OP Results Day is always a day of emotion filled with laughter and tears. As someone who has taken a very different and unique educational pathway I thought I'd take this opportunity to remind my fellow high school graduates (and parents) that your grades do not define you. 

Society in this day and age is so focused on the end result, not the process. The fruit, not the tree. As students when we well and truly get trapped into our current (and outdated) education system, we come to understand that it is more important to provide the right answer than to ask a creative and unique question. We begin to believe that we’re at school to merely absorb knowledge rather than to create and to apply it. 

By the end of Primary School, I had three suspensions to my name and was on the verge of being expelled. Why? Well, the goals of school did not align with my personal goals and aspirations. After discussions with many of my classmates, I was not alone. The schooling system is not for everyone and we should not expect all students to conform to it. 

According to the Foundation for Young Australians (FYA) ‘The New Work Order’, 60 percent of students are currently being trained in jobs that will be radically changed by automation. Success in the form of traditional education does not necessarily correlate to success in the real world anymore. The jobs we were being trained for in the classroom, will no longer be the jobs of the future.

Our education system must give students the opportunity to ‘flearn’ (to fail and learn simultaneously). We must help youth embrace the art of flearning and understand that it is always within their power to be whatever it is they want to be.

The people who have attained a wealth of success on this planet have found success despite their poor performance in the classroom. Sir Richard Branson struggled in school and dropped out at the age of sixteen to start Virgin Records. Katy Perry struggled too and dropped out at the age of fifteen to pursue her dream of becoming a musician. In the face of the education system, these individuals were considered incompetent and stupid. In the face of the real world, these people thrived. 

“Break the rules, not the law. It is impossible to be original if you are too well behaved. Think outside the box and break some of the rules.” — Arnold Schwarzenegger

Taj Pabari is the seventeen-year-old Founder of Fiftysix Creations. A social enterprise with a goal of educating one million kids by 2020. 

Personal Website: www.tajpabari.com 

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