Education – overrated.

Burdened by books
Burdened by books

I’ve always been strongly opiniated about the fact that education isn’t merely restricted to the letters you add to your name and the data you can mug up in order to attain those degrees and letters. Mugging up or by-hearting as we call it has been something I’ve despised from the time I started dealing with the harsh reality of not being a very bright student, or so they declared – average. An average student. Why? Like I said in my previous post, a B+ was the best letter on my score card and I was proud of my achievement because mugging up was the hardest thing for me to do. I couldn’t quite understand its need. Why should I mug up? I could never absorb the meriting system in school and shrunk away from any kind of competitive exams. These were ruled by the so called brighter blob of the mob that we were. A mob of culturally, intellectually and linguistically different people. The cream, I remember, consisted of a handful of kids who either had photogenic memory (lucky by birth) or the sloggers; those who burnt the night oil all through the year (academically forward by choice). I wouldn’t classify either of these two sets of people as “intelligent” though. These were and are kids who manage to vomit information onto the answer paper. Doesn’t make them anymore intelligent than what I am.

Intelligent, as far as I’m concerned are those kids who can reason. Those who can answer by giving solutions to problems and not spilling out solutions given by someone else. Intelligence is the watermark which differentiates people who can absorb, understand and radiate; contradicting the current theory that kids who have a good academic track record are intelligent. They are good with books, no doubt but thats just about where the comparison ends. I used to hate being in competition with any of these nerds. I have had my way with books and I’d want it to be that way. I have never mugged up and I will never do it in the future either. Its alright if that makes me a failure. I have my principles and I will live by them. Also, not to forgot, I have met very few people whom I consider intelligent and Sanket is one of them. We call him scientific Sanket, just for kicks. This is a guy you could turn to for reasons on anything and everything. Luckily, he isn’t the kinds who’d slog either. Thats precisely what I like about him. He’s plain intelligent. No more flattery. Another thing I’ve learnt from him is that intelligent people (the real ones) tend to be people who cannot accept the fact that they can be wrong once in a while, they are arrogant (mostly) and most of them think of you and me as pests. Just my hypothesis. Its alright if there are no takers to my thesis.

The education system we have in India has been flawed forever now and even though I see some improvements cropping up now especially in parts of Kerala, the overall dearth in intelligent people lead me to believe that we need an awakening. The possibility of which is very grim since we currently have a fatherhood of people who are from the immediate post-independance era. Thus, according to them, education is limited to what is taught in school, whats mugged up and puked out. Its in your head only if its in your scorecard. I’m hoping, from the pit of my heart that things change. Education be more interactive and thought provoking than what it is. There should be optional subjects of study. And as far as choosing a stream of study, a profession and everything along its path, this should be left upto the individual. All the parents must do is to support him/her in whatever way they can. I sometimes see the plight of little kids carrying bagpacks twice their own size. I’ve known of 12 year old kids who don’t play anymore because they have three competitive exams coming up and they have homework. So what about the simpler, more important pleasures in life as a kid? What about playing games, falling and hurting yourself, teasing and be teased, friendship? I mean, would all of this be limited to the walls engulfing the little ones along with stacks of never ending books? I shudder at the very thought of such a fate!

I’m sometimes amazed at how I achieved what I did. How did I ever complete 12 years of schooling and around 6 years of college (Junior and Senior) I have no clue of how I managed to get that Bachelors degree. I cross my heart and hope to die, I haven’t mugged up ever since I was like what 10. I still managed to clear and not only clear, I did average on most occasions. Until there was the time when I was the prodigal son who broke a fathers dream and instead of going into Engineering I turned to a stream I knew I’d never be happy in – Commerce. I had to do that cause I scored outrageously bad in my 12th boards. I faintly remember those years and I can’t stop smiling. There was this godly hand above me else I’d never have cleared academics. Dad still seems to dwelve in the possibility of me educating myself further. I always lose in a debate or an argument when it comes to dad because I can’t yell at him like he can. That’d mean I’m being disrespectful. After a certain point its just waiting… waiting for the collosal damage being done to whatever I’ve accomplished so far to end. Waiting in brutal agony. Sometimes, I think about ways in which I could make him happy. But then, guess what? There isn’t any. He seems to have given up on me. His son couldn’t be an Engineer. Pfft, loser. Anyway, here’s a public apology father. I’m very sorry I couldn’t accomplish your dreams for me. I wasn’t made to study a course which required a lot of money and dedication. I’m too much in love with life and I’d like to LIVE every second of it. I never wanted to be an Engineer. And yes, I couldn’t be one even if I wanted to be. I do not understand derivatives and integration and trigo. I don’t understand their purpose in my life. It was too much of a burden on me anyway. WARNING: no misconceptions here. I love my dad very much. I couldn’t get him what he wanted and I feel sorry about it but he’s my role model. I wish I was as perseverant as he is. I wish I was as awesome as he is! But dad, lets agree? Educated today is overrated and I’m a living testament to the fact that you can do well without an Engineering degree. Booyah!