Education Czech Republic: Let us be inventively creative
Students who participated in the so-called dual type education have recently graduated. The joint training program of Kecskemét College, Mercedes Benz Manufacturing Hungary ltd, and Knorr-Bremse Brake Systems ltd., that was launched in 2012, serves as an example for the introduction of such academic training at a national level.
Creativity in professional and personal behaviour is just as significant as literacy and should be approached in the same way. The English author, speaker and expert on education Sir Kenneth Robinson in one of his lectures told a story about a six-year-old girl who was asked at the beginning of a drawing lesson by her teacher what will the drawing be about. The girl answered that she will draw a picture of God. “But nobody knows what God looks like“ said the teacher. The girl promptly answered “Then soon you will know it“. Children are not afraid of dealing with things they are not quite sure about. They are not afraid of making mistakes and if they do not know how to do something then they just simply try to do it. To be wrong and to be creative are not the same, but if we will be afraid of making mistakes we will never be able to introduce anything new. However this is how a majority of managers run their firms – they rub their employees´ noses in the mistakes they made. And this is how our educational system is set and run – a mistake is the worst offence committed by a pupil or student. Consequently in our professional life we are diverted by this approach from the creative potential. Pablo Picasso once quoted that we are all born as creative artists, but year by year of our life we lose the capabilty of remaining to be one.
A majority of young creative people are not aware of their abilities and talents
How to prevent this from happening?Let us change the system which is primarily focused on academic and theoretical knowledge. Subjects which are fundamental for a future profession are set aside as less significant. Young people are discouraged from what they like and convinced that this is correct while reasoning that anyhow this would not provide a living for them when they grow up. “Do not be too enthusiastic about painting, even so you will never be an artist“ and similar “well meant“ advices can often be heard. The model of 8-year secondary schools which became a standard for systematic parents in the Czech Republic is nothing but a very long process of admission to university studies, where the forcible re-education of their descendants continues in an educational system adapted to the character of the particular institution. All this leads to the fact that a majority of young creative people are not aware of their abilities and talents, let alone to be supported in their development.
All this from the viewpoint of schools gives an impression that not only in the Czech Republic but in all post-communist countries the only thing of concern is the pursuit of academic degrees and titles. Those who gain them, however suddenly find out that they are absolutely useless. Earlier if you had an academic degree or title you also had a job. Jobs formerly filled by secondary school graduates are now filled by university graduates, and doctoral study graduates have jobs the character of which is very far from scientific work. We are witnesses of the devaluation of knowledge and we are gradually losing control of it. And this is a really dangerous and risky game.