Problems With the Education System

Problems With the Education System

It’s no secret that the way we are taught directly influences our absorption of the material and content.

Two people using two different techniques can explain the same concept to you and your understanding and application of that same concept will ultimately differ based on how it was explained to you. 

Why? Because there are a number of methods that one can use to explain something. Aspects such as how engaging, simplistic, and concise, all influence how one connects and digest the information provided. 

So, when it comes to problems with the education system, it is crucial that teachers select and correctly exercise strategies that earn the attention of students and encourage their understanding.

Unfortunately, this isn’t the case as a handful of teachers in today’s system ineffectively spew tons of complicated, mechanical, and repetitive information at students and call it teaching.

This leaves us students attempting to single-handedly grasp the material being taught while surrounded by a pool full of tears.

Sound familiar? Well, that’s because there are plenty of problems with our current education system that need to be tackled in order to actually provide, teach, and encourage student learning.

And as a student myself, I know what needs to be fixed.

Here is what I think about why the education system needs to be changed!

The Outdated Curriculum 

The first and most obvious contributor to these problems is the curriculum itself. It’s the actual material and content that students are taught and expected to know.

Ever taken a look at the year your textbooks were published?

I guarantee that some of them will be 5… or maybe even 10 years old. As you’ll learn later in this article, the world is developing quickly and at an increasing pace.

Modern day advancements in technology and changing consumer preferences mean that new jobs are created, while others are eliminated. So why is the education system using these outdated textbooks to teach students?

Well, the answer would be due to the financial burden it has. Think about how much research, time, and effort goes into publishing a textbook.

It becomes extremely expensive for schools to have to always purchase the newest textbooks, and for the authors to actually find the information to write them. 

Next, let’s talk about learning styles. 

Stop what you’re doing and ask, “What type of learner am I?”

Maybe you learn best with visual aids, hands-on, or by writing out concepts a million times. Now ask someone else the same question – chances are that their answer will be different, yet, both of you are taught concepts in the same manner.

Problems With the Education System

How is this fair to the individual who learns best in a different way? (rhetorical question, because it’s not) So, teaching needs to be diversified to suit all learners! 

Moreover, the school curriculum should also focus on the future of society and redefining the curriculum to keep up with the evolution of skills.

There is an ongoing shift in the workforce taking place as subjects such as computer science, robotics, and engineering are growing. Yet, despite this, the education system remains fixed. 

Why are these subjects being limited to after school clubs and activities? These courses should be accessible to students as much as other subjects such as English and math are because they are just as significant.

We must remember that the traditional courses that have been offered in school are not the only courses that are crucial and beneficial.

Embracing a variety of subjects that are up and coming will make students more adept and keep the education system versatile instead of restrictive. 

After all, every student should have the opportunity to learn and expand their knowledge on what they are actually interested in. Directing the curriculum towards what students want and what is relevant in the future will remove this predominant issue.

How Information is Delivered 

As mentioned, the way teachers present information and course content has a direct and significant impact on student comprehension. 

Learning is not just receiving the information! A big part of learning is also how the information is delivered (just like in presentations).

Teachers should be teaching the students until they understand the information AND can apply it to real world situations, not just reading and rephrasing the material on their slides.

And to be clear, I am not saying that teachers are the ones at fault, but rather the history of the system itself is the problem.

The education system is currently flawed because teachers are attempting to deliver all the information they can to fit into the school curriculum and schedule.

In doing so, they most often neglect how they are teaching, as their main goal is just getting the material out there. 

For example, this year I took a course where the professor just stood next to his powerpoint presentation and verbally recounted the facts and material in a dull and robotic manner.

I was actually genuinely interested in the course content but this was tainted by how unengaging his teaching was. I actually found myself going from being curious to learn to being unmotivated and disinterested.

And it’s gone both ways! I’ve also become fascinated by certain topics that I was previously uninterested in due to a teacher that made the content applicable and engaging.  That’s the power of teaching! 

Teachers need to make their content captivating and interesting and adapt their teaching styles so that it garners the curiosity of today’s students. Big surprise!

Lectures where the professor sounds like a textbook does not make students interested! 

Why the Education System Needs to Be Changed

First off, using teaching techniques such as debates, fun in-class quizzes, or even a guest speaker keeps the classroom interactive and students intrigued in the course content.

These learning styles make even the most tedious material exciting because they get students to apply what they are learning.

