A relative of ours was diagnosed with cancer which had reached the untreatable stage. The doctor was very upset and angry as he felt that the life could have been saved if regular medical check-up had been done, which would have easily screened the cancerous growth. The doctor asked the accompanying family members: “Aren’t you all educated?”
Often we come across newspaper reports and television coverage about dubious financial institutions luring potential small investors (even in metro cities) with unrealistic benefits that their money could fetch them. Only when the kingpin absconds with the loot do these ignorant investors — often well-employed– go public with their sob stories. The Police launch a hunt for the culprit but also ask the fooled public: “Aren’t you all educated?”
Several years ago in a macabre incident of ragging, a medical student couldn’t tolerate a fresher refusing to submit to the seniors’ demands. He tranquilized the junior and dismembered him and disposed the organs in various parts of the state and created the alibi that the victim had gone missing. But as the Police did their job perfectly and brought the assassin to book, the judge lamented and was outrageous about the modus operandi while questioning about the values in life. He asked the murderer why he couldn’t THINK before committing such a heinous act: “Are you not educated?”
College students, who turn out to be foot-board travelers during the city’s peak hours are often shouted at by the bus conductors, “Why don’t you people manage to squeeze in to the bus instead of getting killed by hanging on the foot-board? Aren’t you all educated?”
As a young girl, when I had quarreled with a neighborhood friend, I remember my granny asking me: “Is this what you learn at school?” Utterly confused, I remember telling her, “No granny, I learn science, maths, history, geography and languages” and curtly dismissed her question.
Glenn Doman, the Founder of the Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential has done extensive research in the field of learning. He advocates a method that helps many young children to start reading. Doman opines that reading would be a great tool that would make the child not just smart but wise, too.
On the other hand, we, the parents / teachers / close family of the child accept him and rejoice if and ONLY IF he comes home with great marks or grade and CONDEMN him if he failed (or rather, if he failed to please us !). All that matters to most of us is the MARKS/GRADE even if it was got just through the rote method with simply the memory in play.
Sorry– then we would end up making him a literate and not an educated individual.
The role of the parent / teacher should be rather to facilitate the understanding of the concepts that the lessons contain. It is imperative that the students of elementary, primary and secondary education be given the academic facts in relation with their relevance in our everyday life. This could take an extra effort in the initial years, but with practice, the child would learn to THINK and EVALUATE the importance of the lesson. Tests and examinations would bring out his original ideas. Expression of his comprehension and approach would throw light on the topics of his interest and subjects that attract him less. The question of outdoing his peers or feeling the guilt of scoring less in some subjects does not then arise.
On the contrary, the child would want to devote more time and energy to his favorite subject and gradually specialize in it. Hence he has the liberty and comfort of being himself. The relaxed mind sows more and more seeds of knowledge.
The letters of the alphabet, numbers, maps, chemical formula, the laboratories’ equipments — all of them become the vehicles of knowledge that help the child travel on the academic route so as to reach the right destination: practical and deep knowledge in his area of specialization and the WISDOM to connect the same to the world outside.
Do you remember one of the remarkable events of the 2004 Tsunami? A family was holidaying in the beaches of Phuket, Thailand. The little daughter aged about 10 panicked when everyone else watched in awe that the waters of the sea had receded in an unusual manner. She yelled and declared that a tremendously huge wave is to sweep them all away shortly. She screamed and wept and got many people to move to elevated areas. Within hours, the unprecedented Tsunami struck and left thousands dead in the very same place. The little angel saved so many lives because of just one fact: She remembered her geography teacher explain about similar circumstances which would precede a rogue wave that she had never heard of, called Tsunami.
Let us help the child look beyond the text books’ chapters. And let us look far beyond the child’s performance in class tests and Board examinations, in to his wise, secure and meaningful future.