Arooj Ahmad is on a mission.
The Libertyville High School sophomore wants to change the education system, which he feels largely forces students to spend too much time memorizing and not enough time actually learning.
While he realizes bringing about meaningful change may be difficult—or even impossible—he says, "I'm ready to try."
Ahmad crafted an initial essay on his feelings, which he posted as a blog right here on Patch. The essay is also set to be published in his school newspaper soon.
"The biggest reason why I wanted to address the problem and tackle it is the fact that I'm currently a student, and I do the work every day. Day in and day out," said Ahmad.
He finds that students spend a lot of time memorizing information for exams and then "it becomes irrelevant after you pass the exam.
"It's not relevant knowledge, and I think that's the biggest problem," said Ahmad.
"I just memorize information, take the test and then forget it. And when it comes back on the final, I memorize it again," said Ahmad.
His criticism is not one against Libertyville High School, where he is enrolled in three Advanced Placement classes, along with many Honors courses. Instead, the problem is a state and national one, he said.
There has to be a change in thinking, Ahmad said.
"A lot of it has to do with stepping away from those current mandates," he said.
Finding a Solution
While he's still working on figuring out what the solution is, Ahmad knows what his vision is.
"You have to remove a lot of the things that make school not enjoyable," like the memorization of material, he said. "Students should want to go to school because they love to learn. It's not just to pass a test and go to college and get a good job."
He hopes to talk to policy-makers about how to bring about the change he envisions.
"Obviously, that doesn't sound practical," Ahmad said of changing the way of thinking when it comes to education. "School should not be about cramming for tests. Obviously, I can't be the only one who believes in it."
What do you think about Ahmad's mission? Tell us in the comments.