As a student, being able to apply what you have learned makes you view the information you have learned as useful and practical instead of just textbook work.

Plus, the application of course material is the goal of education!

Establishing relevance is important!

Notice how these techniques directly engage students? In today’s education system, the traditional methods of teaching lacks interaction.

Taking notes, listening to the professor, reading the textbook, and answering questions do not get students as connected with what they are learning. 

On the flip side, debates, in class quizzes and guest speakers directly get students connected to the material in a unique and refreshing way.

Debates get students to think outside the box and develop and express their opinions, conduct research and examine what they are learning from a new perspective. In class quizzes fortify student understanding by allowing them to learn material through practice.

Finally, guest speakers are more compelling as students are more likely to pay attention because they are naturally interested in hearing about other people’s opinions and experiences related to their course material. 

The current education system needs to update its approach to teaching. They are failing to recognize and appreciate the various styles of teaching and how impactful different techniques really are.

It’s ABOUT TIME the education system embraces innovation and creativity instead of sticking to the traditional! (Have you noticed just how dated the system is yet?) 

The Grading System 

Grades! The one thing that EVERY student stresses about. From the first day of the semester to day of the final exam, all you can think about is your grades.

And let me tell you, there is A LOT wrong with the current grading system as per our educational standards (well, at least in my opinion anyway). 

Of course, I can’t simply make such a bold statement without anything to back it up! So, get comfy, grab some popcorn, and be prepared to read my totally unbiased and completely factual opinion!

1: Types of Assessments

As you know, real world success is not measured by choosing the correct option when given a list of four or five to choose from.

But, somehow, the outdated education system thinks that this is the BEST (and sometimes ONLY) way to determine if you are “smart” or not. 

How can you have a course where both the midterm and final exams are COMPLETELY and SOLELY multiple choice questions?

This in no way measures whether or not the student understands the concepts taught in the course. It is simply a test based on who can remember the most on a given date.

For those of you that are struggling to study for your exams, or any tests for that matter, here is a great article to help out!

Sure, multiple choice questions are a great way to test your knowledge, but not when they are the only form of assessment or almost all of your overall grade.

Assignments for any courses should vary between things like group work, presentations, reports, essays, projects, and only then some multiple choice type questions as well.

Real world problems require knowledge, yes… BUT without being able to apply concepts, think critically, AND communicate your ideas, what’s the point?

Ultimately, testing students in many different ways is a much better approach to evaluate their knowledge on the topic rather than just one multiple choice test that one person can guess their way through and have a chance of getting good results. 

When students are forced to take tests like these, they often become stressed and perhaps draw a blank on the correct answers (there is also a really good article for anyone that is looking for techniques to manage stress here).

Afterwards, a poor mark might make the student feel as though they aren’t good enough, when in reality, their skills and talents could be exceptionally greater than someone who got lucky by guessing a few more correct answers. 

This is especially true when the weighting of an exam is extremely high, but the number of questions is a lot lower, leading us to the next problem with the current grading system…

2: Allocation of Marks

Okay, have you ever started skimming through your course syllabus at the beginning of the semester thinking “oh my goodness… a 50% final exam.”

You likely are not the only one to assume that this evaluation style is absurd and crazy.

How can ONE test, for maybe TWO hours, test a students’ knowledge enough to determine if they understood OVER 3 months of course content and an ENTIRE textbook. 

There is simply NO POSSIBLE WAY for an exam to cover everything from the course. Why is this a problem? 

Well, it creates a situation where let’s say student #1 may remember half the content, and then student #2 remembers the other half. Both of these students write the same exam, at the same time, and in the same room. Sounds fair right?

Unfortunately for student #2, the majority of the topics and questions on the exam were from the other half of the course that they didn’t memorize.

Now student #1 is going to seem a lot smarter when they achieve a way higher mark, even though both students understood the EXACT same amount of the course content. Not so fair anymore, eh?

When this happens on a final exam worth 50% of your grade, it can have serious implications. It could affect your chances of getting a scholarship, obtaining financial aid, or any other situation that requests your GPA.

And now for the third and final problem with the grading system!

3: Conversion of Percentages, Letter Grades, and GPA 

Depending on where you live and what educational institution you study at, the grading system will differ. However, this becomes a significant issue when trying to standardize and compare your marks with another student somewhere else.

For example, my school uses a 4.0 GPA scale that is determined by converting a final percentage grade in a course to a GPA value. So, what’s the big issue with that?

