What is Education?
A perspective from a 20-year-old who has always questioned his education.
All my life I have questioned this particular education I was being given. I did not understand why I was learning biology, geography, mathematics, physics and I mean almost everything. I can safely say that I have forgotten 90% of the knowledge my entire schooling has imparted in me. No one ever gave me a direct answer to this question but they just kind of used authority (Parents!) to make me go through those many hours of useless education and paid all the expenses which was never required for this education.
Some reasoning for why you are made to do this.
You are made to study all these subjects just to find your interests. These many years of schooling to account for any changes in your interest. But that is not done in a smooth way. You are graded! and when you are graded less in a subject it does not mean that you are not interested but bad in that subject. Forced to study the subject or you would not be promoted to the next class and be called dumb.
Wait a minute, so even if I am not interested, I have to study it and get good grades. Wow. Just Wow. But I was able to find my interests, biology. It also gave me understanding of my passion (Nature).
Here comes the twist!
After my schooling I was given two options (authority again); either take engineering or medicine. It is a coin’s flip for the students of this country (India). I aggressively questioned here only to be given the answer that the rest of the options would not feed you enough.
So, my interests did not matter after trying to find them during my whole schooling. Wow. Just Wow.
So, here I am left with one more year of study in my UG program and still can safely say that I have gained no special skills that cannot be learned in a week and forget in the same period of time. Again, it is not just me there is a whole country giving me company.
So, from all this I have made another reasoning.
Education was not what I was given nor anyone in the country was (idk about other countries).
The only thing from this definition I was given was the “the acquisition of knowledge” part. But the real education is the rest of the things.
You know what’s fascinating about skills? Once learned they are not forgotten ever. They stay with you till death. The only skill the present education gives is “how to study” but what about the rest of the essential skills? Cooking? Gardening? Driving? Cleaning? Housekeeping?
Nope, not in this country (India)!
You know the amount of impact it is going to have if everyone is taught these specific skills in this country. It is going to eliminate the notion that only women are supposed to those chores. Men would really see the hard-work that the women of the country do every day along with the other tasks. This is where equality is appreciated.
Traffic will improve, people will eat healthier food, and the country gets clean.
Values drive people to act in one way or the other. These sets of values are a guide for human behavior. Ethics and etiquette are a part of these values.
I know people who even after all this schooling steal things. Why?
I know people who do not know what respect is. Why?
Cause our country expects people to know what is right and wrong on their own opinions. Wow. Just Wow. You might argue that such things are supposed to be taught at their home. Some did and some did not because of various reasons (busy parents, no parents, bad parents or anything else).
We are homo sapiens, the highly evolved human. So, there must be a set of rules that dictate on how we should eat, how we should talk, how we should dress and other things that should be done in a polite society. Etiquette is the word for it. This is also what defines a person to be professional in his work or job.
But these are taught only later in life and I will talk about what is wrong with this later in the article.
Every culture and religion has its own beliefs. We should learn about all these beliefs and respect them. Some might not make sense, but you still must respect them even if you do not want to follow it.
Religious hate crimes happen a lot in this country because of this very reason. One religious group wants everyone to behave according to its religion and keep attacking every other religion. Wow. Just Wow. So much for secularism.
I do not want to talk more on this topic.
Habits are very powerful. Good habits make you a better person while bad habits destroy you. Every student in this country is restricted a lot. Once this restriction is lifted, these students try various things (cigarettes, alcohol or drugs) and get addicted. They were never taught on how to break habits and replace them with good habits.
Alcohol is not bad (the rest are still bad) but the students are not supervised while drinking it. They learn to drink from movies and friends. They do not know how much to drink or what to drink.
The students never reveal their habits at their home and often face the consequences of these habits throughout their life.
All the above things are part of soft skills and are not emphasized much in this country. They are only made to be learnt before their job placements while the rest never learn them.
Also, when they are introduced to the student at this later stage. By this stage, the mind develops aggressive beliefs and opinions (you basically get stubborn) which would not help you learn them. It becomes a debate on why you should learn them. Even proper debating is never taught, as you can see in this country debating starts and ends with personal attacks. Just turn on that TV for some live action.
Education is education when all these parameters are satisfied. Any other so said “present education” can be learnt in a week (except for rocket science).
Employment is missing because everyone is missing these parameters.
Call yourself educated only when you have satisfied these parameters (now you gotta learn it yourself). I can safely say I am not educated!
The only way to achieve proper education is by scrapping off the present curriculum and including activities that stimulate these parameters early in the student’s life and later introduce the other subjects to let them find their future careers.
These parameters will help them make their decision by weighing all the pros and cons without any authority or false information. These parameters are what makes someone mature enough.
This is my perspective and reasoning. I hope any of it made sense.