Saturday, October 16, 2010

Are You An 'Education Survivor'?

If you're reading this you obviously went through the education system. And maybe you are among those who are grateful that your school days were lovely. And that what you learnt is being put to use every day.

Or maybe not.

Conduct a group discussion with people (friends, colleagues, family members), around their school days. You will find a mix of smiles, frowns and giggles -- and the frowns will usually be about their experiences inside the classroom. Almost everyone has a story of how they were wrongly punished or discriminated against or didn't receive their just dues for something or the other. Around half the people will recall the oppression they felt at different times -- examinations, punishment being handed out, the subject/s they could make neither head nor tail of, the quiet acceptance by their families that they would be mediocre and their own realization that they would not be 'good enough' in a number of things.

Cut to the present, and many of them (now quite successful in life) will also be saying : "Why did we learn all those things? And even what I studied in college, what am I doing with it now?"

These are the symptoms of the 'education survivor'. Are you one of them? Are there really as many of them around as my dire prediction indicates? Is it only our tendency to wallow in self-pity? Or just the usual, superficial user-critique of education? Finally, is school education really something like a dreadful disease (or at least a dreadful experience) which leaves behind 'survivors'?

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