Firstly, the rules for converting from a percentage to GPA value are flawed. Take a look at this example below…

As you can see, a student that achieves anywhere from a 90-100 in a course receives a letter grade of A+ and a GPA value of 4.0. With me so far?

Okay, now moving on to the range below (85-89), you can see that any percentage mark within this range receives an A for the letter grade and a 4.0 for GPA value… WAIT A MINUTE!

Yes, whether you finish with a 99% or an 85% overall, you are going to receive a 4.0 as your GPA. How can this be fair to the student that understood around 15 percent more of the course content? Well, it’s not really fair… and that is why a change needs to be made!

Obviously, these ranges will differ depending on where you go to school, but most of them follow a similar structure to this one. Anyways, enough boring you with the numbers for now…

We actually wrote an entire article on why the GPA system is bad for measuring academic success here!

Use of Technology 

Let’s face it! The world is changing… rapidly. Think about ten years ago! Many of the technological advancements were nowhere near where they are today.

Companies like Apple, Google, Amazon, Tesla, and Microsoft are competing to capture as much of the market share as they possibly can. 

And thanks to modern day consumers who are always looking for the latest and greatest goods and services, these companies are forced to constantly improve, expand upon, and create new technologies! 

This has a direct impact on students. After all, today’s students are the future of a new world where life will be run by robots and automated machines. 

Pen and paper? Sorry to break it to you, but you’re old now. 

New teaching styles have begun to adapt to new technologies, however, this is being done at an extremely slow pace.

Your typical high technology lecture nowadays consists of a powerpoint presentation on a large projector, or perhaps a smartboard where a teacher can write examples out for the class. 

The problem becomes clear when most of the current teachers (and it’s really NOT their fault but still) spend way too much wasted time on trying to figure out how they can effectively use these new technologies in the classroom.

In doing so, students become extremely bored and less engaged, significantly hindering their ability to grasp the lecture material. As a result, they often try to sneak out their phones and scroll through social media instead of paying attention.

E-learning is also already becoming increasingly popular and threatening the need for actual lectures in class.

Can you see why this is a problem?

As this issue begins to grow, the education system is going to have to find ways to adapt to new technologies and use a less traditional method of teaching. 


What’s Your Take?

Now that you’ve had a chance to hear my opinion on the current education system, it’s time for you to share your own.

Whether you agree or disagree with anything I have said, share it in the comment section below. 

Let’s try and get some discussions going about what can be done to fix these problems that students are forced to face throughout their academic careers.

16 Replies to “Problems With the Education System

  1. This is exactly why I home schooled my son his entire life. He did go to school for his last year, and that was it.  I believe he learned so much better, he got one to one attention and when it came to SATs and such, he did very well.  They don’t even teach cursive writing in school anymore. Not even in the home school environment. Great information, and I think the whole education system needs to be revamped.

    1. Hello! Thanks for sharing your opinion. Home schooling tends to be a highly debated topic and many wonder whether it is advantageous or not. I also agree that cursive writing should be implemented again!

  2. With the changing tides of time comes a massive need to adopt and employ a better way to disseminate educational content to students. I have to admit, this article addresses a major issue in today’s world.

    As you rightly pointed out, we all take in information very differently. That should seriously be taken into account. Also, the issue of outdated curriculum is one so prevalent. I believe in fact, that it should be approached with more urgency.

    Great post. Thanks for sharing 

    1. Hi Rhain! Thanks for stopping by! I agree that the system needs to be changed urgently in order to adapt with a changing world 🙂

  3. Thank you so much for sharing with us such a beautiful article .There are many problems with our education system. And because you made it beautiful in your article, I want to thank you .Students should be taught, taught, encouraged by solving the problems that are currently facing the education system .I agree with you that there are problems with our education system such as Outdated Curriculum, Information Delivered, Grading System, UTM GPA Calculator etc. which we should change. There are very few teachers who use innovative techniques to teach their students .But each of our teachers should embrace their learning by adopting new strategies for teaching students. I agree with you, as you did not say, especially that changing the old curriculum, changing the grading system, etc. is doing something very good for the students. I think it is possible to take the education system to a better level if these problems are solved .So I want to spread your article to everyone and keep it in store for the future .And I would like to say that some good books should be published and books should be handed over to students with new technology.

