It’s probably my recent obsession with listening to John and Hank Green, or how I do intend to go for Graduate studies, or how a recent mention of restricting tertiary education on Twitter, but I decided it was time for me to speak about this issue.
Say that particular word and the first things that pop in your head – school, grades, books, teachers, degrees? I daresay I will not be too far off. With this system fed to us since our birth, debate on education as a right, a privilege, or an issue along those lines erupted.
Therefore, here’s my opinion on the whole caboodle.
Education was not, is not, and probably will never be, fully the pursuit of paper qualifications. Etymologically, education comes from the root word educatio (Latin), which meant bringing up. And as we know, bringing someone up means the whole package – acquisition of knowledge in various fields (academic, social, humanity etc.)
Using that as a basis, let’s take a walk.
First thing, education is not equivalent to intellect. Intellect revolves the human mind, so that generally includes facts, hard skills, academics etc… Intellect can be part of education, but education is, like I said, the whole package. In short, the former shapes the mind while the latter shapes the self.
Secondly, paper qualifications and the acquisition of knowledge, though important, are just part of the thought of education. They provide keys to the gates of our careers and futures, a result of a system created by our environments. And while it is true that the workforce will not be sustainable if everyone had a degree, the opportunities should not be restricted. Restricting the notion of education to the confines of institutions and statistics is not only short-sighted, it defeats the essence of education itself.
Thirdly, your grades do not decide your success in life. Everyone has a different personality, and whether or not this particular personality does well in a system set by your current environment should not define success. So generally, having straight As in your national exams is nothing to scream about. Unless that paper was the reason you could figure out different aspects of your lives well – like how to live on your own without having to run home all the time.
Now, this is just a general view on the tugging debate of education. However, I do believe that it is not wrong to say that in order to develop a knowledge economy, or an economy supported by the knowledge of people, we will have to embrace knowledge.
And by embrace, I mean respect and appreciate the fact that knowledge and education is something human, something intangible, not just mere numbers and statistics.