Stop praising mediocre school results

Stop praising mediocre school results

Dear Mr. Editor,

As a new school year gets underway, we would like to shed light on a pressing issue that has been silently creeping into our education system – the dangers of praising mediocre school results. As we applaud and celebrate average performance, we inadvertently sow the seeds of complacency and undermine the very essence of education. It is crucial that we recognize and address this issue before it robs our students of their potential and hampers our society's progress.

When we shower praise on mediocre school results, we unintentionally send a message that mediocrity is acceptable. Instead of inspiring our students to reach for their full potential, we stifle their growth and discourage them from striving for excellence. Education is not a mere numbers game; it is about nurturing a thirst for knowledge, fostering critical thinking, and instilling a passion for lifelong learning.

The exam results at MPC were disheartening. The reasons for this are numerous and we will be exploring these throughout the course of the school year. The main reason, we believe, is the language of instruction, but that is another issue for the pages of Teen Times. But consider this; when teachers of MPC opt to send their own children to other high schools, after completing Dutch-education elementary schools, this should speak volumes and give the powers that be in education a good conversation starting point or at least give them pause. But we digress, back to praising mediocrity.

By celebrating average achievements, we are breeding a generation that feels entitled to recognition without investing the necessary effort. As a result, our students may lack the drive to push boundaries, hampering progress and innovation in our society. As they transition into adulthood and the professional world, this attitude can have severe consequences for their career growth and personal development.

We must consider the impact on the self-esteem of our students as well. While it may seem encouraging to reward mediocre results, deep down, students may feel undeserving of the praise. This contradiction can breed a lack of self-confidence and an inability to cope with failure. The world outside is competitive, and it does not reward average performance. The challenges they encounter will demand exceptional skills, creativity, and adaptability – qualities that are not cultivated through the celebration of mediocrity.

To combat this dangerous trend, we must shift our focus to a holistic approach to education. It is essential to celebrate effort, growth, and improvement rather than settling for the status quo. By nurturing a growth mindset, we can inspire our students to embrace challenges, view failures as stepping stones to success, and continuously strive for excellence. Our educational system is already failing far too many students. Don’t add to it by telling them 50% is great.

As parents, educators, and mentors, it is your responsibility to instill in our students a sense of purpose and a hunger for knowledge. You have to encourage them to embrace their uniqueness and explore their passions, to be brave in pursuing their dreams, and to never settle for mediocrity. The future of our society depends on their ability to rise above average and become extraordinary individuals who can make a difference not just on St. Maarten, but in the world.

We are not saying to ignore the achievements of those who were successful in their examinations, but the dangers of praising mediocre school results are real and far-reaching. It is time for us to reevaluate our approach to education, to celebrate genuine achievements, and to foster a culture that values continuous improvement and excellence. Together, let us pave the way for a generation of motivated, resilient, and innovative individuals who will shape a brighter future for us all.

The staff of Teen Times

The Daily Herald

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