I recently had an exchange of views on being educated and wrote the following two paragraphs. Something I sincerely believe in.
Education to most people, means acquiring qualifications, academic or professional. I disagree totally when this is the understanding of the term. Degree holding donkeys are still donkeys and you will find them everywhere. If by being educated, one means having learnt to learn, you will find millions of them around. Some of the most interesting and educated persons that I have met have been illiterate peasants in rural India and some remarkably successful but illiterate fisher folk. With modern communication being universally available, it is increasingly getting to be unnecessary to acquire qualifications to be educated or become wise.
My liberal arts undergraduate degree got me admission to a professional Master’s Degree course which in turn got me a job. What I learnt about my profession was on the job, learning from others in the profession and, observing human nature. Since I am still undergoing the same experience, I consider myself educated but not expert. Experts, forgive me, teach.
That brings me to a story that is very popular in Hyderabad. A Nawab regrets that his son is a wastrel and threatens to disinherit him if he does not acquire a proper education. The Nawabzada brings home a Bachelors Degree from a reputed university after a few days and the Nawab is very pleased and gets it framed and hangs it in a prominent place in the drawing room.
After a few days he asks his son how he got the degree and the son explains that there is a shop in the bazaar where he bought one. The Nawab takes details and goes there to the shop and asks for a degree for his much loved horse.
The shop keeper refuses no matter how much the Nawab keeps hiking up the purchase price. Finally giving up, the Nawab asks the shopkeeper as to why he won’t sell his horse a degree to which the shopkeeper responds – “I sell degrees to donkeys, not to horses.”
28 thoughts on “Education.”
This resonated with me. The donkey part was funny, but the learning on the job as important and not the degree. The fact that some of the most educated people are not where you might expect.
You are being very polite Kaitlin.
I guess this is an international phenomenon. Is negative learning becoming a plague at the universities in India as it is in the US?
Looney recently posted..The California “Drought” saga continued.
Negative learning? I wish that there was some learning. Even professional colleges are turning out unemployable graduates and employers have to organise training programmes. http://ibnlive.in.com/news/the-great-divide-bridging-the-educationemployability-gap/504665-3-222.html
Great story. I much prefer learning things on my own rather than taking formal courses. And you don’t have to have a job to do it. You just have to be a self-starter.
Cheerful Monk recently posted..Busy Day, Short Post
Agreed, formal education may not teach you anything except how to regurgitate the appropriate facts and opinions on request. Real education is not just learning to learn, but learning to think, analyse and criticise and generally assess the value and soundness of whatever information or ideas come your way.
nick recently posted..Endless abuse
Those too Nick.
I think both are important. Of course the main thing is the learning that you do, particularly learning how to be a critical thinker. But the degree is a sign of that learning, a short-hand that allows people to know your general qualifications. In my field, a doctoral degree is the required starting point and it has meanaing.
Secret Agent Woman recently posted..What do a bunch of Sierra Club folks do after a week of hard work?
You are in a highly specialised field. We do have such specialists here too and I have just had a very pleasant encounter with one of them. To say that I am impressed is an understatement.
“Degree holding donkeys are still donkeys and you will find them everywhere.”
Absolutely. And unfortunately this is what we see most today.
“With modern communication being universally available, it is increasingly getting to be unnecessary to acquire qualifications to be educated or become wise.”
It was interesting to get a degree but quite frankly, I learned more while working. I have more fun too.
I find it disappointing whenever I come across people who like to flaunt their undergraduate degree, their masters and Phd only to open their mouth and repeat the same silly things others say – what does the diploma do for these people? When did they stop using their brains, or have they ever used it at all?
lol lol wow…that story says it all.
Max Coutinho recently posted..UN: A Failed Attempt to Tackle Anarchy
Thank you for your refreshingly cheerful support!
Actually I find most people who have been in a job/company long, the ones who can’t think. The
srinivas recently posted..Do we need any manager at all?
they spew ‘corporate speak’. Some how we ‘learned’ ones pretend that the real world is a great teacher.
srinivas recently posted..Do we need any manager at all?
Don’t let me start off on the MBAs!
Degree holding donkeys, I have met a few in my time. Some of the best ‘teachers’ that I have come across, worked their way from the ground up in their craft or trade. They have had time to show and explain in simple language, how they were making, repairing or generally working on a task. All I had to do was listen and learn, Pity all my schooling was like that.
Grannymar recently posted..Sleep
Reviving that system of trades and crafts will be the next thrust in the education field here except that it will be in classroom situations.
Education takes many forms as you so wisely say, the school of hard knocks being the best of them all.
wisewebwoman recently posted..Rewind 2015, please.
Thank you WWW.
Comments are closed.