A couple of years after the establishment of a stable colony at Elysian, there will be requirement of an education system which will provide Earth like education. However, the education pattern is designed in a way that it is relevant to the surroundings the children grow up in. A primary school will be located in sector 1 of Residency, a middle and high school in sector 2 and a common Elysian University in sector 3.
We aim at providing a skill-based education which does not confine a student to textbooks and written content, but allows them to explore the possibilities around them. After all, these children will be the future generation. They will be the ones to find new possibilities to support survival in the foreign environment of mars orbit.
A child will first start going to school at an approximate age of 3-4 years. At this age, children prefer to play and do not like to be restricted. Hence, a Primary School for children of age 3 to 5 will provide basic learning platform through hands-on activities and learn-and-play techniques. Teachers aged 30-35 years will be recruited through a common selection process. The selected candidates will undergo special training in child education, similar to that provided to primary teachers on Earth. School timings will be limited to 4-5 hours so that the child gradually gets accustomed to spending some time without their parents. Children will be allowed to participate in activities according to their wish. There will be no compulsion for a child to participate in a particular activity.
The activities will be similar to those on Earth in regular Pre-Schools. Children will be regularly engaged in art and craft activities, singing and dancing sessions and basic patterns and combination activities. These activities help in development of hand-eye coordination and motor skills in young kids.
At the end of Kindergaten-2, children will know numbers till 50 and the letters of the alphabet. They will also be capable enough to identify animals in the sanctuary, some of the plants that grow around them in a stimulated environment and identify colors.
However, till this stage it is recommended that they are not made aware of the fact that life like they see around them used to exist in a completely foreign location called Earth. The reason behind this is that this information could affect their mental health in a variety of ways. To them, all that thy see around themselves is all that exists.
This domain will include students from age 6 to 9. At this stage, some amount of concrete learning would be started. Children will be introduced to basic Mathematics, Science and English. However, community specific languages will not be included in the curriculum at any point of time. If the parents wish to teach the child the language of the community they belong to, they are free to do so at home. Other than the above mentioned subjects, children will be introduced to set of basic skills. These skills include designing, working with basic mechanical tools (under teacher supervision), technological skills (computer basics) and space studies.
Considering the fact that the civilians are residing in an independent space settlement, the children should be aware of the environment around them, outside the walls of the Elysian. Hence, they would be taken into the open space in space suits with able guidance and be allowed to explore the free space environment around them.
At the end of each year, the students will undergo an annual examination based on the skills they have acquired throughout the year. However, these examinations will not aim at testing their memory. Rather, they would be required to use all their skills and put together a project.
This level includes students from age 10 to 13. The education pattern will undergo a slight change on entrance to the middle school domain. In the middle school domain, activities are more application based. Theory based studies and practical skills are taught in proportionate way. Theory subjects will include introduction to the concept of life existing on Earth thorough the subject of Earth Sciences, Advanced Mathematics and Science, Social and Life Skills, Psychology and Mining and Resources.
Considering asteroid and foreign terrestrial mining for resources will be one of the main occupations in the future, it is crucial that the future generations on the Elysian are well versed with the requirements of the industry. They will be taught how the available resources will be extracted from their natural source, how they will be converted into useful products and the technology required for their appropriate use.
Considering the Elysian is a completely mechanical structure, its maintenance and development will be based on technology and structural engineering. Thus, computer skills of the students will be gradually developed over the years. By the time they graduate from university, the will be capable of improving the present mechanisms on the Elysian and also make necessary repairs to the structure and technological infrastructure.
In order to provide for a stable and responsible government in the future, the students will be taught the principles of a democratic government and their responsibilities as a leader as well as a citizen (refer to government on colony). As a part of the community, the children should be endowed with a value system which ensures that they will be responsible citizens of the future.
The earlier mentioned system of practical and application based examination through a project is applicable for end of year passing out throughout school life. This way, when the student goes out for jobs, they will have already understood how they should use whatever they have learnt over the years.
The students graduating middle school would have already been introduced to raw concepts through activities and practical applications. The 4 years of high school are meant to polish these already developed skills through experience in real life scenarios in different fields.
At this level, students are given the choice to select any 6 subjects based on their personal interests which they will be studying in detail over these 4 years. Besides this, they will be regularly involved in social and cultural activities in order to develop team-work and social skills. They will learn to effectively communicate with their peers and develop active communication skills.
A special program designed for high schoolers will teach them basic survival techniques and ways to provide first aid in an emergency situation. In the future, when many of them are a part of the asteroid and terrestrial mining industries, a situation may arise when one of the many workers may be in need of help. In such a case, protection of human life should be the first and the foremost agenda of any one present around. The students are not expected to follow a fixed career path. Nor should they be forced to do anything by their parents or guardians. The students should be encouraged to follow their passions and do what they love to do. This will create a healthy work atmosphere and not lead to excess stress in the future. It is possible that over the years many new fields of occupations develop. These will solely be the brain child of the new generations and they should be accepted by the community without any problems.
Gender equality and feminism are very controversial topics on Earth. The upbringing of the children in The Elysian should be in a manner that gender biases are completely omitted out. Not only do the lead to hierarchical divisions of the society but also hinder development and progress of the community as a whole. Secularism and equality are two of the many regretful things that we do not wish to inherit from the Earth.
Care and respect for the provided environment and conditions for survival is something that should come to a child without any external indication. The colony as whole is unique and should be appreciated.
The Elysian University
The Elysian University will be known for its uniqueness of conceptuality. The existing concept of theory based learning and exam oriented studying will be replaced by an education pattern which will give the students a proper experience of the expectations in an official work environment. The few years they spend at the university will seem more of like an internship, except it would be in a controlled environment with well qualified teachers rather than being in an official work atmosphere. There is a common university for all streams. Due to limited availability of space, expansion at any point of time in the future will not be possible.
Other than a few minor changes and the above mentioned pattern, everything in the pattern of education at university will more or less remain similar to that followed on universities on Earth. We believe that other than some minor alterations, the universities on Earth are the most appropriate model of higher education.
Often we feel that a student’s potential is not used to the maximum. Thus at the Elysian university, they will always be provided with enough opportunities to showcase their talents and hone their skills. The teachers in the universities will be well-experienced and well-versed in the fields they teach. They will be capable of providing all the guidance a student needs to fine tune themselves and perfect their skills. And like Hellen Keller dedicated to her teacher, Miss Sullivan, “Any teacher can take a child to the classroom, but not every teacher can make him learn”.
We have tried to provide all the possible guidelines and working structure of the education system. However, the people are free to change it according to their needs and compatibility. Over the years, the education system is bound to adapt itself according to the needs of the citizens and provide what they require.