    1. Hi Shanta! Thank you for sharing your thoughts on our article, I’m glad you agree with us so strongly! As long as we continue to emphasize the need for change, teachers will begin to embrace innovative teaching strategies and student learning will be enhanced. Thanks for sharing our article 🙂 

  4. Definitely we learn more as we are than as we’re taught. Defining what type of learner you are is key to success while studying any field. You may combine several types, but there will be always one that would be predominant over the rest.

    Learning is not a passive activity: Get here and seat quietly as I put my knowledge within your head;

    Learning is an active activity: Let’s get together, I’ll give you some reasons for you to be willing to get certain information or ability (Why is this relevant to you) and let’s share impressions about it and show me what you can do with what you just learned.

    There is also a social part of learning. Once you get the knowledge, not using it is the fasted way to lose it. 

    1. Hi Juan! I agree with you, we naturally learn things differently and being able to recognize how we learn best is fundamental to academic success. The way we are taught the information in school though is the basis of our learning. If we are taught incorrectly or ineffectively, our learning of that information (no matter how skilled we are) will be impaired. So, our education system needs to ensure they are using the best techniques to teach students- which I think should be improved upon. 

  5. Many thanks to you for giving us such a beautiful article and I have learned through you some of the Problems of education and they are very sad. You mentioned some education system Problems through your article and I totally agree with you because I live in Bangladesh and my country also has this problem. You are educating our students with the old book you mentioned in your article and it is a very awkward situation because I think this is done in my country as well. In that case a five-year-old book and in some cases a 10-year-old publicist book were taught. We are constantly changing and new things are being discovered around us so we should publish new books for our students and educate them with those books but due to poverty in our country our government cannot publish books and study new ones. Can’t talk about the issues. But our government should publish books for fresh research and teach them and hand them over to modern technology and modern thinking books. You have highlighted some of the problems that are driving our education backwards. I hope that after reading this article many of you will come forward to address the problem of education system and to take effective role.

    1. Hello! Yes, its unfortunate that we have to learn from older, outdated textbooks that often do not cover important information that is strongly relevant and applicable to todays world. I too hope that a change is made and that the  government will take the necessary steps to enforce some much needed change. Thank you for your insightful comment! 

  6. Thank you so much for sharing with us such a beautiful article. Your article is really unique and informative and I agree with you. There are many problems with our education system. So, when it comes to problems with the education system, it is crucial that teachers select and correctly exercise strategies that earn the attention of students and encourage their understanding. A few teachers select and correctly exercise strategies that earn the attention of students and encourage their understanding. If the teachers and students do and agree on the topics, then our educational system will certainly improve. Many of your opinions are helpful. Thanks for sharing. My best wishes will be always with you.

    1. Hi! Thank you, we are glad you liked the article! Yes, students would be more engaged if teachers exercise teaching techniques that connect the course material to real life. This allows students to recognize the relevancy of what they are learning to their own life which garners their attention. Thanks for taking the time to comment! 

  7. Hey, I enjoy while reading your article and learn a lot of new things. I know via your article that grades are the one thing that EVERY student stresses about. From the first day of the semester to day of the final exam, all you can think about is your grades. 

    Also, I found your guide is awesome on selecting high school senior courses. Keep it up, I am really enjoying your each article and post.

    1. Welcome back Parveen! We are glad you can take away some useful information from our articles 🙂 And yes, grades are stressful, but can also and motivate students to work harder! Thank you for your kind comment and for taking the time to read! 

  8. Great article! I agree with everything you’ve said here–there definitely needs to be some major reform in our education system. I will say, however, that I feel that your point where you disagreed that everyone 85% of higher should gets a 4.0 might be a bit flawed. Personally, I think that having your “GPA cap” at such a grade allows the emphasis to be shifted from grades to learning experience. If there was a 4.1, for example, suddenly that will be this new, incredibly difficult standard that takes the emphasis off of genuine learning and shoves it into getting the highest grades. Would like to hear your thoughts. Great work!

    1. Hi Sean! Thanks for sharing your opinion 🙂 I definitely can see where you’re coming from, the learning experience you mentioned can be somewhat diminished by the prioritization of grades. So while I do agree with your point, I also think that it is unfair and less rewarding when a student who is close to achieving a 100% is placed in the same category as someone with an 85%. I think we should reward those who have put in that extra effort and commitment into the course. I know I like to see my hard work appreciated, plus my learning is reflected in my grade 🙂 Thank you for taking the time to read and comment, we appreciate it!

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