the value of an education

May 10, 2004 — Leave a comment

i got an interesting compliment this weekend, someone was surprised how much i know about the US, history, politics, geography. i pointed out that it was part of my education. one of the benefits of growing up in the caribbean is the post colonial english public school model.

this weekend i met a young man who is graduating high school this friday and had no idea who typhoid mary is, it made me wonder what`s being taught to children, at present.

when i was at school, yes there was the carrot about studying hard and getting a good job, but there was also the opportunity to learn a little of everything, you were encouraged to explore and experience. education wasn`t about giving students enough information to pass an examination.

it seems to me that education no longer exist to help children experience knowledge but to mould them into non-thinking conformists. it`s all goal oriented and providing them with only the tools needed to reach that goal, there is no room for exploration and that is saddening.

i`ve always loved to read and anything that struck my fancy, even now, i researched and read and learned. this used to be the point of education, i`m glad that i got to benefit from an education system that up until recently propagated this belief.

i could point fingers everywhere; television, the internet, video games, but i think the onus falls on parents to lead by example. even though my children are in the midst of a failing system their own passions for learning and reading haven`t been quenched. they enjoy reading and discovery, because it`s what is around them.

i never finished university but that by no stretch means i`m unintelligent. i am well read and informed, which a large number of times is far better than a large number of people who spent four years and vast sums of money and can only regurgitate what was given to them.

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