Question the Answers
Year after year, the education system I was bound to repeated the same error unfailingly. Einstein would have called this an ideal example of insanity and I agree. According to him, insanity is repeating the same mistake again and again expecting different results. What is this error I speak of?
Answering the questions!
That’s right! Answering the questions is what we did at the end of every semester, every year during those hour long exams that were to decide a student’s fate.
The Clone Wars
No, you needn’t pull out your light saber, young padawan. But the threat is as serious as any. All the system succeeded in doing was create a competition where everyone was fighting to be the same. Everyone wanted to be the perfect scorer. Everyone wanted to be the top grader. To quote our scraggly haired friend again…
Everybody is a genius. But, if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it’ll spend its whole life believing that it is stupid.
Rather than a diverse ecosystem of unique individuals who work together to accomplish greatness beyond singular capacity, we’re left with zillion clones each believing in their own brilliance as defined by a score card. This is evident when we see how difficult it is for people to work together and even more so for one to lead a team of many.
The Deafening Drumbeat
There was this sense of an overbearing subliminal beat that played incessantly during my entire childhood. As I grew, the best seemed to grow more powerful and I watched as more of my friends grew entranced by it. Slowly the fun and games stopped and everyone grew serious about their studies, career and life in general. Soon everyone around me was dancing to the same beat and I was the rebel, simply because I continued doing that which we’d always done - dance to our own inner beat!
The irony of it all is the fact that world over, we are witnessing a revival, a rebellion. The same system that stifled imagination and curiosity is now screaming hoarse for innovation and creative solutions, which are in great demand and scarce supply. I’m left scratching my head in amusement. After years of education, the only skills I use on a regular daily basis are language and arithmetic. Shouldn’t we be correcting our primary education system instead of trying to resuscitate a benumbed mind with advanced courses? Entrepreneurial courses and management programs are attempting to teach an individual to play well with others, manage a team and lead others towards a common goal. Aren’t these the skills we learnt in kindergarten and practised in the sand playpens? Somewhere along the way, we were stripped of our inherent attributes and now we’re being taught to bring them back. What a terrible waste of time! It’s about time that kids are rewarded and not punished for questioning the answers. And not the other way round.
The individual is more important than any established system - Bruce Lee