Education Vs Learning

There is a limit to education, learning is infinite.

I have been having various debates with various people on the topic of education and learning, so thought of putting my thoughts together on this topic. Lot of people today blame everything on education – wherever a person fails as per the standards of the society – we promptly say – needs to be educated, or he / she is not educated enough. Incidentally the most profound lessons of life I have received have come from people who may be called near illiterates.

A friend even suggested to a child needs to be taught how to cross the road or which side of the road to walk on Рand my question to him was Рwhat would this child do in a place where the road rules are reverse or conventions followed are different? Are you again going to give him a course on road rules and limitless other rules to follow in the new place. Or can we let the child observe, learn and adapt as required. In a lifetime of 60 years or so, how many things can one get educated upon? Or, in the face of need, or for interest what is the limit of your learning.

Education to me curtails my power of observation as it asks me to listen and believe what is said the text book or what the experts say. It discourages me to question and asks me to believe because many before me have said so. It gives me limited exposure to a subject – for example in a B-school education everything must fit in the 5-6 existing models and later in life when things do not fit in these models – they either try to force fit things or say it can not work. Purpose of education should be to tell me the work people have already done – so that I do not re-invent the wheel but to tell me that wheel exists and there are so many uses of wheels that have already been invented, now go ahead and devise new ways to use the wheel or invent something better than the wheel. This can happen when I am left to learn by observing, by questioning and by experimenting. Education need to empower not limit. Though the stated intention of the education is the same, but the way it is implemented, it ends up limiting the thought process and giving students the feeling that few things that they have been taught are cast in stone.

I would not condemn or criticize the education system, but I would recommend taking responsibility of your own learning. Take formal or even informal education as a starting point to pursue lifelong learning. I personally discovered the joy of learning way after my formal education was wrapped up and to me there can not be a bigger joy in life than learning. Let it not be limited by what you have to learn to pass those exams for those degrees that somehow testify what you know.

Anuradha Goyal

One Comment

  1. The word education itself in misused.It should rather be called schooling (basic skill building …rather).

    My opinion is that you mean schooling and not education. Education doesn’t start and end in an institution, it starts at home with a baby first starts communicating and ends when one dies. There are four Partners in education: The student, The Parent, The Teacher & The School.

    Unfortunately, what we call education has the parent counted out of the four lately… so it is better to be called schooling.

    If I may suggest, my version to your statement “There is a limit to education, learning is infinite.”… it’d be… THERE IS A LIMIT TO SCHOOLING, EDUCATION AND LEARNING ARE INFINITE.

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