As the owner of LearnMate, I experience on a daily basis feedback from students and parents alike regarding the current state of the education system. In this article, I will outline and emphasise some of these observations.
Just speaking to many tutors who work with LearnMate, I am constantly blown away by their dedication, commitment and passion to their students. I really am. We must foster and recognise this.
About 2 months ago I attended the ADC conference in the Melbourne CBD, with over 300 teachers, professionals and some of the world’s leading academics. There seemed to be a general consensus that educational standards in Australia are steadily declining, and therefore corrective action must be taken in order to ensure a more prosperous society. But what exactly is deemed ‘corrective action’?
I firmly believe in the power of education – a notion that was instilled into me by my parents, and subsequently, I believe everyone should have access to high-quality education. But how do we ensure standardisation across an industry which is Australia’s second largest export? It’s no difficult task, by any means.
With a growing population in Australia, it’s not just the education sector that is feeling the heat; it’s local infrastructure, accommodation and the job industry as a whole. Australia’s population is set to boom in the next decade, and the education industry, I believe is just starting to really grow.
Firstly, a cultural shift and renewal must take place. What I mean by this is that teaching must be culturally respected as a viable and credible profession to go into. Compared to countries like Korea, Japan and Germany, Australian teachers simply aren’t given the respect they deserve. In fact, only 4% of high school graduates go into teaching, while substantially more go into common courses such as law and commerce. Yet, we need teachers more than ever before. Subsequently, the ATAR to get into teaching is very low and therefore the teaching standards are significantly reduced due to this low entry score.
In the education sector, we have some phenomenal teachers, who always go above and beyond for their students. It’s important we recognise all of their efforts otherwise they become overworked and leave teaching altogether (a case which is becoming all too true). We need to take the pressure off them, and they must be paid more if we are to retain amazing talent.
Secondly, we need to ensure that tutors are given credibility within schools. I do understand schools’ concerns in this regard, however; schools have expressed how they don’t engage tutoring companies due to their inability to ensure teaching standards across outsourced educators. Many students and parents approach us daily expressing their concerns about their teachers, including:
- “my teacher just doesn’t have time to help me”
- “my teacher doesn’t seem to be helpful to me”
- “my son feels overwhelmed by many students and would like individualised attention”
- and so forth.
In many regards, tutoring helps to alleviate these issues.
This leads me to my next point: there are so many young graduates out there with a wealth of knowledge who can help to take the pressure of the system. There are some amazing uni students who are incredibly knowledgeable in their respective subjects, are young, enthusiastic and engaging and feel a sense of care for their fellow students. Just speaking to many tutors who work with LearnMate, I am constantly blown away by their dedication, commitment and passion to their students. I really am. We must foster and recognise this. In addition, the skills tutors learn when tutoring are paramount and transferable (e.g. becoming a doctor requires sufficient communication skills with patients).
Further, we also must give students, permission to be themselves. I was always brought up by my parents to be myself. By allowing students to be themselves and express who they really are – we achieve a much happier and prosperous society. Education must act a catalyst in the pursuit of one’s purpose.
LearnMate is Australia’s leading tutoring agency offering private lessons in all primary & high school subjects including English, maths, science, humanities, foreign languages, and so much more. Our mission is simple: to provide professional, engaging and enthusiastic tutors to students, while also ensuring the student feels empowered and confident during their assessments! Ultimately, our goal is to empower students all over Australia to achieve amazing results and make their dreams come true!