Right to Creative Education – Conforming our Education to the 21st Century

Our public education system’s concentration on the students’ academic rather than creative ability as a mean to satisfy employment goals has always kept my attention. The right to education which specifically talks about “educational freedom and institutional autonomy” states that “the right to education can only be enjoyed if accompanied by the academic freedom of staff and students” (The Right to Education,  Article 13, 12/08/1999)seems hard to achieve in the presence of our current creativity lacking educational system.  With no attention to offering creative education in the public schools, in my view, we continue to concentrate on ‘job’ based academic achievements designed after the 19th century industrial model. This in turn is producing an army of so called trained individuals in the professions that may no longer be there in the next five years resulting in economic stress on a limited business sectors.  Special Rapporteur on the right to education states that’s  “The origins of public schooling lie in the common school model of the nineteenth century, a concept initiated as a practical exercise in all-inclusive schooling and a promising means of promoting economic self-sufficiency” (Report submitted by Katarina Tomaševski, Special Rapporteur on the right to education -24 September-10 October 2001). The ‘promised mean to economic self-sufficiency’ is now severely challenged in the 21st century when occupational pathways are rapidly changing with the emergence of new and creative careers and businesses. Our focus on academic vs. creative ability of children and using academic achievement as a yardstick to one’s success in the job market has now proven wrong by the some of the great inventors and achievers like Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, and recently by Mark Zuckerberg. Earlier, having  degrees were the guarantee for a job but now we see highly educated individuals with many degrees being unemployed. I think it is very important that we switch our focus toward promoting the right to creative education not only in the developed countries but also in the developing nations, as an answer to the rapid innovation and expansion of career pathways around the world. Otherwise, we may end up losing a great pool of very talented and creative children, to violence, because the current ‘academic achievement oriented’ education system does not find them smart enough to meet its standards.

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