Wednesday, 24 April 2013

The Educated Vs. The Literate


I recently had a run-in with the Principal and the owner of a pre-primary school my younger one was going to as amazingly, his outfit was demanding from these 3 year toddlers, writing skills which a 1st grader’s mom would be proud of and to top it all, the play school expected the hapless young minds to learn up all sorts of facts and reproduce the information verbatim in, do hold your breath, EXAMS, written and oral! I am sure everyone would agree that where children are concerned you can transform yourself from a mild mannered Clark Kent to Superman (an angry one i.e.) in no time.

Literacy I told him was not why I was sending my son to his play school. I wanted my child to be educated not made a literate. Like most people I say that to, he too was utterly confused and as with most people, I had to explain what I meant. My main objective of sending my little darling out of the protective and loving environment of a home to a school was not to teach him to read and write only at that early a stage. For me those are primary skills I can develop in my child at home too. My aim is not to turn him into a computer or a Google Search Engine (which in their own are essential too) but to mould him into someone who can use that information and knowledge to his own and others’ advantage.

As a parent I want my child to grow up to be to a well-rounded individual who learns the basics of the society we live in to be able to develop values and people skills and be comfortable while interacting with his peers, his teachers and many others he may come in contact with out of his home. In other words I want my child to be socialised.

Socialisation as many of us know, is the process by which people learn characteristics of their group’s norms, values, attitudes and behaviour. I also want my child to be confident, self-reliant, independent and curious. Education should empower children to be creative, develop skills which help them to better understand themselves and the world we live in so as to enable them to be compassionate, critical thinkers and above all become better humans.

Our school system, as we know it, does little to enhance the skills of children who in the process of growing up find everything failing them. The education system binds them, oppresses them and turns them into impractical and sometimes even unemployable individuals by the millions. These individuals who maybe graduates, post graduates and even Doctors of Philosophy I call literates. However they are not educated in the best of its sense.

The educated have social values, integrity, honesty, morals and principles and work very hard to make the world we live in a better place not only for themselves but also the coming generations.  The educated empathise and sympathise with the plight of all who surround them and do not turn a blind eye to the miseries and misfortunes of others. The educated do not bribe, steal, con, murder, litter, or spit whatever be the circumstances. The educated are creative and innovative people who try their best to make theirs and the lives of others better and more comfortable.

The truly educated never stop learning and never graduate.  Peter Drucker, author of, “The Age of Social Transformation” believes that an educated person is one “who has learned how to learn, and who continues learning, especially by formal education, throughout his or her lifetime.” Their thirst for learning is never quenched. They seek, are curious, they question and never make judgements without first digging deeper. They are humble, modest and unpretentious. And above all their quest in life is to be true to themselves, true to what God made us to be …humans.