We seek alternatives in healthcare, foods, reusable energy, and lifestyles, so doesn’t it also make sense to explore various forms of alternative education? It is high time we make the bold move from mass education to personalized education, where learning is individualized according to personal inclination or disposition.
We do not need education to be more uniform or controlled. What we need is greater diversity in learning to allow true talents to emerge from our big pool of young potential leaders of tomorrow who will be spearheading alternative lifestyles and careers that have yet to exist today. The signs are written on the wall – students are leaving public schools in droves, and if they can’t leave, they are rebelling the system through various forms of indiscipline and mental breakdowns. But we still cling on to the failing system like our lives depended on it. It is time we let go of a system that we are familiar with which is fraught with so many problems that we know not where to start fixing them.
We need to start from within the child – to learn to understand how the child learns – and proceed from there. We need to learn to listen attentively to what is said or not said, without prejudice or judgement. We need to watch what the child is trying to show us and to celebrate his or her achievements, no matter how small, with genuine joy and pride. We need to let go of our tendencies to make our kids live through our dreams, and have them suffer inconsequentially for it. We need to acknowledge the significant roles of parents as children’s first educators, and even recognize them as their true educators or complete educators, because learning is not limited to the schooling hours alone, but extends to the whole of the child’s life. We need to build communities that support one another, so that education becomes a shared responsibility of the community, instead of an expensive privilege exclusively reserved for the rich and super rich. Much as we refuse to acknowledge this, but that truth is, education is becoming more and more exclusive and the disparity between what the rich are getting and what the poor have to contend with is growing ever wider.
This is why it is absolutely imperative that we start to think about alternative education today for the much-needed salvation of our young and hopeful youths of tomorrow. And we need to start from the grassroots: you and I and our community of very concerned parents and educators!