Systemic failure nr 7: Being trained for school rather than society

Here’s 7th systemic failure: 

Education is designed so that students are trained to be good at school and not being trained to be good for society.


Somehow, schools and the education system has become an isolated island that administrates students going in and out as some kind of industrial factory. The whistle blows at 8 o’clock every morning and keeps on going in 9-12 years. The machinery evaluates the students all the time by testing. The students become good at taking tests – theoretical tests. The pace is so hard that some people actually feel so relieved after the school-time they say “never ever school again”. 

Society as a whole has turned a lot more complex than the school originally was designed to deliver workers too. A basic skill-set and a compliance standard was then ok. It was ok to just bring the paper/certificate to an employer and then you were set and done. It was enough knowing that you had studied for 9-16 years to know that you were any good. 

However, a whole new set of skills is now needed in each company and you’re not guaranteed keeping a job once you have gotten it. The pace of effectiveness, technology development and globalization reduces the job-market so that you need to be able to learn during your whole life. The school can only provide a good start and the proper tools + self awareness, motivation to learn more and cooperate with others.

Going to a job interview nowadays almost requires the employee to be an entertainer – it’s like an audition where you compete with lots of people. And also, the requirements nowadays are that you need to be flexible, be able to cooperate, be able to be “self-driven” and creative. And to be fantastic, have an enormous experience, be beautiful and basically you should have the confidence of a super-star. 

Now, schools are producing the exact opposite, in general. I sometimes wonder if the whole idiotic design of the schools might be good actually – at least for a small country like Sweden. We cannot compete in engineering or industrial skills anymore, but with culture, entrepreneurship (figuring out how to succeed without education), music, democratic values, Internet, games, sports, recreation, food and programming – anything that’s not about school we become good at since it’s not part of the forced-upon curriculum – we just love freedom. 

Noooo way, it can’t be that stupid… Or could it?

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