Would You Listen to This Poet?

Education is very important to society. We spend roughly two decades in school before we are deemed ready to forge our career path. We undergo so many different tests and subjects that would prepare us for our future. However, when we actually start working, we would find that we have learned some essential things to be sure but there is so much more that we need to learn.

At this point, you may wonder about all the things that you learned in the past couple of years. Did you just waste all those years poring over books and notes that wouldn’t be used at all? What about all the A’s that you got in several subjects? These questions are rarely raised in public. But one man did bring it up. Would you listen to this poet?

Suli Breaks is a London based poet who graduated with a law degree from the University of Sheffield. For someone who spent several years in school, you can hardly believe that he would be able to find his voice and say something about the educational system.

It’s not that he thinks that education is unimportant per se. What he is targeting is the educational system. Are all the tests necessary? Are grading marks the basis for hiring workers? Do people even remember half of the questions and answers they have encountered in their years of schooling?

Without a doubt, education is very important. If the system is improved further and the lessons taught and tests given are more relevant, it can benefit society more. However, before it can be improved, there are several sad realities about the educational system that Breaks points out.

Tests do not define people’s success or failure in the future

A lot of students would feel discouraged whenever they get a poor mark. Breaks points out that tests do not really define anyone’s success or failure in the future. However, it gets students down and some might take it all too seriously.

Tests do not even come close to measuring if you will make it big in the future or not. It merely just gauges if you have been studying the lesson very thoroughly or if you are an expert crammer. While tests are fine to be able to gauge if the students are following the lessons, they aren’t well designed enough to accurately rate or rank the students. So it should either be that the tests for rating would be re-evaluated or the ranking system would be modified.

Grades and marks do not have any bearing in forging a career path

Breaks mentions that getting A’s in several tests and subjects doesn’t really help land you the job. However, while you were still in school, you would have believed that without good marks, you wouldn’t be able to get the job you want.

Even if you memorize all the pertinent data and get good marks, you may have less idea about the practical application of the lessons you learned than your other peers. When you take on a job, it doesn’t just mean knowing all the theory and perfecting it. Work is usually about how you harness your learning and be able to put it to good use.

If marks are able to reflect who really has the most practical and useful grasp on the actual lessons, then it would make more sense and would now actually have a bearing on the success of your career.

Grading systems do not reflect what is actually learned

In one of Breaks’ lines, he mentions that you may remember something five minutes after your actual test. It doesn’t mean that because you remembered an answer five minutes too late that you wouldn’t be able to get the job because you lack the knowledge. You do know the answer; you just weren’t able to answer within the time frame of the exam.

You may have missed the highest mark several times because you tend to remember things too late. It has happened to everyone at some point in their lives. The lag doesn’t imply your lack of knowledge. The grading system simply reflects what you can remember in a short span of time.

Somehow, Breaks highlights the sad realities of our educational system. If it can be improved and modified, the quality of learning would be much deeper and better. The underlying reality though is this: would anyone listen to this poet? Or will his words just slide through and remain to be wistful musings of a dream that could be?

Image sourced: Suli Breaks