How We Failed Education | Act Youth Force

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This series is in collaboration with Act Youth Force (Visit AYF) where we focusing on the write ups by different students write inspiring stuff. Read the complete series here 


The sweetest fruit of education is defined by Oliver Wendell Holmes in the simplest words:

“Man’s mind stretched to a new idea never goes back to its original dimensions.”

Unfortunately, for the majority of ‘educated’ people in Pakistan, the only dimensions that their minds dwell on are those reached by their forefathers through their acquaintances with their society. Our lifestyle, dress code, behavior, and priorities; it all refined itself to blend with the society, and camouflage itself to the society’s ‘originality’. However, when it comes to our way of communication, and what we communicate, it’s like our forefathers resurrected from their graves.

Besides, who is to be blamed for this? Yes, our education system.

Photo by Debashis Biswas on Unsplash

The standardized education system is designed in a way that it is producing robots rather than literate human beings. Students are expected to score grades, rather than learn what they’re actually being taught. Teachers go to their jobs every day just for the sake of explaining the contents of a single textbook- same boring routine every day because this system restricts the teacher to understand the depth of the word ‘teach’. Right in a teacher’s palm is the power to change the world by teaching his/her students the subject of life. Morale boost and motivational lectures are the most effective sources of fuelling one’s hustle towards their purpose in life, whether it’s a teacher or a student, but no such activities are organized in schools. Due to which a school for a teacher is just another day at work, and for students, it is just another day of burying your heads in books and returning home loaded with homework. Hence, we have constructed a society where people are schooled but not educated.

Photo by Aman Shrivastava on Unsplash

Between the rapidly advancing world and competitive scoring in grade tests, we lost the essence of education. We boast about our Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees claiming the level of our education, but in reality, our degrees do not define, how educated we are unless life puts us in a situation where our words and our actions can prove it. Every day we see thousands of people driving glossy, expensive cars, and yet breaking basic traffic rules. They own big cars, must have been able to afford good schools, too,  right? Yet, did they prove their education? No. The CFO of a flourishing company joked about finishing homosexuality by killing all those who are part of the community. He is a CFO, must’ve gone to a very good university, right? Yet, did his university fail to educate him? Yes.

Photo by Liana Mikah on Unsplash

We school ourselves, but we don’t change our intellectual perspectives, and let our sentiments and ego conspire for us which further dooms us in the darkened valley of ignorance.

Every time a girl is told to hope for a wealthy husband so that she wouldn’t have to earn, we fail education. Every time we casually throw garbage on the floor, we fail education. Every time a girl is rejected for marriage because she is ugly, we fail education. Every time a guy bullies a girl out of insecurity just because she is confident, we fail education. Every time a transgender is harassed at work, we fail education. Every time a girl is told that her life would be over if she got divorced, we fail education. Every time a girl cakes her face with layers of fairer makeup because her dark skin makes her ugly, we fail education. Every time a boy is told ‘boys don’t cry’, we fail education. Every time a man is raped and chooses to stay quite so his masculinity isn’t judged, we fail education.

We think that all of this happens in the world due to our personal flaws and a lack of humanity, but we forget what makes us humans-Education. If our motive of education is only to excel professionally, then we shouldn’t be surprised at the suffering birthing in our society everyday matured at the hands of varying individual behaviors because it is inevitable. The only way, the old dimensions can be left to enter newer and better ones is, if we start by finessing our education system, so that people can learn the true essence of education which is to become a human. 


Written by: Khadija Sami |  Cover photo by Lachlan Gowen on Unsplash

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