The following was posted by BU commenter Ping Pong on Barbados Education System Challenge, 50 Years and Moving blog.
Many if not all of the features of the Finnish education system were “borrowed” from elsewhere and many of these features are actually part of the Barbados education system. However a system is only as good as the people who administer and operate the system and the society for which the system serves. I have formally and informally studied educational systems for many years. I have concluded that (a) there are no perfect systems and (b) even if a “perfect” system existed many children would still be “failures” or be failed by whatever system is developed.
The best educational system (or the best in whatever circumstance) is the one that loving, concerned and perceptive parents fashion for their children. This means that without parents first knowing their children (i.e their strengths, weaknesses and interests) and pursuing a pragmatic vision for their children’s development then success will be elusive. As deficient as our school system may be, there are still many opportunities for individual development. No one can be as concerned and as dedicated about the educational development of any individual child as that child’s parents (assuming good parents). I believe the main failure of any educational system is really a failure of parenting. I strongly reject the notion of “it takes a village to raise MY child” especially when the village has no good intentions about my child. This is not to dispute that we all live in a society and the influence of others may be significant but discernment and choice must be exerted in one’s children’s interest.
Further, an educational systems does not exist in isolation of the society in which it operates. For example, let us take the matter of the health of citizens as distinct from the health (really the medical) care of citizens. If a society has medical care as a significant part of its economy (hospitals, pharmaceuticals, diagnostic devices and prosthetics, nursing homes etc.) would one expect a school system to promote in all students good nutrition, exercise, avoidance of harmful substances, healthy behaviour (adequate rest, stress relief etc.) and considerate manner to others as significant educational outcomes or those students that show promise as future doctors, biomedical technologists and entrepreneurs?
Nobody gets to heaven on a group pass.