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What do we unlearn when we actually learn?


Is our Education part of the Problem?

First published in The Indian Fusion
Written by Prashant Agarwal

Today, there is a huge debate going on between various educationalist that ‘Whether education is really the panacea of all the problems’ and I have to admit that till few months back till the time I didn’t ruminate about education I was convinced that it was. Maybe the branding of education is so strong which makes us believe that education is the only path which can lead us to prosperity (As Christian Missionary use to believe that the path of Christ is the only path to reach heaven.)

But, it is not that the people don’t think that the education is important, just that they question the current education system, they want to think about the whole pedagogy from the ab-initio as the current system is not serving it’s purpose and somehow making us ‘Unlearn more than we are able to learn’.

Education starts dictating a linear path i.e. you go to school, you do hard work, you go to college and finally you get a good job but go out and look at any successful person and you realize that life was never linear for them, then why do we teach our kids for 20 years to act linear?

Education has been proclaimed as the ‘Ultimate way of prosperity’ but today there are millions who are graduates but unemployed and somehow they have lost one of the most important skills of human being ‘the act of survival’. From Centuries, human being are known to make their own way and surviving through toughest conditions. But today most of the young graduates know only one skill in which they have been trained in the college and have somehow lost complete touch with their own culture and the work of their ancestors like handloom, agriculture etc and by getting educated they have raised their expectations while the reality is not the same.

The linear path of education has started becoming so steep that today some 17 million college graduates are working in sectors which do not require college degree(only in U.S.), had theyinvested their time to learn more about that skills wouldn’t it be more useful. And are we really doing the right thing by making everything so linear and putting everyone through the same production lines. When had we learned that ‘Our society needs only one kind of professionals’ and when did we learned that ‘humans can be made in the same fashion as on a production line’ irrespective of their individuality.

Today, every society in the world is trying to change is public education? But why? Two reasons pop up as the biggest issues being Economics of providing education to everyone and Cultural Identity.

People have started realizing that while we are learning, we are also unlearning the old traditions, old cultures and old languages and as it has been said ‘There is no future without the History’ so is it really worth losing our cultures to learn something, which actually doesn’t make much sense. We all are asked to learn algebra in our school but the time we graduate only 10% would be using it and only 2% use it in their professional life, So why do we are do adamant about these issues?

Also it’s not only the students who are unlearning but somehow it feels like the reformers of our society have also started unlearning and due to which there is some kind of A.D.H.D. (Attention deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Epidemic).

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