–I am still trying to see if I can use unions, sine and cosine [in mathematics]. I still haven’t been able to.
–There are certain problems with our educational system
–I have BS degree in Mechanics. As for the time we were in university, it was a disaster.
–What I studied in high school, and really seemed ridiculous to me, was differential.
–Talents were wasted, opportunities were lost.
–My major was English language, but I had to study trigonometry, algebra and other such things.
–12 years of our lives!
MEHRAN MODIRI: What do you remember from high school and junior high school? For example, do you remember anything from physics? Or do you remember anything from chemistry?
–If a book is written for students, they should sympathetically go over this book to see if it is really useful for the students. And if not, they should not waste the children’s time. They should take him in a direction that would be useful for him.
MEHRAN MODIRI: Does anyone remember anything from trigonometry? Do you remember anything from geography? In general, I want to what were their uses for us.
–As for universities, there is nothing one can do, but I think more about K-12 education. When we were studying, first of all there were no places for creativity.
HOJATOLESLAM GHARA’ATI: The youths need jobs. This proves that during the K-12, he hasn’t learned any skills. They have taught children a bunch of things that are neither useful nor harmful—general information such as the countries’ capitals, high and low mountains, rivers, capitals. A person with a diploma has no skills.
–I studied mechanics, but why am I working in currency exchange? Because it was useless, and I had no skills.
HOJATOLESLAM GHARA’ATI: When they go to universities, some professors, not all of them, only teach them theories, and they know nothing in practice. K-12 education should teach a profession in these 12 years—whatever profession the child likes. One profession for each boy and each girl.
–In my opinion, from the very beginning, an expert group whose real expertise is finding people’s talents should tell the students and the youths in high school what their real talents are, so that they can be attracted in the fields that they like, and then they can really work on them.
MEHRAN MODIRI: I wish that since childhood, people’s talents were found out. Somebody would study and advance in mathematics, somebody in music, somebody in language. Everybody, his own talent. We all studied everything. And in general, we do not remember two third of it. We are only literate, meaning we can read and write, do some math such as addition, subtraction, etc.
–I haven’t been able to go to green groceries, and say ‘give this much cotangent of vegetable soup.’ I can say that none of it was useful.
–Not only in junior high school and high school, there are some weaknesses in the universities, as well. For example, we went to classes and the professors used to ask us to ‘write,’ while our class was 2 credits for practice and 1 credit for theory.
–Engineers should do something. Just being an engineer is not enough. He should design and build a part from the scratch. Now if he does not have this skill, it is worthless even if he has taken his degree from Oxford University, or, say, Boston [in the U.S.].
–Really my job is very different from what I studied. For example, social studies, defense preparedness, and such courses which take 1.5 hours of your time per week. Well, one can do a lot with this 1.5 hours.
–There were many problems and formulas which were only for memorization. At the time of exams, we memorized and wrote them exams’ papers, and then they were never mentioned again.
–Right now, the problem with our high schools is that there are no practical courses in them. When they [students] come to university, they are good in theories, but terrible at practice.
–I think I passed 8 credits of general or special courses in the university, which had not specific use for me. Well, that is just my opinion.
–Arabic, algebra, probabilities [in mathematics], trigonometry, discontinuities [in mathematics]. We wasted the paper, we wasted out time, we wasted our energy over something that would be forgotten 6 months later.
–Some of the things that one is not interested in, but he has to study by force. Those things bother me. For example, Arabic. Arabic can be as good as other foreign languages. But we should see whether I like it or not. I might be interested in Japanese. But incorporating a course as a foreign language by force did not seem interesting to me.
–Well, as for our K-12 education, everybody knows how wrong it is. But these lessons that we study will be of no use for our future.
–We took the university entrance exam just 2 days ago. But we really cannot study what we want in the university.
–For example, derivatives and integrals and other things in mathematics. If we don’t want to study mathematics, they are not useful anywhere else.
–What is the use of math for me? What is the use of chemistry for me? What should I do with all these compounds? What do I have to do with compound of this or that thing? They should make books easier. They should make books more understandable.
–They bother the students. Teachers are the worst of all. They bother the students.
–From childhood, people should follow their talents.
–When they are very young, they should follow their talents. I had talent for acting, but it did not flourish. I couldn’t do anything. So, I had to study a subject that I didn’t like. Something that I didn’t like.
HOJATOLESLAM GHARA’ATI: There should be a change in our K-12 education and our universities. Useful sciences must be taught there. Sciences that knowing them will not make the world a better place, or not knowing would not make the world a worse place should be eliminated. Instead they should teach a skill or a profession to people who are getting their high school diplomas.
[The report prepared by Fars news Agency focuses on people’s views about education in Iran. Most of them complain about uselessness of subjects and courses they had studied in the universities. They feel that their educations have not prepared them for real life. A cleric, Mohsen Ghara’ati, and a well-known comedian, Mehran Modiri, are quoted on uselessness of the educational system.]