A Dream For Education | Act Youth Force
Education. What is meant by education? The word itself contains a whole dimension. Human beings, when born, are like seeds lying deep in the darkness of the Earth. When showered with water, these seeds develop into plants, laden with fruits and flowers which emerge out of the darkness into the glowing light of the sun. That ‘shower of water’ is what we call education.
Photo by James Pritchett on Unsplash
Education is a process, a whole experience, on its own. It is the enlightenment of the soul and the awakening of the heart. It is exploring one’s inner self, and the world around us. It is the nourishment of the mind and the foundation of our personality. In short, it is a journey which commences with our birth and continues until we take our last breath.
Mahatma Gandhi, very beautifully described education as,
“Literacy in itself is no education. Literacy is not the end of education or even the beginning. By education, I mean an all-round drawing out of the best in the child and man- body, mind, and spirit.”
What a remarkable definition, isn’t it? After reading all of this, do you think we are receiving this kind of education? In my opinion, definitely not. Our schooling system nowadays has become just like an empty nutshell, presenting a promising outlook, however being hollow from within. Although, the reasons for this deterioration may be several, yet the most culpable of them all is the growing incline towards materialism. In today’s world, a never-ending pursuit of material gains has begun. Schools are only concerned with receiving increased fees from students, while parents, their focus is mostly centralized around the grades of their children. Due to this mindset, the psychology of the students is being adversely affected. We are brought up in an environment where ‘good grades ‘and ‘well-paid jobs’ are the primary purposes of education. We weave dreams of getting ‘hefty salaries’, ’grand houses’, and ‘sparkling cars’, and it grieves me to say, that hardly any of us ever desire to attain the most indispensable of all benefits education has to offer—becoming a better person.
As Aristotle very aptly summed up:
“Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all”
This, I believe, is the foremost shortcoming of our education system. We are feverishly engaged in a task and not truly focused on the matter at hand. Stating it explicitly, we are ‘schooling’ our students but not ‘educating’ them. Traces of this phenomenon can be found in the very roots of our surroundings. If we take a look at our own lives, we spend hours cramming information from textbooks, whether it is a history lesson on the 1947 struggle for independence or a moralistic article on the principles of life, our approach remains the same— just learn, give the exam, and forget. How many times have we read a chapter on helping others and adopted its teachings in our lives? For most of us, perhaps, not even once.
The norms of our society can also be held culprit for most of the adverse happenings. All praises are reserved for those who end up in well-settled careers and luxurious lifestyles regardless of their intellectual personalities. They view the world through the lens of materialism and encourage others to do the same; for them owning iPhones, luxurious jewelry, and limousines is the true measure of one’s success. Even, if someone does try to bring his or her education to the ‘real use’, every possible effort to deter them is made.
“Become someone first and then think about such things.”
This is the generic statement most of us hear when we try to explore the true meaning of our education. I am not implying that getting good grades or studying hard for a well-settled future are not important aspects of education; they too are equally significant. However, striking a balance between the two is paramount to truly gain the benefits of education.
After considering all of these aspects, the question for me that arises here is-Why?
Why does this kind of mindset actually prevails? Does education not teach us to fix the flaws of this world, to help others, and to improve our personal self? Then why not implement these practices in our daily lives? In my opinion, it is high time that we start taking the issue of education, seriously. It is time, to take the initiative and break free from these chains of useless social norms. It is time, to start raising a generation that explores the true meaning of education, and it is time to quench the thirst of our dormant seeds and shower them with the water they truly need to grow. Thus, let us unite in this purpose and bring forth a community that helps the poor, the needy, and the destitute and not only serves its own selfish interests. It is our job, our responsibility to create such a community that is not just ‘schooled’ but truly ‘educated’. Only we can make this dream come true.