Education might not be the easiest thing to get through. But it is easier than mastering the philosophy of education itself! Hear it from a student of final year B.Sc.
It may sound immensely incredulous now, but the truth of the matter is that the concept of education wasn’t born alongside the human race. There was a period when it was just about plucking apples and eating it too; apart from harnessing other talents.
Damn! How come we’re always a little late for the party? But then, did I call it being a little late for the party? Who am I kidding – there’s no party tonight. Actually, there’s no party on any night. Because nights are meant to mug up a few inscrutable theories, alongside a few mugs of the inedible, right? As I said, damn!
The word education is said to be derived from the Latin ‘educare’, meaning ‘to raise’, ‘to bring up’, ‘to train’, ‘to rear’, via education. But then, how different is Latin from Greek for us? I guess that’s precisely why they’ve come up with a new one. It says education derives from ‘educere’ (with a long u), meaning “to lead out” or “to lead forth”. There is an English word from this verb, ‘eduction’, meaning drawing out.
Whoa! As if education itself wasn’t tough enough, they’re out to get us with the dissection of its ancestry too. As the two kids of the popular sitcom Khichdee would say, “badey log, badey log”! Or should I stick to the good ol’ ‘damn’? Never easy on our parents’ ears, I guess it goes well with the damning slug-fest that we had to endure between a damn-good-actor-turned-a-damn-ill-informed-activist-turned-a-damnably-plastic-certificate-on-pesticolas. All that damning reminds me that I had always wanted to be like Van Damn. God has begun by gifting me with the iron-man’s brain! I say, God seems to be a slow starter; hope he is a good finisher. Oh, come on, where is this damn subject going anyway.
Be back to the subject, shall we? They say that the fundamental purpose of education includes educating young people to become responsible, thoughtful and enterprising citizens. And before you scratch your chin, get ready to pull your hair. Because they – who are these ‘they’ anyway – believe that educating young people is an intricate, challenging task requiring deep understanding of ethical principles, moral values, political theory, aesthetics, and economics; not to mention an understanding of who children are, in themselves and in society.
Alright, go ahead and kill yourself.
I mean come on world, why trouble yourself with the burden of understanding who we – the children, did you say? – are; when you can conveniently hold us responsible for being irresponsible anyway. Do you elders even realize how your self-righteous need to inculcate values, principles and other indefinable are muddying your brains? Why, on one hand we – children, did you say? – are ‘oh so irresponsible’ while on the other, right from the day a man, any man, anywhere, had last smiled genuinely at his own wedding reception, we’ve been held responsible for almost everything!
And prey, tell us how mixing one foul smelling yellow liquid with another even worse smelling white liquid in a very narrow tube going to make us responsible! Oh yes, maybe it would teach how not to spill tea while transferring from the kettle to our wive’s cups.
But, as people of my tribe know, you have to do it – even if you want to become a cartoonist. Heck, you have to do that even if you don’t want to do anything in life. I haven’t given more ammo to my dad, have I?
But hey guys, and all my dahlings, guess what more education is supposed to do: to foster development and prosperity of an individual, the surrounding society and even the entire humanity. Moreover, an individual’s development and the capacity to fulfill one’s own purposes can depend upon an adequate preparation in childhood (read education).
Not sure about fulfilling my purpose, but what I know is that filling test tubes is not preparing me adequately for everything I might never want to do. Heh heh!
Oops! I’ve run out of space. So this one’s for you, editor. I don’t know about education’s purpose; but my purpose with education is to open up to life. Open up to such diverse knowledge that it would help me get over life’s standards. Can you help me get that kinda education here in Ahmedabad?