This is something I had written a year ago. Sharing it here now.
What is Education for?
- To create a society that’s culturally coordinated.
- To further science and knowledge and pursue information for its own sake.
- To enhance civilization while giving people the tools to make informed decisions.
- To train people to become productive workers.
Our current education system, over the last few decades, has produced millions of graduates, post-graduates, Ph.D’s, etc. But only a very few have in them the above four societal goals. If the goal of the education system was to improve the cultural coordination, it clearly could have done a better job.
Why do we spend years together teaching complex mathematics to children who don’t understand it and will never need to use them for the rest of their lives. We make the children study novels and literature, and end up teaching “Reading can never be fun”. The result being, we churn out Ph.D’s who cant teach and aren’t very productive at research either. The moment we associate reading a book with taking a test, we have missed the point.
An episode of Amir Khan’s Satyamev Jayate highlighted how even educated people torture their children, wives, families, etc for a silly or stupid reason. A man ( a well educated one) tortures his wife for not giving him a boy child. These “educated” men make really bad decisions which affect their families and the society as well. We have clearly failed in the third goal as well.
The education system, as it is today, was developed during the industrial revolution, when the industry needed more productive workers. But the world has clearly changed now. The current system, that meets minimum standards, is killing our economy, our culture, and us. We really cannot insist that the schools we designed for a different era will function well now.