To be educated means to have right values and a world-worthy skillset.
With this post I want to publish a report card on schools( responsible for imparting education), on how they are faring on these two parameters viz: character-building and skills training, of their students.
Lets first examine values which modern schools indoctrinate their wards with:
1) Conformity is good and non conformity is punishable: think dress code, walking in lines, silence.
2) Truth has unique form and a single interpretation. Fixed social and physical structures exist.
3) Never question authority of teachers and principals.
4) You are as intelligent as your current class rankings.
The values they should be reinforcing instead, are:
1) Be uniquely yourself. Conformity is the single biggest thief of life.
2) Truth depends on its context. There are competing narratives available for every fact and rational examination is the only way to ascertain their veracity.
3) Question everything that you read or hear. Accept nothing till it resonates with you.
4) Everyone has unique talents which do not fit into a standardized testing system. Also there is no foolproof objective way of defining and measuring intelligence.
On a scale of A to F, score of schools on right value inculcation then, is “E”
Next, lets look at skills which are imparted to children for their survival in world economic order:
1) Memorization of Facts and figures.
2) Analytical Intelligence used in Math and Sciences.
3) Verbal Skills based on language and recitation.
4) Academic excellence based on fixed curriculums.
Skills, schools should be teaching for the coming world of 21st Century, are:
1) Unique Creative Expressions for innovating on solutions.
2) Critical and Collaborative Thinking for problem solving.
3) Systems thinking for ecological sustainability.
4) Media Literacy for sifting facts from sensation and bias.
5) Meditation and Emotional Intelligence for contentment and life handling.
On the same scale of A-F, score of schools on skills training then, is “D minus”.
Combining the two scores together we conclude that our schools are failing miserably in the task assigned to them. They are exercising huge competitive pressures on children, to produce only literate, not educated students.
Every student will have to spend a lifetime, unlearning these twisted values being taught and additionally, will need to re skill themselves for the future world.
Quite a handicap to start your life with !!