Re-evaluate ‘general’ education


Brian Donovan (The Inquirer)

Brian Donovan

Have you ever asked yourself if General Education actually helps develop your interests, or just gets in the way?

Astromony major Paulo Mandile claimed that he got interested in his major at an early age and thinks that “GE is a bunch of classes to fill in a bureaucratic requirement, nothing more.”

Aiden Herrick, undeclared,  said, “Why should I spend extra money on classes I don’t care about?”

Not all students see General Education as an obstacle.

“General Ed expands my view to other corners the world,” said art major Mingjie Zhang. “I want my art to reflect the whole world not just the art world.”

It is interesting to note how many American students make it all the way to college before they figure out what to major in.

In China for example, middle school students take an exam to determine whether they continue to high school or go to a trade school to develop blue collar skills.

Also, South Korea and the United Kingdom also have similar systems where their futures are determined at an earlier age.

Instead of being forced to choose a profession at an early age, students should be encouraged to develop their majors and talents.

What if we made high school more like a college environment where students with their parents decide which classes to take?

Rather than having a small menu of skills that No Child Left Behind focuses on, schools should have a broad range such as English, science, life management, college prep, critical thinking and applicable math, along with courses which developed or help discover the student’s unique talents.

Leaving that responsibility to the state has resulted in the failure of the K-12 system.

With students being allowed to think more independently and develop their interests earlier, there would be less of a need to require IGETC for every college student.