What is Education?
Long time ago I was apprised of a story about Henry Ford. He was appointed as a chairman/President of some club/society which was detested by some people/group who sued Ford on the ground that he had no formal education. When called upon to show cause Ford responded as under:
“Education merely provides tools to seek knowledge, nothing more. I have employed a number of persons to read and inform me about any subject I may require, all I have to do is to press one of the several buttons on my desk. Thus being able to retrieve knowledge, I am no longer uneducated.”
The story whether true or not, certainly drives the point home.
What is actually happening is quite amazing. If we see the question papers, in any stream of formal education, the stress is upon retrieving crammed knowledge from the memory and to reproduce the same in response to the questions asked. There is evaluation of capability to acquire knowledge. This can only be tested if practical questions are asked and the source of answer is also supplied. That would be true test of education i.e. ability to observe and understand the problem and to find the solution.
While it is not being done, it has serious repercussion on society. Every graduate has become a little Google who knows nothing but remembers everything. The moment you start talking about anything, without even waiting for the sentence to finish, the search in the mind and come up with some inadequate response. Then he realizes the mistake says sorry and repeat the search in his mind with more keywords.
There is no room for observation or understanding at all due to such habits inculcated with the pattern of education. I can only hope that some day, may be this year itself, somebody will consider this problem and do something about it.
© Sandeep Bhalla