Are we getting Education or Information?
“Beta, did you complete the extra assignment which you were given in English?”, asked Mom.
“But I want to go out and play, Maa!”, replied a six-year-old kid.
“Studies first, then your friends”, scolded Mom.
Is this not the scenario observed in every alternate house today? Does it not hurt to find small kids sitting behind books instead of finding them hiding behind your back while playing hide-and-seek in the open air?
Thinking all of these changes happening around us puts us in a situation where we are bound to ponder about the most basic thing we strive to achieve every minute- Education! Leave aside all your work and just think for a minute- since the day when we were first taught A for apple, B for ball to today, C for coding, what did we actually learn? Is learning from books, passing in exams somehow, getting good grades you term education? Or did we just get information without knowing its application or consequences in real life?
Well then, we are in a very confused state of mind! According to me, education and information are two very different things. Your tube light in the room gets off and you wait for days in the darkness for some uneducated person, as they call them, to come into your room and make it work. What did you write those descriptive answers for, if you can’t apply that knowledge in real life? So, if we look at it with an unbiased mind, the electrician who probably has not studied much is more educated than that person who can just answer theoretically but not practically.
Education is all about applying the information you studied in real life to make it easy and comfortable. The tap of the washbasin breaks open, and you being well educated must have a solution to it instead of again waiting for a plumber. Your clothes get torn, and you must know how to sew it back, you must know how to cook so that if the maid goes off for a day your family does not have to depend on the restaurant food, you must know how to water your plants and take care of it, so that you don’t have to depend on the gardener. To sum up, in a nutshell, I define education as gaining attributes so that along with the information you become competent enough to take complete care of yourself and turn out to become a self-reliant person. It isn’t just about these basic daily activities, but if your computer has a problem you should know how to fix it. No job is small and a basic knowledge of these things would help a lot in the future too.
In the ancestral years, the literacy rate was very low. A handful of people were literate but all were educated enough to tackle the problems of life with utmost perfection. Today we have become literate, literacy rates are increasing but do we still master the same skills which we should have inherited from ancestors? Obtaining degree has become a business. The more you are capable of paying, better the degree you obtain. There are a few doctors who are produced in the market in the same way. But did they ever think that their black money is not going to be of any help to them when a patient will rest his life in front of him. At that lifesaving moment, it is not the information but education that will become his weapon.
All this puts a serious question to the education system. Are we trying to conclude that the electrician or plumber who knows life skills are better than a well literate person? The answer is a simple NO. We can apply the knowledge only if we know it. If we don’t have information, we can’t use it. We can face the world, put up our viewpoints, explore our talents, make our identity in the world only if we have studied. While studying, we get millions of reasons of not doing it. The first one being, wherein the real life are we going to apply it? Till our schooling or learning days, we regret each passing day thinking that all we do by learning or studying is simply a waste of time. But then it is not always the content that matters in life. Burning the midnight oil in board exams may not be fruitful for exams, not even one question that might have come from those extra efforts put in. But the act of working hard that we inculcate is worth the painful toil. Let life throw any difficulty in front of us and we are able to tackle it very smartly. So education does not teach us just the science and maths, but behind the curtains, we are able to absorb a lot many things which teach us life.
Today, we study for marks, have become grade oriented which is not healthy. Otherwise, education is and will remain the root of our character, there can be changes made to the system, lot many! But what we need to remember at the end of the day is that education is the practical application of the information. Both of them go hand in hand, none can be ignored, both ought to be mastered!