not to be too obsessed with their children’s grades at school. This he says,is because good grades can only mean that children are capable of cramming everything into their head for exams. However exam results alone cannot totally define the outlook for a child’s career or the job opportunities that they can and will pursue. The problem is that in the wrong education system, they often do.

A Broken Education System

Nowadays, high school life and exams seems to have been twisted for the purpose of entering university – especially in Asia. Hong Kong, like other Asia nations has an education system where the pressure to perform during an intense schedule of examinations and obtain the all important benchmark results for university admission, is at worrying levels. According to the South China Morning Post, 22 students committed suicide since the start of the academic year. In their suicide notes, the students tend to repeatedly apologise to their parents for not being able to live up to academic expectations.

A Better Approach

I am lucky to have a parents that do not only see my true talents and abilities through my grades. They were hugely supportive in giving me the chance to study abroad to experience a different culture, education system and academic approach. Everyone should realise that the true value of the education system is all about exercising one’s mind. It’s far better to allow children to work through life’s challenges and hardships on their own rather than simply memorising facts or preparing the perfect exam answers.

Some recent government initiatives focused around entrepreneurship and innovation give cause for optimism. However, much more needs to be done. It would be a shame to force future generations to focus exclusively on grades and have the opportunity to experience life pass them by.

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