Lakshan Perera

Ban Schools & Education!

It's very sad and alarming to hear the recent incidents taking place at Sri Lankan schools. Government shows they are so concerned about these issues by banning everything they believe that can harm our next generation :) Mobile phones at all schools are banned, Web Sites with explicit content are banned, screening of "Adults only" movies are banned. Ok, now government could say they have taken all necessary steps to groom our next generation to be well disciplined citizens, and future our country is guaranteed to be prosperous.

However, government and its so-called advisers will never realize the root causes of all these problems. Their short sighted decisions and floating policies from the past, have aggravated these problems to this level and none of their decisions would help to change the situation in the long run.

I believe Sri Lankan education system is screwed in big time! Kids are thrown in to a rat race from the kingdergarden, when they don't even have a slight clue on where they are heading. Not to mention, even after going through all the steps of primary, secondary and tertiary education, more than 80% of them still don't have an idea why they ran all these years. It leaves a big question whether do we have to run at all?

Aside from the spoon-fed knowledge only selfishness, insensitivity, jealousy and hunchback (after carrying a school bag of 4KGs) are the only gains of this current education system. Why Sri Lankan education system failed so miserably in building citizens with self-confidence that they are someone who is adding value to the society? Why can't someone be a janitor, carpenter, factory worker, farmer, dancer, sportsman or a doctor and still feel they are all equal in the society?

This false social grading starts from the primary school admissions. It's only the kids of the rich and so called elites will be admitted to the popular schools. No matter how closer you live to the school, your child would not be admitted if you cannot afford to give a hefty donations to school's development fund or if you don't have enough civil power and political influence. From year 1 these kids starts associating only with a certain social layer and will never understand their is another way of life lower or higher than them. They will measure the quality of their lives relative to these layers. Basically, layer above them are the most superior, powerful and layer below them are the inferior, wretched. They will never understand all these social layers has their own mix of good and bad.

Next biggest mistake is the mis-interpretation of aesthetics and extra-curricular activities in schools. You are not allowed to sing or a dance, unless you want to take part in Derana Little Star. If you are not a play cricket, if you cannot select for college XI. Talking about myself, I had no skill on any sport or aesthetics. Still, I went to football practices, bloody well knowing that I will never be selected for the college team. I participated in drama, dancing and singing practices for cultural day in every year, though I only got the chance to be on stage handful of times. Later I learnt it wasn't my talent. But looking back today, the experience and lessons learnt through those activities are impossible to gain by just sitting in a classroom. The negligence of extra curricular activities in schools is also a main cause of the unfortunate incidents we hear today. I know some schools cancelling Sports Meets, Cultural Days to finish the syllabuses on time. Can we call such places as schools?

There are more stuff running through my mind, but I will stop this rant at here. What I want to stress is whether you are a govt. official, principal, teacher, parent, got a sibling or even a total outsider - please pay your attention to the root causes and be aware of what's really happening at schools. I'm sure none of you would want to hear more unfortunate incidents.