Private Schools And The Regression Of Education

الأحد 11 تشرين الثاني 2007

Written By: Fadwa Othman

Here is what is bothering me this fine sunny day. Could someone please explain to me why it is that private school education is going down the proverbial toilet? At what point did they stop teaching and start being a big social club?

I have friends who have children at the most prestigious private schools in the country and these children, some of whom are teenagers, can’t spell worth to save their lives. I asked one of the mothers why this is and she told me that it’s because the private schools are constantly changing the syllabus and trying new and “improved” learning techniques. One such trial was that students would be taught how to write words not using vowels. Okay, I’m no genius and let us forget for a few minutes that I have been teaching for a good 17 years and that I have a Masters in English Literature, but doesn’t one need to use vowels in order to write real words?

Are we just making up the language as we go along?

Suffice to say that this experiment of subtracting all vowels from the language was a major fiasco and that the students are still suffering in the aftermath. This little trial left them weak in writing to the extent that most can’t even fill in their Common Application for university. I truly believe the old English idiom that goes, if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it. If generations have been learning the language in a way that even Noam Chomsky would agree with, and these generations can write full sentences with few mistakes, then why would you want to regress?

Riddle me that.