Why Alternative Education?
Alternative education exists because the formal system of education fails at multiple levels. Here are the key reasons:
Conventional schooling is teacher centric
Teachers are given a particular syllabus to complete for each term. The teacher has to complete the required part of the syllabus irrespective of whether the learners have understood or not. There is no opportunity to be creative, and teach different approaches that might be more relevant to the learners.
Learners are mostly daydreaming in classes
Children are expected to sit in classrooms for hours and listen to the teachers, who are in a "lecture" mode. Unless the teacher is very demanding or entertaining, most children are day dreaming. This has been beautiful explained by John Holt in his book Why Children Fail
The syllabus of subjects taught is arbitrary
Learners are taught and forced to appear for exams in topics that have very little relevance to day to day life. Hours of lives of children going to regular schools are wasted in learning, memorizing concepts like formulae in organic chemistry and calculus, when there is very little relevance of these topics in real life.
Learners have serious gaps in their knowledge
Most learners have to "pass" their exams, and education institutes are forced to send a large percent of learners to the next grade, whether they have fully understood the concepts or not. In higher grades, learners are taught advanced concepts, when most of their current concepts are not clear. Exams are designed to ensure that majority of the children "pass", by having fixed question formats and pre-announced dates.
One size does not fit all
Learners are grouped based on their age and not their interest or ability. Due to the variance in the learning abilities and interest, the class is designed for the "average" pupil. Most learners are either ahead or behind the average and hence disconnected from the system.
Education system creates followers, not thinkers
The goal of the education system is to teach learners how to "stay out of trouble". They can do that by doing arbitrary things like blindly memorizing irrelevant concepts to be able to appear in exams and stay of out of the bad books of their teachers or parents. Such an attitude is carried through life where people end up doing things they don't understand, just because they are told by a person with a higher authority. This is because the hierarchical structure of society needs "workers" who will work as they are told to, without questioning.
The society of tomorrow will value thinkers over followers
As human society moves towards more automation and freely available knowledge, the role of the "worker" will become limited. Society will value thinkers over workers as there will more opportunity and need for jobs that require a higher order of creativity and experimentation. Also becoming a blind follower reduces the purpose of the human experience. Humans are thinking creatures and thrive under a higher degree of freedom.
The goal of Learners' Collective is to experiment with a new education system that is learner led, where learners play an active role in their education and there is no coercion or force to learn and memorize a particular arbitrary concept.