How bad are things for us?

If you take a little distance from the whole issue, you’ll notice that things are totally fine for us.

The topic around the eight-year highschool system in Germany, bad teachers or so-called „helicopter parents“ is very current and frequently discussed in our society. Worried parents, overtaxed students and stressed teachers – where does this problem find its roots? Is it our demanding society, the politicians, Germany as economical power in the world, that puts too much pressure on our children and adolescents? After all these questions and the critic on our education system, maybe it’s better to take a different look at the situation and ask yourself how bad things for us really are. Because, if you take a glance away from yourself and our country upon others, you’ll realize that we actually should be very lucky as it is.

According to the latest „PISA-study“ of 2013, Germany lies above the average level in all examined fields. Even if asian nations such as Shanghai, Korea or China lead the list, and Germany is „just“ positioned in the midfield, one has to evaluate: „What is more important – a well-balanced standard of living or children that are trimmed on success, studying eight hours or more a day?“. Is it worth that these children and teenagers – like for example in Japan or Korea – are under pressure permanently and study, only to be first in a statistic once a year? Is success only based on money and power or are there other things like happiness and felicity? What the PISA-study doesn’t include are general and equally important needs and values such as peace, freedom, harmony or family and friends. China for example does have good students but a great pollution and no free possibilities to express one’s opinion, too. Japanese students are known to be very hard-working, there are less patent applications per person than in Germany though, just like in China. Why is that? Inventive genius requires an environment and a culture of freedom and individualization. However, this culture is not considered by the PISA-study, it throws a narrow view on few fishes of a big, colorful shoal. It’s not correct to conclude from a limited perspective to the whole. A pizza doesn’t only consist of salami – if you take the whole, then Germany really tastes good.

You could also compare yourself with other countries like Afghanistan or India, where the children are happy to get the opportunity of studying. Places, where children may struggle to survive daily. From my own experience as an exchange student in India I can tell, that the scholastic standard there lies on a totally different level than in Germany. We should appreciate that we can study under such pleasant conditions. With pleasant conditions I mean well-trained teachers, a fair education system that doesn’t exclude poors, good school books, good classrooms, a good school building with all relevant facilities like hygienic toilets etc., proper physical education and many more things. In India the classes are mostly overfilled with students, which makes it impossible for teachers to give an ordinary lesson. The students are taught to learning by heart and not – like us – to understand logical circumstances and to think independent. They have to visit public schools, which of course cost money, to even get the chance of obtaining a decent education. In addition to this, they have to take tuitions after school to understand what can’t be taught to them in school because of insufficient teaching methods. Now, imagine, your school life or that of your children would look like this. Can’t we be very happy and thankful for what we have? We could, if we wouldn’t always want to strive for the better. Of course Germany has a further developed standard than India or Afghanistan in this point of view and we only try to improve and optimize it. But it’s also worth to just relax and lean back one time, instead of criticizing constantly.

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