The purpose of education? Reflections from India by Devanik
What is education? It is an easy question with an answer we know but most of us including myself don't understand. Exactly what our education teaches us: knowledge without purpose. It confuses me ... Is Education a way to earn a living? Is Education a way to earn respect in the society or is to get married in a good family? What do you think?
I would like to share one incident that changed my life and helped me to find and feel an understanding of what education really is. Not too long in college I failed to clear a subject. Suddenly I was subjected to severe criticism and mobbing by my peers, my friends and parents. I was increasingly depressed and doubted myself. Negative thoughts conquered my mind turning it into a helpless weaping sponge. Finally the only action I felt content of was suicide.
Crushed under the weight of what seemed to be the entire Himalaya Mountains I broke and this moment changed everything. I let go and gave up to hold on to something I am not - I finally became myself. I felt as if a fresh breeze in my face suddenly replace this weight. I looked around the world and found that I am not alone. Many people followed their bliss and eventually changed the world - like Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Marc Benioff, Steve Jobs and so on. All dropped out off college to pursue their passions. That day I found an almost spiritual fullfilment in choosing the path of entrepreneurship which is all about never fearing and giving it your best shot in each time you try. Thinking back in time, I am happy now that I failed this class. Had I not failed, I wouldn’t have realized my true potential and abilities, I wouldn’t have achieved so much as I have done and lastly though it may seem hilarious I wouldn’t have been writing this blog post.
I learned that education is not just about burning the midnight oil to get a MIT or Harvard degree. Education was originally encompassed to enlighten people’s minds and thinking and help them grow as an individual. But sadly enough, today it’s a huge contrast. Students just mug and mug to get more marks and grades. When I see my parents spending hundreds of dollars on my college, it hurts me badly from inside because I see no value for it. Over the past 4 years of my graduation, I know I haven’t learnt a single thing from college education that I can value. All that I have learnt have been during my internships, interactions with diverse people and exploring avenues myself. The best way to learn is to do real time work and not being into notes & books .There is no use getting a A grade in physics if you love photography and have a passion for doing it. I feel all of us have some passions and interests in life. Very few in this world are able to recognize it within them. In India, where I feel education system limits one’s personal ambitions and dreams, there is a drastic need to change the system. Though steps are being taken to change the system, it’s a long process to make a significant impact.
Projects like Supercool School are a great step in transforming people’s thinking and thoughts. For those of you who haven’t seen the movie Accepted (2006) starring Justin Long, it’s great manifestation of what I am trying to say here. You should surely grab a
copy of it of you believe in what I am saying here.
My vision is of a world where all that matters is your passions and dreams. Just imagine. No marks, no exams, no Harvard, And students don’t have to commit suicide due to failing in their exams. Just you and your dreams. I hope during my involvement with Supercool School, my aim would be to work together to make this dream a reality. So believe in what you do, follow your heart and intuition, have the confidence to do what you like irrespective of other’s opinions because you are living for yourself, not for the people. And as Steve Job