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For A New Education System

Published April 11, 2013

Education as we know it is pretty similar in westernized countries. You have pre-school or kindergarten for the youngest children, primary school, high school/college and finally university. All these stages of education follow a similar structure with a similar hierarchy of subjects with mother tongue, math and science at the top, the humanities in the middle and the arts at the very bottom. This model of education dates back to the industrial revolution because there was an increasing demand for labourers with the basic skills that the education institutions of the time provided.
This model is however severely out-dated in the world of the internet. The world is changing faster and new technology is being developed faster. Technological change will soon make jobs obsolete faster than they are created if that development hasn’t started already. It sure seems to be here already considering the fact that a lot of young people today who have completed a university education are having trouble finding a job in their field. Modern education strip mines our minds for particular commodities because of preconceived out-dated notions of what intelligence is. There is a lack on emphasis on the arts, creative thinking and truly utilizing the potential flexibility that the internet has to offer in the area of education.
The dropout rate in Icelandic schools is a lot higher than in the other Nordic countries. An issue that has not been discussed enough is the fact that the dropout rate for boys is significantly higher than for girls according to an OECD report published in 2011. This is especially true of students who have learning disabilities such as dyslexia or ADD/ADHD who often feel frustrated with the lack of options and do not feel engaged in what they are doing.
I along with several of my fellow Pirate nominees for the upcoming parliamentary elections are planning to introduce an education platform that will hopefully end up as a parliamentary resolution that will introduce a set of policies that would greatly reduce the dropout rate and increase students’ interest in their own education. We are looking at several other policies that have already been applied with great success in other European countries.
Putting a greater emphasis on creativity in schools both in the arts and in more formal subjects will greatly increase students’ ability to empower the multitude of different skills they possess. Teaching computer programming and code starting in primary school will prepare students for a future that is highly dependent on the internet and requires a lot more programmers. Half of the world’s population will be connected to the internet within the next four years and the internet economy is expected to double in that time. Philosophy and gender studies should also be taught in primary school in order to improve critical thinking and give children a greater understanding of equality.
Introducing a more personalised form of education that suits each individual student will give students a greater ability to pursue their various talents. Online forms of education such as Coursera and Khan Academy have already been used as part of the curriculum in schools in other countries. It is only a matter of time before online forms of education start competing with the traditional forms. We need to speed up that process, because right now, we’re wasting a lot of valuable talent to an education system designed for the industrial revolution and we need an education that is designed for the future.



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One Day in October (During Master’s Month)

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 On the occasion of the last day of October, known by some as “Master’s Month,” blogger Charlie Marlowe recounts his mostly futile attempts to become a master.  October 07, 2014: The day before yesterday, in honour of the glorious tradition of Master’s Month*, I decided that I would take the necessary pains to acquire a slew of new and useful habits—habits that would put me on the road to becoming a more successful, a more likeable, and altogether more estimable version of myself. A better me, in effect; a better better me. Having made this decision, I set my alarm clock

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Brotherly Love

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My brother is a fourteen-carat, stone cold wanker. At age twelve he spoke fluent French, at fourteen he was the fastest 100-metre runner in Ireland for his age, at eighteen, he captained our school choir and won a scholarship to university for academic excellence, by nineteen he spoke fluent mandarin. My name’s Tom and I’m his older brother. Yesterday I started putting raisins into my porridge. Raisins contain polyphenolic phytonutrients that can improve your ability to see in the dark, and in Iceland around this time of year I reckon that it’s a shrewd bit of thinking. But society wouldn’t notice.

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Lost In Mucous

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The first time I heard it, I did what all good girls do and politely ignored it. The second time, I shot him a look of disgust. By the third time, I couldn’t handle it anymore. I felt like I was going to be sick. I cast a crazed eye around the room, but to my shock nobody else seemed bothered by the fact that a certain member of the Grapevine team, let’s call him Bill (because we have a Bob), has a penchant for sniffling and snorting large globules of mucous down the back of his throat. HAD HIS MOTHER

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Audiomilk And Book Mafias

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In short: Only the privileged few A large number of Icelandic books are available as audio books at the audio books library. Available, in this case, however, means available to those who need them rather than those who would merely enjoy them. The audio book library is publicly funded and to some extent exempt from copyright restrictions, to serve blind and dyslexic audiences. Last week saw a mild debate involving non-blind and non-dyslexic readers who would nonetheless like to be able to buy these audio editions; the manager of the library who explained how absolutely nonsensical and futile not to

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Accidental Iceland

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I don’t have the sharpest social skills but I know when someone is making a joke at my expense. My travel agent was clearly making a joke at my expense: “I know you won’t fly through Heathrow or JFK and I know you will ‘never get on another Delta plane as long as you live,’ but of course you want the cheapest fare possible. The cheapest roundtrip ticket from New York to London is Icelandair with a slight layover in Reykjavík.” I had several pertinent questions for my travel agent and she answered with an exaggerated patience that made me

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You’re Wet, And You’re Cold, And You’re Miserable

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You’ve just come in for the day. Your clothes are strewn across the radiator. Your anorak is hanging in the bathroom. It’s creating a giant puddle on the floor. Oh, and you’ve just stepped in it with your last pair of dry socks. It’s cold. It’s wet. It’s gray. It’s late October in Reykjavík. You’re kicking yourself for not choosing to visit during the summer, but as some Pollyanna told you, at least this way you’re getting the authentic Icelandic experience. Well, you should know that it wouldn’t have made much difference if you had come during the summer. It

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