Sacrificing everything for your future, in terms of heavy pre-university education (not necessarily college), is it worth it?
Before coming to Canada, I used to live in Iran, where the education system works quite differently than it does here. In high school, students don’t get to choose their courses, the first year of high school is general and the courses are the same for everyone; and for the rest, students have 3 categories to choose from: Mathematics, Science and Social Sciences. Choosing each one, the student will be given a fixed time table for the next 3 years of high school. In fact, students in any of the categories study almost the same courses, except they will receive a thorough education in their subject of choice. But they all have to take courses such as Persian Grammar, Arabic, English, History, Geography, etc.
It doesn’t end here. Before entering university, all students have to participate in a country wide exam which consists of more than 200 multiple choice questions that have to be answered all in less than 4 hours. As you can guess, it’s almost impossible to have a good future without doing lots of study in that education system. Therefore, for us students, it’s not a choice of is it worth it or not; whether we do study that much and we might become successful, otherwise the chances are less than 1% (no exaggerating here). But, for parents all around the world that live in a country with much more open and easier education system, do you think it’s worth it for your child?
Well, let me make it easy, NO. It’s not worth it. Why? Here are the reasons. I experienced what it’s like to be in that type of education system, since I lived in Iran for more than 16 years. It was like never ending pain. I had to quit playing music, my karate class and stop enjoying my hobbies when I was only 12 years old. I know, that doesn’t sound like fun; and it’s not. When each day I had to wake up at 6 and go to school and study the hardest materials one can find, only in middle school and high school. To some extent, anyone would enjoy studying. I’m that type of person. In fact I love it. But when it gets to a point where a 12 year old child has to study about 4 hours everyday to pass his courses, I don’t think it’d be delicate anymore. The one and half year that I’ve been here in Canada, I hardly saw any senior high school student study more than 2 hours each day.
You might argue, well, not everyone has to go to university to make a living because there are lots of other opportunities outside. Um, you are partly right. In developed countries that’s almost true; one can easily find a job right after finishing high school or college; but it’s quite different in developing countries. In those countries, people with bachelors and masters can hardly find jobs. I think you can see where this is going, and you’re right: if that’s the case, there’s basically no chance what so ever that a high school graduate will be able to find work.
So, in those countries for most people in most subjects, university education is the only way to go, and I already discussed the barriers.
In conclusion, I hope you’ve gained at least some more information about education around the world and hopefully learned something new. If you are a parent, or a person in charge, try to consider students and their lives before making decisions about their education. They are only kids, let them have a good childhood, not one that’s ruined with the pressure of different courses and studies.
If this article made an influence, please re-share it with the hope of more people getting to know what life is like for any child or young person that’s forced to do lots of studies,without having any other choice to build their future. I’m looking forward to hear from any of you who spent time and read my article.