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Education systems need to combine standardised and non-standardised tests

Aug 28,2021 - Last updated at Aug 28,2021

How does this educational attainment affect participation in the labour market? What are the social outcomes of education?

When job skills are being discussed, university education is what is being referred to. However, the skills needed to succeed have a heavy focus on behavioural skills that develop habitually over the years. 

With the huge technological development, increasing competition, and reduced barriers of entry to the workforce that came about through globalisation and virtual transformations, is the current education system producing youth able to take on the new demands of the workforce?

According to UNICEF, 100,000 young people in Jordan start to look for work every year. The World Bank states that youth unemployment is at an all-time high reaching 50 per cent. The ILO indicates that youth lack core employability skills that are acquired non-formally through on-the-job training and work experience”.

We must prepare students to succeed with the real world, as what is being done currently is not working.

In this day and age, formal methods of teaching need not be fragmented by major but focus on collective skills that can ensure success in multiple fields. Skills like empathy collaboration, flexibility, self-discipline adversity, negotiation, organisation, time management, public speaking and digital literacy.

The education system needs to shift mindsets that university degrees are not for everyone and certain jobs that do not require university degrees. Rather than making Tawjihi exams harder to limit certain majors from over flooding, create a culture that does not hire overqualified staff and place people with university degrees in jobs that do not need one. The mindset of university degrees as a means for success should be abolished.

The current educational system is purely test based, and causes high anxiety amongst students. Solely test-based systems encourage short term learning rather than developing a mindset of constant growth and self-development. Classrooms should encourage lifelong learning rather than test-based learning. And they need to be setup up to be collective and interactive, tests reduced and collaborative projects increased. Teachers need to facilitate group learning rather than lecturing catered to individual needs. 

Projects should have a self-learning aspect so students can learn to think outside the box and strive for answers like they would in the real world. Studies indicate that the percentage of high school students who resort to private lessons to increase their educational attainment in Jordan is estimated at about 53.5 per cent. Making tests extremely hard and allowing students to resort to being spoon-fed due to false fears that success equals high grades should be discarded.

Volunteer programmes with certain credit hours and apprenticeships and internships must be made a necessity in order to graduate and enter university. Schools can partner up with different entities to expose students to a wide range of work atmospheres in music, art and many others that can break the hierarchical mentality present towards certain jobs. 

The education systems need to combine standardised and non-standardised tests. Students can be graded in comparison to their peers in a measurable, formal way but also be graded individually with a grading system that focuses on finding students notable unique characteristics. Final results are therefore average of standardised and non-standardised tests. Acceptance into majors needs to look at both testing approaches and results be weighted depending on the necessity of each major for each approach. 

Creating this collaborative environment that teaches critical thinking and self-learning and research, community development and communication skills is what will increase the chances of success of students and create a more fulfilling learning experience that develops the independent, creative thinkers the workforce truly needs.

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