Education, Then and Now | Tomorrow's World

Education, Then and Now

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Several years ago, I had the honor of being a public school teacher in a major city. One year I was assigned to a new building under construction. When the time came for school to start, the building was not yet ready. So, I was given an assignment to take some other teachers to an old school building and hold classes there until the new building was ready.

Maintenance crews cleaned up the old four-room schoolhouse for us, and on the first day of school I arrived and unlocked the doors to our temporary classrooms.  It felt as though the old building was smiling as her children were coming home. For several months, we made the old place active and busy. But the time came for us to go, and we moved out. In doing so, I sensed that I was a witness to a great change.

The difference between our new building and the old schoolhouse was very evident. The old building had blackboards, desks with inkwells, and outdated heating systems. The new building would soon have all of the latest electronic equipment. The pace would be faster, even if slower-learning students might more easily be left behind.

The old building had served children of an industrial age, giving them a solid grounding in a very basic education. The new building would bring students into a modern scientific age, full of communication marvels and technological wonders to behold.

Sadly, there would be no room in the new building for old-fashioned values such as personal decorum, modesty, cleanliness or godliness. Self-esteem would replace the fear of God as the driving force for student motivation. But on what would that self-esteem be based?  Hard work, love and service to others? No. The new ethic taught that everyone should “do their own thing.” God was escorted out of the classroom. It took a while for the results to be felt, but we are certainly feeling them today. 

Scripture prophesied of a time when knowledge would increase beyond our wildest expectations. “But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase” (Daniel 12:4).

So, what can we do? Students and teachers alike are having a hard time keeping up with all the new knowledge around us—knowledge that was supposed to give us the answers to all our problems.  But has the “knowledge explosion” really answered the fundamental questions of life?  If a classroom of young people today were asked, “What do you need to know?”, they would respond:  “Teach us how to have the happy marriage our parents did not have,” or “Teach us how to bring up children without making the mistakes our parents made,” or “Teach us how to earn a living in a time of economic trouble.”

Could most of today’s teachers even begin to answer those questions? Certainly not with the Bible “off limits” in modern classrooms. Scripture prophesies that a time is coming when the whole world’s educational system will be geared toward producing balanced, well-rounded people whose minds are filled not only with facts, but also with the knowledge of how to apply those facts in living a godly life that will bring happiness to all. To learn more about this wonderful prophesied time, read our booklet, The World Ahead: What Will It Be Like? and watch our Tomorrow’s World telecast, “A New World Is Coming.

  Originally Published: 05th January 2012