Thousands of the class of 2012 are busy finding out whether they have cracked the a-third's-good-enough pass criterion in order to make school a thing of their past. If thing's haven't changed too much, it's likely that a sizeable number of pupils will celebrate this occasion (or may have already done so) by burning their school notes.
This burnt offering speaks volumes.
It tells us that, after 12 (or more) years in the education system, learners (is this still the accepted term? I can't keep up) have not been instilled with the most basic--the most important--characteristic in someone who learns: A love of knowledge.
As others have mentioned before, this attitude runs deep in our society. Even our 'philosopher' president couldn't have been further from loving knowledge (the word philosophy literally means "love of wisdom") when he embraced conspiracy theories and pseudoscience, at the expense of people's lives. More recently, we're hearing more and more talk of secrecy, half-truths, and downright lies.
Knowledge is power, and we're seeming a little powerless as a nation right now.
Rather than obsessing over minute fluctuations in pass rates from year-to-year (not to mention that small changes are to be expected, statistically, purely in terms of sampling--could someone please point this out to those in charge of crime stats?), we need to take a serious look at what matriculants are really leaving with. A certificate? Yes. But without the skills or the desire to seek out, to cling to, and to constantly refine their knowledge base, that certificate may as well be added to the pile of burning notes.
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