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Tower and Town, November 2021

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Dear Teachers

From the moment that children are old enough to hold a pen, we are pressurised to perform well in school and become well rounded adults. And yet, when we join the education system, in which time character shaping is vital, we are not taught and pushed to become good honest people; no, we are taught subjects such as trigonometry and algebra. Students are trapped in prisons of useless information; we focus on past discoveries rather than future possibilities. We become mindless information machines for facts that, once it is time to apply them, may become outdated and old. Do you really want your children and their children to grow, not into functioning members of society, but more husks of knowledge from long gone centuries and people?

Young adults are ridiculed by older generations for not knowing how to mend their clothes, change a tyre or apply for jobs, and yet, these same generations do not make the effort to teach them. Having spent their time in school making graphs and doing tests, students who become young adults must rely on search engines to learn, resulting in shame, mockery, and disappointment from both themselves and others. Do you really want this for the generation who will soon take your place?

Of course, I am not suggesting overthrowing education itself, but school should be the time to create selfless and helpful individuals and let them grow, not a time that will be looked back on as a time of disdain and discomfort. Put down your pens and lift up your hands! Teaching students to communicate and lift others up is far more than knowing x + y? = n.

Many adults, who grow to become callous and spiteful, are the same children who, so busy being under stress and pressure, never learnt how to do basic necessities, such as getting along with others. Even promoting group work is a step in the right direction; no adult is born cold and rude; their attitudes are the products of their experiences in life. If we make sure these experiences were positive, then we are that much closer to a better world! Surely, you want a better world?

In school, many students disregard the few times topics such as mindfulness are spoken about, because the same people who preach kindness are sometimes the cruellest of all. So, try giving your students a say, the only way a curriculum with ideas for students, by students can go is forward! Stop giving out sanctions and give out your hand! Students having voices is not a privilege, but a right!

Meenashi Thethron Seenaj, Year 9

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