Friday, July 13, 2007

EDUCATION AND STUDENTS


Ok, so I am a student and I feel that that qualifies me for stating my opinion on this matter. Now out of the safety valve of a graduate degree, I am coming to terms with the world outside and I feel angered. And i feel that most of my education was probably my doing! We all talk about education. Hell, it is a sull fledged industry that is booming by the day. Soon, there will be a university on every block, and they will start awarding degree's for common sense (which is good), to how to walk like a winner! Every course we want, every thing we desire, is supposedly just a mouse click away. Most would say that this is probably the best age to be born for a student. This, after all, is the age of education. The age of opportunities and the age of enlightenment. Or is it?


Everywhere I go, i see more and more confusion. Its silly to limit yourself and its fatal to be confused. The cost for knowledge (yes, theres a price to pay), is sky high, and you are promised all kind of electronic vibes and devices that apparently will merge with your brainwaves, the way they increase the price of the course. Then, theres the society aspect. Till school, we ARE our marksheets, and after school, we become our degree certificate. So there is always the preffered and the deffered. And in a way, they arent really wrong. Landing on the wrong side of the economy is a mistake we pay for. But tell me, where in all this, did we EVER talk about education? Where are we talking about WHY we need education? Sure, we need it so that we can sustain ourselves. Invest in our future earning capacity. But apart from that, why do we need education? Is it to get a fancy tag and social acceptance? Is it to make a gateway into a foriegn locale? Why do we spend a major part of our young lives behind the books, knowing very well that we will land in that place for sure once we are old and physically useless?


The ideal response to this would be, self development. We want to develop intellectually, understand the world and of course learn something that can feed us, and maybe help buy that Mercedes. But mostly, we study, to sculpture our personality and character, to become the kind of independant individuals that are the foundation of any civilized society, the kind of people that the builders of the modern day society had in mind when they crafted these idealistic tenets of civilization. And, to realize the potential that comes with being a human. We study, because thats what humans do. Thats how ou species survives and prospers.


Yet, what part of education involves this? Or rather what part of education that you pay for? For one, all the places that come REMOTELY close to providing students with this kind of an environment where students are given a chance to broaden their vision and perspective, have rigid entry requirements and demand that you be nothing short of a genius. Oh, and that does NOT mean that you should actually be a genius. Just one on the academic records. That, or have highly specific preferrably marketable and understandable skills. Like being a computer prodigy or tennis prodigy is any day better than being just smart. And i have no offense to that. But tell me, if I am your articulate, already perfected, well proven genius, then WHAT THE HELL DO I NEED AN EDUCATION FOR? Sure, my already accomplished self will find contacts and accliam and moolah in your premise, and all i probably had to do was sit hard and study and get a pretty marksheet. But tell me, what part of that required me to be a genius, or even intelligent. I just had to be smart enough to blind myself and just mug up. which is a very important quality in this world, but not necessarily one that these places of education claim to look for.


Educational Institutions are the alma maters for those who wish to know, who SEEK to know. It doesnt require you to have a pretty profile and/or a lot of money. It takes raw talent, and burning desire, two things that they are least interested in. I spent so much time enquiring about universities left right centre, and the one thing that i got to hear was, see, you have talent, but its raw. They need you to have already developed it. I could have agreed to this excuse had it been a future employer or company. I mean of course they want sculptures and not just clay! The companies, businesses and employers are like art galleries. They display the sculptures, no clay. But the educational institutions were supposed to be the sculptors, not the middle men who milk the sculpture and the gallery people! Why do all big institutes look for flashy marksheets, great extra curriculars and loads of moolah only? I mean, agreed they are an easy way of knowing that the student may have talent. But tell me, does it ever occur to them, that a Mark sheet isnt a verdit on the childs intellect, just on his current devotion to the studies. By current devotion to studies I mean, how high they rank in his priorities. If i am probably someone going through some personal issues, scoring straight A's wont exactly be on my agenda. Also, it isnt necessary that ALL students from EVERY part of the planet will have the opportunity to develop themselves completely. HELL, THATS WHY WE ARE COMING TO YOU! And, if my parents already have a truck load of money, why the hell will i waste my time beyond a bachelors degree sitting in a University. God knows that we learn a lot more by travelling and working than we ever can by sitting in a classroom.


What you do get out of current education system though, is friends for a lifetime, and understanding of how people and world function and if you are a management or technical graduate, then a skill to live a life of luxury. Of course this statement is subject to conditions and exceptions. But apart from the technical part of it, where did these alma maters help us? Also, I know from experiance, that a book can be as good or better a teacher, and are way more cheap. So if it really is about making a sound business decision, go for the book.


I am not against education. I think we all need education. But education isnt about teaching us to think like Einstein, or giving us a ground to parade our own skills. Its the one opportunity we get to actually grow and develop ourselves. And there is no bigger deed than that. I dont believe that there are humans who are not interested in self appreciation. We are all constantly trying to live an image we create in our minds as to who we should be. Every kid is born with curiosity, sharpness and a certain ability to understand. We are all born equals and the primary reason why most parents then send their kids to school is in hopes that theur child will develop upon this ability. Then why, after landing in an institute for education, do we become the good, mediocre and dumb students. Why after graduating from the higher halls of learning do we become a success or a failure? And why, after leaving them entirely, we actually start from where we had left as toddlers? Is it all just nature and evolution at play? Or did somewhere, education just really went wrong????

1 comment:

finding thyself said...

Interesting and thought provoking post. Absolutely fantastic insight.
I had a similar view on our current education scenario on my blog.

"An engineering seat is Rs. 5 lacs, a doctor seat can go upto Rs. 40 lakhs" that was the common phrases one used to hear when going in for an admission. But does it gaurantee a brilliant engineer or a good doctor? is the million dollar question only time will tell.