Can we spend lesser time at school?
I was curious about
the number of years we spent at school, so I asked google “how many years do we……….. just before I finished my thought, Google brought up options – trust Google… lol.
The first on the list of options, as you can see is “school”. ‘In high school’ came 4th and ‘in college’ came 6th. However, you look at it. Many people are asking this question. And I’m one of them. Note that it was at the point of writing this article that I asked Google this question for the first time, so the search suggestion is completely based on Google algorithm.
I will make the following cases to argue why I think it is possible to reduce the number of years we spend at school.
Why should we reduce the school years?
Before highlighting the cases, I think it will be insightful to discuss why it is important to reduce the amount of time we spend schooling.
On average, a child will spend 18 years of schooling –
· KG – 2 years
· Primary – 6 years
· Secondary – 6 years
· gher institution – 4 years (or more)
That is equal to the number of years to become an adult.
While school is very important and everyone that can, should go to school, I think it is high time we reviewed the number of years we spend here.
Schools as it now lacks the capacity to produce independent thinkers, risk-takers, and real-time problem solvers. Therefore, students need more time to –
Learn valuable skills
Explore and take risks during their prime age
Find and develop their passion
As I was preparing for this article, I asked a group of teachers if the number of time we spend at school should be reduced. About 90% of them said yes.
During the just concluded ASUU strike in Nigeria, ASUU’s counsel and a human right lawyer, Femi Falana SAN argue on several TV stations that ASUU will make up for the missed classes and ensure students never miss the year. He made this case to justify why the government should pay the backlog salary that they didn’t pay ASSU during the period of the strike. Mr. Falana said it will be a ‘crash course’.
We are not sure if ASUU will do this and how they will go about it, but we are sure they are contemplating it to make a case for them to be paid.
Let’s look at it…
8 months of missed classes will be fused into three months with exams, assessments, and voilà, the result is out.
Why can’t we just keep doing this’ crash course’ strategy so we can spend two years at school instead of the ‘miserable’ 4 years plus?
If it’s possible because of the strike, it should be possible after. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. ASUU is brilliant in this crash course idea, we hope they will extend the brilliance to save our school time.
During the lockdown, some nations reviewed their curriculum to allow students to come to school for only 4 periods at 30 min per period daily instead of the normal 8 periods of 40 min each. And we made it. We covered the reviewed curriculum, conducted exams and students moved on.
Upon knowing this, I had a discussion with my friend and I argued that if some learning objectives can be removed to allow for fewer hours at school, we can argue that those objectives were redundant in the first place if not outright useless.
Can we make this review of the curriculum so that students can spend just 3 years in secondary school instead of the current 6 years?
As a director of learning at Edtrack (Edtrack is an online school that provides live online classes – home lessons online as well as video lessons for students), I’m responsible for directing learning activities at the Edtech startup. One of our products is developing and distributing quality video lessons for primary and secondary school students. The videos will cover Mathematics, English, and Science curricula for the said classes.
During production, we discovered that with about 20 videos at an average of 20 minutes each, we can complete the whole of primary 1 videos for math, for example.
On a good day, students can watch these videos for an exaggerated duration of 3 weeks. That means, in 3 weeks, a child can actually complete the curriculum. If we add the duration of teacher’s support that may be required to explain gray areas and assess learning, we can estimate 3 months to complete the entire 1-year curriculum. That means, on average, a child can complete Pri 1 to 3 math in one year. The question is, why 3 years?
All of the aforementioned cases allude to the fact that we are spending too much time at school.
Can we leverage tech to reduce the school year to half of its current time?
In one of my previous articles titled 1 years bachelors degree, I argued that we will soon have on-campus degrees for one year instead of the current 2. This is because technology is transforming the way we learn, allowing for more flexibility and reducing the time to consume and comprehend contents.
In conclusion, I believe reducing school time will block out more opportunities for the younger generation to have more thinking, risk-taking, and exploration time to solve the world’s biggest problems.