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GREAT

Globally Relevant Education And Training

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The GREAT philosophy and Values

The 21th Century Education train departs PKG 3:00 years, destination gainful employment and prosperity.

Traveling via Elementary School (ES) to Middle School (MS) to High School (HS) it is expected to deliver most of its passengers the College Junction for the next journey to College/University (UG) on to Post Graduate work arriving at the Employment/Career Junction.

As good as this train is, since it delivers some excellent results, it is only able to cater to a small percentage of the world population and certain exceptions.  Clearly there is a need for an additional complementary train to cater to the needs of the remainder of the population.  In addition to this good train we need a great train to take all the passengers to it its destination.

This document is a proposal for such a train, a supplementary education system.  This system is designed to deliver Globally Relevant Education and Training and hence is called the GREAT@. Education System.  Henceforth referred to as GREAT.

As the name implies, the focus of GREAT is on relevance to the future or expected real world and by definition it is required to be a dynamic system, in that it will adapt to the inevitable changes in the future.

The GREAT philosophy is based on delivering competent and responsible globally savvy individuals equipped with the knowledge and trained to use the tools for effective (smart) decision making.  It is the fundamental premise of the GREAT system that individuals with the ability to make smart and efficient decision making capabilities will not only have the same, if not better opportunities for employment as their counter parts but will also enjoy a better life style.   Not to mention at a lower overall cost.  

It is worth re-iterating that the GREAT education system is not designed to replace the Edu-Train-21 system but to complement it and to cater to those left behind.

While the individuals competent for employment do not necessarily make good and efficient global citizens, it is most likely that good, efficient and responsible global citizens, which is what GREAT is designed to deliver, would make competent and desirable employees.

Although the stations the GREAT train passes are the same as the Edu-Train21 the path it takes is a different one based on the philosophy that it exists to satisfy the needs of its passengers.

The Edu-Train-21, understandably, satisfies the needs of the institutions, the potential employers, since it is preparing its students to be hired and be successful at the institutions where they end up working.   Of course this is only a very small percentage of the total global population.  The GREAT Edu-train, on the other hand, is designed to cater to the needs of the remaining majority of the population.

One of the reasons the Edu-train 21 is so inaccessible is that the cost of running such a resource intensive train is quite high, both in terms of money and time.  And one of the cost factors is the train itself.

Do we really need such an elaborate, heavy and long train?

This is where relevance comes in to the picture.  Much of what is taught in the Edu-train-21 curriculum is quite irrelevant, yet it is necessary for this shotgun approach. This approach (especially with liberal arts) seems to be based on the theory that if we throw enough stuff at the kids enough of the relevant stuff will stick. This is perhaps why so many of the teachers are asked, why are we learning this stuff? Where will we use it in real life.  My Dad is such and such and he never uses the math he learnt in High School, etc etc.

Suppose instead a more targeted approach was adopted and only the essential and relevant topics were included in the core universal curriculum and was optionally supplemented with topics chosen by the students depending on their passion, desires, dreams and their choices of potential vocation or career.

Of course the difficulty is in determining what is relevant and essential.  And this question is at the very heart of the definition of education.  What is the purpose of education?

And when all is said and done, perhaps the bare truth is that education is learning the art of smart decision-making.

And it is this definition, which is at the core of the GREAT-Edu train and its engine.

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