Students or System?

In the course of the years many things have been changing in our society: lifestyles, technologies, means of transport, etc., everything in order to satisfy our needs and the demands of new generations.

However, education systems have not changed, so we keep working with a system that involves a deliberate and systematic intention that is embodied in an official curriculum, applied with a defined timetable and schedule. This teaching system places students as a passive and observant object, without giving rise to the development of their abilities. This system has left aside the fact that each subject is unique and independent and that we all have different abilities and capacities. We have been educated in a system designed to compete and be labeled and qualified with an authoritarian pedagogical relationship.

According to the perspective of the youth workers in Borgo Vecchio school, it has been difficult to implement alternative teaching methodologies in a school that continues to apply formal methodologies. The teaching methodologies keep being verbalistic, memoristic and individual differences are not addressed.

The children attend school in the morning and during the afternoon the youth workers help them with their school work, which is often excessive and repetitive. Youth workers also mention that children can not receive the help of their parents because in many cases they also did not finish school and don’t have enough tools to help them.

Youth workers have also become a support for parents who constantly express their discomfort and concern about repetitive education and over-assigned tasks.

After completing the tasks, there are recreational activities with the children, they show greater interest and enthusiasm doing these activities, especially the funny and educational ones. This attitude demonstrates that nowadays children are active people who have the ability to learn quickly and easily but with interactive methods based on the communication flow among the educator, the student, the teaching material and the environment. In this way learning is a constructive and not repetitive process.

And that is when the following questions occur to me: Is approving equal to learning? Is the education system interested in learning or are they only seeking to meet standardized qualification standards?

Children are looking for ways to pass subjects in a formal education system, but do they actually learn? How can formal education be combined with informal education?

Volunteers in Borgo Vecchio are forced to apply formal education methods to help children because they must respond to a formal education system every morning. But at the same time, they work to consolidate the relationship between them and their parents, to keep them motivated in terms of learning, to provide them with school support but also to respond their emotionally needs of affection and attention.

During this week I was able to work with the children, help them with their tasks, know them better, I could observe their behavior and the work done with them.

Then my perception is that the students haven’t learning difficulties, but they have been forced to learn in a system that neither responds to their needs and concerns nor develops their entrepreneurial spirit, their imagination or helps them find their passions.