This news first seemed to me like those "O & A-levels" education ads. back in Nepal. Remember how those colleges used to accept people who failed SLC? A nice deal for both the schools as well as the students right? This is exactly what happened in USA too. Many students are able to join colleges without even getting a high school diploma.
NY Times writes:
But many colleges — public and private, two-year and four-year — will accept students who have not graduated from high school or earned equivalency degrees. And in an era of stubbornly elevated high school dropout rates, the chance to enter college through the back door is attracting growing interest among students without high school diplomas.
However good this may sound to the dropouts, it is creating a controversy across the media. So, what is the point of high school diploma if you can enter college without it? Does this not mean that students can give a damn about high schools and yet get to go to college? This has set a negative impression among the thousands of high school seniors. And, the numbers are growing day by day. NY Times further writes:
There are nearly 400,000 students like Ms. Pointer nationwide, accounting for 2 percent of all college students, 3 percent at community colleges and 4 percent at commercial, or profit-making, colleges, according to a survey by the United States Education Department in 2003-4.
For heaven's sake, 2% of the college students are high school dropouts! Now this is something that really bothers me. Not that I care so much about what goes on out here but this is something that sets a bad precedent for other countries. If it can happen in USA, why not in Nepal? It may very well be true that one day the Nepalese will knock the door of the ministry of education with the same proposal. And then, what next?
One needs to understand that getting the opportunity to go to college isn't enough unless one is prepared for college education. This might be explained by the failure of many high school graduates to graduate from college. There is yet another dimension to this problem. Problem of allocation of our scarce resources. Should we invest on these high school dropouts who are most likely to flunk from colleges too? This is a growing debate among the American education circle.
Whatever be the case, I am not for the admission of high school dropouts in colleges. Education should have some levels of filters attached to it. If you can do what you want, then what is the point of ranking different levels of education? Why not have a provision which lets you climb up the ladder every year?
This is a matter of debate. What do you think?
(based on: Can't Complete High School?Go Right to College,NY Times,May 30,2006)