So, you are a new resident in this developed country, settling in your new neighborhood, your new home, and you have mixed feelings about the education system.
Someone once said that the grass is greener on the other side. Another person said that if you water the grass where you are, it will become greener than the other side. Yet another person said that the greener grass on the other side is fake grass.
Now that you migrated and you are experiencing the other side, is the grass greener on that side? You do not need to respond. That was meant to be a rhetorical question to get you to reflect.
Several of my friends have many issues with the education systems on the ‘so called’ greener sides. In one regime, the children are given little or no homework. Why? Parents work long hours and they request that less homework be assigned because they are unable to supervise or to help the children with homework.
In another regime, parents’ interaction with teachers is close to nil because it is simply not facilitated nor encouraged. If you are a West Indian immigrant and this is your experience, I know you are strategizing to initiate some change in this school regime.
I am an experienced West Indian educator, and I like examining differences in school systems and although this is not a scholarly article, please bear with me as I share some differences in two school systems. The information below was gleaned from conversations with my friends who migrated. It is shared as a reality check. My recommendation is that a new resident should not compare education systems but should quickly try to understand the new system and adapt strategies to make the transition manageable.
|New school system||Former school system|
|Ranked among top five school systems in the world||No rank – underdeveloped school system|
|Little or no homework||Lots of homework|
|Projects done at school||Projects are part of homework|
|Few exams||Lots of exams and tests|
|Few contacts with homeroom teachers. Communication often done electronically, e.g., Google Drive.||Easy to contact homeroom teacher. A parent may even visit school without an appointment.|
|Job market requires formal certification. Lots of job opportunities for skilled and unskilled workers.||Job market requires formal certification. Skilled workers have few opportunities and often migrate to search for jobs. Unskilled workers lack opportunities|
|Skills based||Not skills based|
My friends should not board the next available flights and return to their countries of birth. I humbly suggest that they do some more research, adjust their mindset, and enjoy the new experiences along the journey so that they will help their children to achieve excellent education outcomes in the new education system. The grass is not always greener on the other side.