By Conrad Pinto : Education is a process of teaching, training and learning, especially in schools or colleges, to improve knowledge and develop skills. To us, in a simple sense, education is that phenomenon that is very essential to stand strong in today’s world. Also, we may define education as the attainment of knowledge, or in a narrower sense, attainment of specific knowledge which we may apply in our job space or which may be put to productive use.
Then, what is the productive use of knowledge? Connecting knowledge to productivity is a crime shame, but in our day’s world, we need to use the two together, as without knowledge there is no productivity, although without productivity there can be knowledge! Education then, is just a process of gaining knowledge that is enough to make us productive enough to society, w.r.t. economics. But, in this process aren’t we losing out the real meaning of education?
Let us get deeper into education perceptivity in our present-day age. In what light do we see education? One may see education as sciences and another may see education as humanities. Some may see education as two-faceted, divided upon the varying courses; the privileged courses – MBA, BE, MBBS, or even a PhD in various streams may be considered prestigious, and the downgraded courses like a BA. Many people in the northern states of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar consider an MBA as adding prestige to an individual, people in Andhra Pradesh consider the Engineering and Medical degrees with the same. The people in these lands, holding a degree with the above stated, are deemed to be respectable, not on the basis of an individual, but on the basis of his educational qualification.
The concepts of education, of studying and learning, also differ. There is a wide misinterpretation of these two terms. By referring the meanings in the dictionaries may not help in drawing a line between the two, but evidently there is a very vast difference. It may be said that studying is just looking at the grass, but learning is to say that the grass is green. The outcomes from studying may not be much, it may even as well have no difference in the individual whatsoever, but by learning, an individual takes away lessons to understand. It also may be said that the morals from the Aesop’s fables are not as effective on individuals as they learn them from real life incidents.
‘Knowledge gained’ in the same way is misunderstood as when a person has done enough studying. The person may pass an examination with studying, but is not capable to pass the examination of life on merely studying. Learning is the only way knowledge can be gained, and gained effectively.
Prestige is a word that is wrongly dragged into education, and that is why the education in India is a degrading sector. Let us go back to the days of renaissance in England and the later years. Famous litterateurs, such as Lord Gordon Byron, Percy Byssche Shelley, William Makepeace Thackeray and many more were educated not to obtain a job or to the fancy of their titles, but to the need of giving their life meaning. Great men never became great for prestige, but they became great for their thirst for knowledge and for they knew what meaning their lives had.