At 17 years old, Nikhil Goyal is shaking up America’s education system. Goyal is a senior at Syosset High School, a public school in New York. While most high school students focus on athletics, academics, and socializing, Goyal aims to transform the American education system.
Goyal’s book, One Size Does Not Fit All: A Student’s Assessment of School,describes the flaws within America’s education system and provides solutions to fix the present challenges. He explains the importance of finding progressive leaders to transform our nation’s education system.
“Everybody is born with innate curiosities,” Goyal said. “It’s a school’s job to cultivate them and not to kill them. There is a high level of dissatisfaction within our education system since schools never allow students to cultivate what they are good at.”
Goyal encourages students to get involved in the education movement by writing about their personal experiences within the classroom through creating a blog. He describes the importance of blog writing and chronicling anecdotes online. He triumphs his success to continuous research, reading, and sharing opinions through writing.
“When I was documenting some of the work schools were doing, it was very pragmatic,” Goyal said. “Learning is messy. It is not cut-and-dried. It’s about the learning and fostering the collaboration between teachers and students.”
To get involved in education reform, Goyal advises students to visit other schools in their community and observe the classroom environment during their breaks.
“When we allow students to have a voice, we can revolutionize the education system,” Goyal said. “My parents are not in education. They taught me to love learning. When I was younger, my mother took me to the library every single week and I learned how to read at a very young age.”
As Goyal critiques the American education system and calls for action and change, his teachers and school administrators remain silent.
“Most of my teachers haven’t commented on what I do,” Goyal said. “I’ve spoken with the Superintendent and never received congratulatory remarks for writing a book about improving education.”
Although Goyal is applying to colleges, he will defer his admission and work for Purpose, a company based in New York City. Purpose works on solving some of the world’s largest problems. They collaborate with organizations and companies to launch social and consumer movements using creative models. Goyal hopes to work on improving education.
“For 16 years of people lives they are being boxed up in a system where they are never asked what they like to do and what their passions are,” Goyal said. “This needs to change.”