For every child who enjoys, learns and benefits from education, there are three to four others, on an average, who just manage, or struggle, or suffer, or drop out of the education, across the globe. This, in summary, is the current state of education. This paper is written for the consideration of everyone who is acutely aware of this problem and actively seeking a solution for it.
Governments, non-profit organizations, international bodies, research bodies, educational consultancy houses, eduction reformers, etc. have been trying to address this problem by doing everything they can, such as additional training for teachers, special coaching and tutoring for children, counseling for children and parents, utilization of e-learning tools, and various kinds of carrot and stick methods with children, parents, teachers, schools and school systems. But the problem remains stubborn and persists obstinately, even after many decades of such efforts. Not knowing what better can be done, people at the helm of affairs are resorting to putting pressure on everyone in the system to ‘perform’. Under that heavy pressure to perform, everyone, from children to teachers to schools to school systems to governments are pushed to lie, cheat and game the system, covertly and overtly. Education which is supposed to teach ethics, is now pushing everyone to compromise them.
The root cause for this state of affairs lies in the very nature of the current ‘fixed syllabus’ model of education. Children are diverse and the interests and potential varies from child to child. Humans are not copies of each other. They are born to be interested in different things, to do different things, and to shine in different things. And hence, any given fixed-syllabus model can only be a complete match for some children, but not all. For a good majority of the children, it is a partial match at the best and a complete mismatch at the worst. As a result, most of the children essentially end up wasting a good part of their precious formative years coping with something they cannot relate to or learn, or excel in, or remember, or use. Parents push them through the education system because the degrees and diplomas and ranks are required and valued by the job market. But then, employers are unhappy that the degrees and diplomas are hollow and no more a guarantee of mastery over a skill or knowledge.
In the bygone eras, we used to pass i.e. ‘filter in’, only the small percentage of children for whom the ‘fixed syllabus’ happened to be a near complete match, and fail, i.e. ‘filter out’, a majority of the children for whom it is not. Thus the educated happened to be a ‘filtered-in’ individuals, who loved and excelled in what was offered. But now, we do not accept this ‘filter-out’ approach as an option anymore, for a good reason. We want to educate every child. There are only two ways to do it: 1) Continue with the fixed-syllabus model and with plenty of hollow degrees and diplomas, and remain mute spectators of the drop-outs, or 2) switch to a better ‘Follow the Love’ model, which helps the children discover and pursue their innate love, i.e., what they have flair for, what they have aptitude for, and in which they would shine, so that there are no more hollow degrees or drop-outs.
Nature creates engineers and education creates engineering graduates. Nature creates teachers and education creates graduates in educations. Nature creates leaders and education creates MBA graduates. Nature creates philosophers and education creates philosophy graduates. And so on. The difference between the two cannot be oversated. Engineering graduates who are not engineers at heart, teachers who are not teachers at heart, doctors who are not doctors at heart, etc., cannot have a happy and fulfilling career and life. A society, whose members do not love what they do, cannot flourish. Such a society will only end up producing mediocre products, services, and systems that under-serve and frustrate its members. And hence, we have to help every child discover who one truly is at heart, and grow, excel and live true to one’s own self, in professional as well as personal life. We do not have a choice but to adopt a ‘Follow the Love’ model of education, not just for the benefit of the individual children, but to help the entire society become better.
In this paper (available as LearneosModel.pdf), we examine the ‘fixed syllabus’ model thoroughly and describe the many issues with it in detail, and then present a new ‘Follow The Love’ model called Learneos, with all its conceptual, structural and implementation details. We illustrate how this new model, by design, is free from many of the issues, problems and constraints of the current model, how it makes the lives of all the stakeholders of education, from children to parents to teachers to administrators to educators to reformers to governments to the public educational institutions to the private educational institutions to the educational services industry to the employers better, how it fulfills many items that have been languishing on their wish lists for a long time, how it re-frames everything concerning education, from primary education to higher education to professional education, how it delivers quality education to children from every socio-cultural-economic context, and how it redefines the relationship between education system and employers in particular and economy and society in general.