When globalisation will ‘wipe us off the board’ – the education system at a standstill

Transformation of the labour market, climate crisis and growing inequalities resulting from it as well as remaining blind to the benefits of diversity are only some of the challenges that we will be facing. We know that the world is changing. It seems, however, that not many of these changes actually come to the attention of schools.

 In this part of the exhibition we give voice to young people and look at schools from their perspective. We want to reflect on whether or not schools prepare the young generation for the challenges they will be facing in the nearest future.

Main photo - When globalisation will ‘wipe us off the board’ – the education system at a standstill

Where are we now? Where are we heading?

The quality of education at particular schools can be measured in a number of ways. At the international level, the most important study is PISA (Programme for International Students Assessment). In 2018 Polish students were on the 10th place in reading and mathematics, and on the 11th place in science. It is quite high considering that the study encompassed 79 countries and regions. However, can these standardised tests assess everything?

Schools’ job is also to develop digital competence, learning skills, entrepreneurship as well as social and civic competences. These are all crucial if students are to rise up to the challenges of the 21st century. Yet, they do not play a vital role in the teaching programme. Do schools prepare young people for contemporary challenges, then? Or will the future ‘wipe us off the board’?

When the system puts pressure on us

How can we talk of subjectivity if for several years now changes in the education system have been revolutionary and introduced without consulting the people most affected by them? Is it possible to keep on teaching as usual if the system constantly puts pressure on us? The hierarchy in the Polish education system is omnipresent and it weighs heavily on young people. Polish schools lack proper mental health care. Finally, the standards of the World Health Organisation pertaining to the acceptable weight of school bags are still not respected.

To live or to study?

Climate change strikes which took place in March 2019 exposed the real crisis of priorities: would I rather study or live? Mass climate movements, such as the Youth Climate Strike and Extinction Rebelion, prove that young people are ready to challenge the status quo. If students were given some civic studies homework at that time, they did it by taking to the streets and saying out loud the truth about the uncertain future of out planet. They did it on the streets, not at school.

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When globalisation will ‘wipe us off the board’ – the education system at a standstill