Education needs to prepare students for life

Students won't always be students, but we will always be learners. Victorian students give their report card on learning and assessment, and they're calling for change.

With the release of 2017 first-round university offers this week, there's a whole lot of people hanging on tenterhooks and waiting to see where their ticket to the future takes them. Our education system in geared to see getting into university as the be-all-and-end-all...but then what?

In reality, one in three uni students are dropping out of the system without completing their degrees. This applies to a whole spectrum of students, from academic high achievers to those who are struggling socially, economically or otherwise.

So what gives? In 2016 we asked over 1,000 Victorian students what they think about their education. When it came to learning and assessment, the report card was loud and clear.

"It affects everyone. School prepares you for passing year 12, but it doesn't prepare you for after school."
Student, 2016

Education - as we know it - doesn't adequately prepare students for life. Students don't feel like their education provides them with the knowledge and experience to navigate the 'real world' outside the bubble of secondary school. Where else in life do you spend 13 years of your life grouped together by just by age, as opposed to interests and vocation? With the curriculum geared to how we assess rather than how we learn, secondary students graduate understanding how schools works, not how life works. 

At Congress 2016, a group of students from years 7-12 worked together on this very issue. They created a Resolution Action Pitch (RAP), identifying that young people need an education that prepares them for a rapidly changing world, with three key ideas for flicking the switch. Check out the abridged RAP by scrolling through the Congress 2016 report.

"When school students get out into the real world, there's stuff about tax, who to vote for, why to vote for them, houses, real-estate, career planning, that we really need to be learning in high school because it will set us up for success in the future."
Student, 2016

Students won't always be students, but we'll always be learners. And education needs to better prepare us for life. This means change, and as we all know - change is hard. But it's also good.

So we put it to you - what do you think needs to change in education to better prepare students for life after school? Let us know.

Get inside the issue and hear what students have to say about learning & assessment:

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