What’s the crime, and who is the criminal ? A critical look at the education system.

Rethinking education. That was the topic we at IDC decided to discuss. It started with an assumption set in concrete. The education system in India is at its worst. The discussion led us to think about what education was and what was the purpose of it. Did it have any purpose at all ?

The education system as it seems today is preparing students to be professionals. At this stage it is inportant to understand who is a professional ? Is a man/woman dressed in a formal 3 piece suit a professional ? Or the one who believes that “this” has potential, this has the power to “change”, or this is what can be the solution to the greater problems in life, a professional ? These questions boggeled my mind through out the conference.

To understand things better the system of education as it stands today was devided  into 4 sections –

Assessment, Resources,guidance and

The one question that got me thinking was the primary need for education. What is the primary need for education? Why does a person need to be educated?

For a job ? No.

A Successful career ? That’s solving the problem looking at the solution first.

Life ? What is that ? How can I learn what that is ? Is there a LIFE 201 module part of my course ?

Somehow even in these well known clichés there is one pattern that emerges out. Education seems to be preparing one for “something” . Maybe an event, a moment .

Let us take an example.as much as this sounds barbaric and demonic there are two men, one is a compulsive murderer and the other is an honest neighbor. The murderer kills people for what he believes is an inner need. An urge would be the expressing of this so called need. On the other hand, let us assume one day our faithful neighbour  happens to find his neighbour being raped. He saw this happen and killed the rapist in order to let the innocent one ( or that’s what he believed) live. In both cases, a man has killed. A man has been the reason for another mans death. But are both the cases same in the eyes of justice. What makes the “work” of the first man ( the conditioned murderer) different from the second ones.

In the first case the man had no self control. And that was his crime.  And who was the criminal ? He or his lack of self control ? Is the primary aim of education to help us control our vulnerabilities ? Is its aim to prepare us about the facts of life which we end up testing and at worst cases find it to be wrong ?

A discussion is welcomed.

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4 Responses to What’s the crime, and who is the criminal ? A critical look at the education system.

  1. Sajan says:

    I would agree with you Shankar to a great extent.The whole concept of education has been twisted in such a way nowadays, that its essence has been lost.

    When we talk of education, I believe it should inspire and motivate us to take decisions and make choices. Its should provide us enough courage to take up responsibilities, both for the self and the society. However, what we are seeing today is bunches and bunches of youth following the herd, the herd of people who are again following their predecessor herds (though there are exceptions..:). What stops an individual to pause for a moment and think “WHAT IS THAT I REALLY WANT TO DO?”

    I think it is education, which again provides him with the necessary skills and abilities to look at oneself and decide. That is the “something” or the event or the moment.

    Regarding the example, the honest man saw the need to protect and made a choice by his will. He was able to look beyond oneself and stand up for what was right, which in this case was to protect. THE REASON in this case.

    Actions(as in the example) are motivated by reasons and motives which might be in the right or wrong. It entirely depends upon one’s conscience. An illiterate person might be able to make a much better decision in the example provided than a well educated person.

    I feel that the topic of education and the example provided are not in sync.

    However, it’s praiseworthy on your part to bring up the topic of education…:)

    • notnarayanshankar says:

      Thanks a lot for starting this discussion.

      I remember this story someone had told me some time ago. Here it goes –

      There was a student who had never failed at school. There was no time in his entire schooling life that he got anything but the 1st rank. like all good ( and obedient ) students he studied hard and got into one of the premier institutes in this country.

      call it Ragging or interaction, every student who has ever lived in a hostel has undergone this and knows very well how important it was to break the wall that the student comes with.

      this student, for the first time in his life got laughed at. He got ridiculed. He looked at this as a failure. Unable to overcome this he decided death to be the best option available. it dint take time for him to execute this plan.

      was the student, having got all the marks in school, able to face the first test that life ( people around him ) put him through ?

  2. Gokul C. says:

    Shankar just brought the education topic to get attention and put in the real topic he wanted people to read – the barbaric murderers’ story! 😀

    and then he gets the 1st ranker who suicides. Wheres the education angle?

    ok, jokes apart, both Shankar and I did agree eons ago on the failed education system. Where are all of us heading? Why the engineering+MBA route? Why are so many engineering schools sprouting like the many new temples do in the country? And why not journalism, or arts or literature, or the-not-so-beaten-path? the challenging ones? Indian mentality revolves around a successful career, a happy family, happily living ever after. this stereotype was never questioned until maybe this century by us. maybe the next generation may be a little more bold to do what they want and not what others want them to do.

  3. Rajath says:

    Knowledge is power… Education is a means of giving that knowledge, though the education system no matter where has its draw backs, but one must not forget that learning is a continuous process. Life has many lessons to teach us, its doesn’t necessarily have to come from schools or colleges, Education has different purpose for different people, one needs it for innovation and other needs it for survival such as job, respect, for society, family, or for just being enlightened with knowledge. life’s important lessons are learnt when we need it. Education in our schools might not be used to its full potential, but come to think about it what ever it is doing, may be because of competition. Indians all over the world are known for the knowledge power, be it scientist, engineers, doctors. I think education is just a means for us to do what we want to do, it helps us decide, prepare,choose, live, realize, reflect on our life. how one uses it is entirely left to the person who is privileged enough to have it!

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