To be frank, this has been a long prevailing thought. People generally get defensive when I discuss this topic with them. Not their fault. 99% of us are conditioned to think in a routine way. After all, most of us have been to school (and some were intelligent enough to get admitted into college). 🙂
Tell me how many of us have realized last week that at constant temperature, pressure bears an inverse relation with volume? No one? 😛 Okay, let’s take a more common one. How many times in past 2 months have you realized that in a right angled triangle, sum of squares of two sides forming right angle is equal to the square of the hypotenuse? Unless you’re a mathematics professor or teacher, your answer is ‘No’ , and so is the answer of majority of us. Then tell me, why were we forced to memorize all those complex formulas and chemical equations which will be never used in our life? Any takers? What’s the use of all those theorems that we mugged up an hour before the exam, wrote them and forgot forever? Now I think and realize, I did it all to get recognition as a scholar, to stay ahead of my classmates in school, to have wonderful certificates & to have those cool mark sheets. But no use in Real Life.
I see almost all the school/college toppers follow the same path. Born -> Go to school -> Topper in every exam -> College (top top top continues) -> Graduate Degree (everybody happy, recognition : he/she is brilliant!) -> Job (or MS in US -> Job) -> Age 60 -> Retire -> Spend rest life reading news paper -> Die. What’s your value addition on earth ? What did you do for the fellow people (there’s a big crowd around you, right?)? What did you pay back to society? What’s your contribution in making earth a better place to live?
I find this really disturbing. I see people with highest grades & almost zilch common sense. I think the primary purpose of education is to evolve our minds. To give us better ideas, to make us better persons. Our schools and colleges fail there. Instead of teaching us to face the practical life, we’re bombarded with the knowledge which hardly 1% of us will use. Well, I admit the importance of ‘the basics’. I also believe that one should know the stuff around us. One should know Boyle’s law & Galvin’s theorem. But well, there is something, I think, is more important.
Who will teach us to be good citizens? Who will tell us that spitting on roads is not good? Who’ll teach us how to communicate well? Who’ll teach us how to face difficult situations? Who’ll teach us to be happy? Who’ll teach us to think about others and make their life better? Who’ll teach us to respect women? Who’ll tell women that beauty isn’t the last thing on earth? Who’ll tell us that races, casts, religion are all man-made and fighting for them is ridiculous? Who’ll evolve our minds?
At last, there aren’t quick answers to these questions. These questions will hover over my little educated brain (I’m a first class Electrical engineer by education and I’m working in Software Industry, does that sound odd?)
If you have answers to these questions, do comment. You’ve my shoutbox to shout your thoughts.
I got to take rest coz its’ been a hard day @ work. 🙁
Hasta La Vista !
– The Big K –