Friday, December 26, 2008


Following this post by yzt regarding Paul Graham's new essay and a previous post on this blog, I've come up with a suggestion for the education system that might have the potential to enhance the current situation a bit, although this is a totally impractical solution but at should be fun as a thought experiment.

Here is the idea: One day all of a sudden all schools decide to not deliver anymore certificates to anyone. The whole University system remains intact except the parts where they hand a piece of paper or some kind of aknowledgement that a student has studied a certain course and for a certain period of time, no Bsc, Msc, PhD or anything else.

Now what will happen? From the University side, they should be able to operate as usual with the normal classes and teachers and exams. The education system would ideally be divided into multiple plans rather than rigid 4 year Bsc degree as an example. There could be 12 paths available for a specific major instead of that. Students are free to drop out anytime. They can start a path anytime, the only requirement is that they have to take an entrance exam since they do not have any proofs of previous studies.

From the students side, we will have a lot of drop offs, all the ones who were there for the degree and didn't care much about learning, and a lot of new students joining because they can now and they only care about learning. The education quality should be much higher in this system since there should be people with same motivations gathered. Better students can joing better schools.

From the industry side. Now these guys will have a tough time selecting the employees since there aren't any bold school history in the resumes. What they can do is to do proper interview and run tests in order to select the best individual, the hiring process for them will be a bit harder and requiring more efforts but the positive values they'll gain by hiring better suited individuals being filtered from their specific process should by far help them in long term. Relying on ones capabilities just by the degree they have from a school is the most risky decision a business can make.

It seems that low quality schools would rather fade in this model since no one would bother attending them since they have no real values, the only value they provide in our existing models are the cheap certificate the hand to graduates which superficially makes them and their parents happy for a week. Void values injected into society which complicates things much more and helps in the degeneration of the education system.

Would you have studied in such a hypothetical world?


Anonymous said...

Of course I would.
I can't help but think that such an education system will be a tangled mess, filled with people like me. It would be awesome! ;)

Amir H. Fassihi said...

Correct answer bro ;)... you get two points.

Anonymous said...

As a matter of fact, I kinda felt how it feels like.

In my years of schooling, there were such moments that the next session of some class was optional and the lecturer wouldn't enlist who's present or not and thus wouldn't have that stupid point for "being there, even if you are stoned as a zombie" thing, and it felt good.

In such classes I actually saw the terms you explained here, the eagerness toward science (I can't defy that even that was towards better score at the end but that few people were already better than the rest) and it felt so great.

There were not ostad-khaste-nabashid kind of Q#%! there, no more oh-its-1.30-hours-already-so-goodbye from the lecturer, it felt, pure.

There were moments like this in my life that I can say were moments that are still there from years of my university enrollments, the moments I cherish the most, the moments that I felt "me", the moments that I could get satisfied, both mentally and physically, :P

Even the teachers were more enthusiastic about teaching, you could see the tear in their eye that this situation is perfect for them.

I'm happy that there are people with more power than me who have these thoughts and thus can do something about it.

I can write about it more and more but that would be just repeating myself.

Anonymous said...

it's a grate idea, but it seems that it is too hard to shift from this classic education model to your new suggested model for whole education model, but there is a solution which come up with this idea, and so that is, a computerized, software system.
this system can run for just handlling computer based sciences(e.g. sofware engineering,MIS,IT,Networking,etc.)but it can be expanded for other fields too, the system can offer a qualifiaction system, e-learning system, and also a model that can help the industries to employ a proper qualified person with its desired talents [this can be handled by a DSS]. there can be also another system to get the projects from the companies and asign it to the qualified persons from the system or to the other companies which have been signed up with this system. in this system the qualification part contains some suit tests and exams and interviews and e-learning system offers the high level education model,and that Dss helps industries to get benefits from this education model.
it is jsut a raw idea like a spark and there is a long way to make a burning fire from this spark ;)
what do you think?

Amir H. Fassihi said...

Well yes what I described here is only a thought experiment and it is quite impossible to implement in the current world ... other models can always help and enhance the educational system like small spikes but what I was hoping in this imagination was to fix the main system.. at least parts of it.