There are many challenges in today’s educational system. From old shortcomings to underlying issues due to the pandemic and the struggle to adapt to new standards – educators take the biggest part for the students they serve.
The Big Question
First, how can teaching sustain then, and second what are the current issues in education today that leaders have to address in order for teachers to survive?
Although the educational system has extensively been progressing, it has no longer stood true with certain matters. In fact, it has deteriorated and this is evident. The world indeed faces several issues when it comes to school programs.
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What Are the Current Issues in Education Today?
1) Number of Students in the Classroom
Although the number of students in a class fluctuates every year, it remains a challenge for school administration to sustain a fair student-to-teacher ratio. Hiring more teachers has been an issue pushing students to flock into classrooms.
This scenario makes it difficult for educators to get one-on-one time with students. Since learners change over time, it also follows that schools see different results from one year to the next.
2) Lack of Funding
Less funding means fewer programs, smaller staff, poorer resources, and lesser teachers. Some schools are even unable to pay for essential maintenance. This connects to the number one issue – where not being able to hire more teachers is due to the lack of funding.
Low school budgets force educators to think of creative ways to provide for their students. However, their resources are minimal and are not always enough. This situation hinders a student’s ability to achieve better. To sum it up, educators need support to provide the best opportunities for learning.
3) Health & Safety of Students
Healthy learners are more likely to attend school making mental health and physical health important components of their learning success.
It is obvious that students need a safe, clean, and comfortable environment. Other than the health and safety concerns related to COVID-19, there are other issues that can affect the safety of students in schools like violence.
To guarantee safety, not only administrators, educators, parents, and school staff should participate and become more accountable, but other professionals whose primary purpose is to maintain law and order.
4) More Remote Learning
Today, the adoption of remote learning has become necessary more than ever. Individualized instruction allows students to find more space and time while learning from home. It is an opportunity for advanced learning, as well.
The cause of concern is that there’s no certainty how many schools have the privilege to teach virtually or are already in the practice. What is distressing is the fact that since there’s no guarantee of how safe it is to return to full-time, face-to-face instruction, this issue must be given utmost attention.
5) Technology in Education
How much of a role should technology play in education?
While educational technology engages students in more active learning, it can also be a distraction. Students, curious as they are, will sneak time to check social media, play games, or shop online even when in school.
Since they have access to laptops and can multitask on digital devices, chances are diverted attention that can result to lower exam grades. This is one reason why some teachers think of banning electronics in their classes.
Bullying continues to be a crucial issue in schools. According to a study, around 22 percent of students in grades 6 through 12 have been reported being bullied on their way to or from school in 2019. The same study said that over 22 percent of students were bullied two to ten times a day.
Considering that there are unreported cases of bullying makes it alarming that students may be suffering in silence, and experience a range of physical and emotional problems. They often feel anxious and scared of going to school. Developing a low sense of self-worth may lead to engaging in violent acts or suicidal behaviors.
7) Social Fractionalization
Peer pressure remains a problematic and distinct social rupture with regard to educational opportunities. This division in the social system has made education become part of what creates a division between the poor and the rich.
The worst thing is that many schools pay less attention to the issue. When peers make students anxious, it can convince that person to take certain actions like alcohol, drugs, and aggression, leading them to suffer consequences. The negative effect might lead a teen into depression.
8) Poverty in Students
If every day students come to school each with their own potentials, experiences, and challenges, there are also students who come without the proper school learning essentials like books or paper and pen. Some even come to school without a good lunch.
It is given that low-income students tend to perform less or worse in academics. That could be partly because parents with fewer financial resources could not afford to provide good nutrition as well as tutoring or enrichment to boost student achievement. Often, students experience family problems that can negatively affect their academic success.
9) Student Mental Health
Mental health is a challenge to many students today. If you go around schools, there is a big percentage of “overwhelming anxiety” among learners due to stress.
These days, many students are still taking time to adjust to the new normal learning, remote classes, new methods, and new routines. As they progress through more advanced classes, the increased difficulty can cause stress that some may even drop school.
Among students seeking treatment are teens and high schoolers where parents are very alarmed due to the risk of engaging in self-harm or having suicidal thoughts.
10) Teacher’s Mental Health
Like students, mental health awareness in educators is also an important issue. Who will teach students when the teachers are sick?
The stress factors cited by teachers themselves are extended working hours, time pressure, noise in school, excessively large classes, demanding school authorities, students’ and parents’ behavioral problems, and a lack of motivation.
Teachers have essential duties concerning the quality of education. With all the concerns loaded on their shoulders with less support, how can they contribute better to both the stability of society and the further development of future generations?
Since its founding in 1920, the Harvard Graduate School of Education has been training leaders to transform education around the world. Watch this video, HGSE Dean Bridget Long presents an overview of the impact and lessons of the global coronavirus pandemic on the field of education.
The first step to any solution for an issue is to identify and recognize the cause. Problem-solving can be tedious, but when leaders improve management, provide clear roles and responsibilities, and increase incentives – there is hope.
It is up to leaders, schools, and parents to work together and prioritize education reform for the better. If the school is clear in what it tries to achieve, parents can extend themselves more effectively. When parents are involved in their child’s education process, a successful system will not be tough.
Do you have something to share? Thought? Comments? Experiences? Share them with us in the comments.