Friday, June 25, 2010

The Great Indian Pendrive

They say education aims at making us better humans. But how effective is it, if it makes us underconfident, prejudiced and practical failures. Welcome to India, where education aims at making you nothing but another brick in the wall, to put it in the words of Pink Floyd. Even though that was a generalised take on education, I'd just like to add that it personifies India like no other.

Since the days of the gurukul education system, we've only been made to memorise and recite like parrots. Reasoning and questioning is never encouraged by parents or teachers. But in this era of and virtual reality, isn't memorising a job that's just left to pendrives?

Talking about education as a whole, it is not a process that just starts at school. It starts from home. And our teachers and elders have the perfect ways of killing any interest that a kid may cultivate. We're so insecure as a nation and society. This insecurity combined with false pride and ego takes a toll on a kid's future. Job security rates higher than passion and the kid is made an instrument for parents' ego.

We would like to believe in chasing excellence in stead of success. But the truth remains that we succumb to "what has scope" and to "what our neighbour's son does". Just for the record, India would be one of the very few nations in the world where people want to become engineers for the fear of not getting another job that suits their "position in the society" otherwise.

We teach our kids to believe in idols, century old scriptures, holy books and superstitions. But make it a point to NEVER teach them to believe in themselves. A post graduate in India goes around asking help to fill a resume while even a kid in the west would know how to sell himself. The same theory of "give a man a fish and he'll eat for a day, teach him how to fish and he'll eat for a lifetime" applies here. But unfortunately, we're least interested in learning how to fish. We're glad being highly educated, complacent and less readier to face the world.

Albert Einstein once said that Education is what remains after one has forgotten everything he learned in school. And here in India, once an exam is over, we're formatted pendrives.