The understanding of Education, as we all know it, has not been questioned for generations now. We modify our textbooks to bring knowledge content up to date. We innovate on new subjects, train our teachers to teach those subjects, introduce extra-curricular activities. In the last decade, we have seen pre-schools, prep-schools, play-schools mushrooming all over the country. Are exposed to strangers and get involved in challenging activities much earlier in life than we did. Their little minds are bombarded with information way more than they can perceive and digest. There are enough studies that show that we should start as early as we can, some say as early as age one, to teach our children as much as possible. We teach them new languages early because their learning is maximum when they are young.
So what is education? What is learning? Let’s take the bottom up approach.
Today, look around you and what do you see? Societal deficiencies all around. Educated and uneducated (unschooled) people involved in serious crimes like fatal car accidents, rapes, murders, unethical business practices, family abuse… the list goes on. Take a closer look and you will notice that the people involved in all these crimes are from a variety of backgrounds. These behaviours can no longer be associated to a specific profile of any individual. No longer is a car accident the cause of a drunk taxi driver. It has graduated to teenagers test-driving Audis. No longer is rape the pet crime of the domestic help. You have persons high-up in the corporate chain involved in it. Where am I going with all this? Clearly our education is not helping. Or whatever it is that we call education and do in schools is not helping.
When we were growing up, the moral development of a child was the responsibility of the family members. I would not want to call it the mother’s responsibility, because all members took equal charge of it. Today, we are a nuclear family. There is no one to fall back on. There is nobody at home to put in place a plan for the child to develop the value systems we aspire to. No parent will, on a daily basis. reflect whether we as a society are doing enough to help our children grow a healthy moral value system. The child spends more time outside than inside. The chain of command has changed. The expectation therefore logically falls back on to the schools. And why not? The school takes the responsibility for discipline. So then why not the overall development of the child?