Most of what is taught to us is burped on the answer sheet and forgotten. The smartest of people usually get passing grades in stuff that needs memorizing. If one takes a look at the people who changed the world, or had a significant share in changing the world, one would realize the worth of education.
True education is not about making one understand what the concept is. It is but merely making one understand the importance of why the concept came into existence and why the solution or the answer to the problem made a difference.
There are different solutions to a given problem. All the solutions may not necessarily be optimal. However, despite being sub-optimal or in fact miserable, those solutions came to existence to solve a problem.
It is important to understand why the solution came to existence.
Taking the classic example of the bicycle - an invention which changed the world. Well, you might wonder how bicycle changed the world. Take a step back. Do you know who invented the wheel?
Even if one did dig into the medieval history, one would not be able to exactly determine the patriarch of wheel, one of the greatest inventions of all time.
Coming back to why Mr. MacMillan's invention's changed the world. There were other modes of transport before the bicycle. For example, the horse-pulled carts did exist before the bicycle was invented. However, such carts were not readily available to the mass.
What the bicycle gave to the average man was an affordable mode of transport. Why Mr. MacMillan's invention was remarkable was because of the fact that it allowed a common man to be able to transport himself easily.
The reason why Mr. MacMillan came up with the idea of the bicycle is considered to be that he wished to travel to a distant place in lesser time.
One would not consider his mode of transport expensive as he was not considered to be one of the richest.
Therefore, the problem was that a not-so-wealthy person needed a way to reach to a close one's place at the earliest, which led him to devise a solution.
The solution even though not the perfect one, was indeed a starting point of many transportation vehicles.
Most of us know that stuff like the bicycle exist. A great faction of us do not even bother to understand what was the problem and why the solution existed. In fact, the greatest faction of the lot is merely at awe at the depiction and fails to even reach to the rationale as to why the awe creating stuff even exists.
Let's take a small example. Ask a common man, or for that matter ask a person who did not even have basic education if that person knew what a movie was.
The answer is likely to be a yes.
What educated the uneducated?
A gut feeling says that it must have been what's liked by the masses. Anything which is liked or required by the mass in general is likely to be known.
On the other hand ask a bunch of people at random who Einstein or Newton was. There is a high chance that you may find at least one not knowing who either of them was.
Does that leave the Education system thinking?
No, that would not be the case.
Education, like any other Societal tool, is but a means to bring a Socioeconomic balance. Tool may not be the apt word to define it. However, it seems to be the closest.
Ever since a kid barely learns to mumble in a so-called well to do family, the kid is taught alphabets and numbers using different images along with one thing - the native language.
While the native language might not be the first language in the schools or colleges, it is still taught. The kid may not be good at math or physics but is definitely better than average at the native language.
Why is it so? The answer is quite simple. Everyone loves to converse in their native language. It is what their forefathers have loved and it is what their descendants would most likely do.
A simple example of this could be music. One always loves to hear songs sung in their own native language. It is because they can associate with it a bit better than in the second language they learned.
Does this leave an insight?
Have you ever wondered about how much of the things you learned back at school or probably back at college do you really use in your everyday life?
Making money for survival or for that matter a decent living needs almost less than half or a quarter of what one studies. Probably, that is too high a number. In fact, to make a modest living, one might not even need to go to school. Wondering? Try and see the records of a lot of successful people. You may be surprised by the educational qualifications of a lot of them.
What one needs to learn is perhaps how to make money. The truth is that education is not about making money in general. It is about teaching certain things which the Society thinks one should learn.
Taking a look at the modern day jobs, it feels that a lot of money goes into the bank accounts for almost nothing.
If you take a look at high paying jobs, you would realize that what it takes to do a high paying job may not necessarily be a bachelors or a masters and not even close to a PhD. On the other hand, a high paying job might just require basic education.
Most of the times a concept like integral calculus is considered to be difficult concept to grasp. Even more interesting is probably the question - How many people do really apply the concept of integration in their day to day lives?
In all what has been taught to the masses, or rather the privileged, from where it stands, it appears that most of it is just branding. Once a brand is established, it fetches you what you could have got without that brand. It may however not come as easily as it came in the first place.
Does this mean that education is all about branding?
It is not an easy question to answer. A lot might even consider that this is sheer nonsense.
The only thing that remains to be asked or understood is what is it that we all study to achieve?
Only a few do really study to learn what they truly aspire for. The reason behind this is not that there is a fallacy in the educational system. It is because there is a lot of imbalance created because of the imbalance that exists.
A true educational system cannot survive a monopolistic regime.
In the end, monopoly drives the society.
It may seem absurd to begin with. However, the fact is that despite whatever happens, the means to make more begins with having the means to do it.