How to define education?
Recently there was this news from Delhi. Mr.Amar Singh,the Samajwadi leader was denied admission to his twin grand daughters in a prestigious school in Delhi.The private schools in Delhi,as readers unfamiliar with the Delhi education sociology must know,is run like a mafia-type big money operation!
Yes,this is the Delhi society’s school fantasy I am talking about. Readers all over the country must have heard of when the Delhi public school boy who was caught in the pornographic video clipping that was put on the now infamous Internet portal and whose high profile(IIT-educated?) CEO was arrested,along with the boy who indulged in this operation.
The NDTV conducted a high visible debate in which all the prominent Delhi educators took part.The ugly rich and the ugly power brokers who make up the Delhi power elite were all now the core elements in the Delhi education sociology! Now, back to the redoubtabe Amar Singh episode! Mr.Amar Singh was rightly indignant at this outrage for the one reason, the concerned school’s president is the wife of the incumbent Cabinet Secretary.
And because Singh is a known opponent of Sonia Gandhi,the lady in question denied Singh the privilege of education under her charge.She had to survive for the sake of her husband,shouldn’t she? Now,it is said Singh got his kids admitted to some other equally prestigious school. Singh is no ordinary man.He could be tomorrow the Prime Minister’s(Mulayam Singh Yadav) most powerful personality!
So,the point is that in Delhi the big people are all these types of small people running schools and thereby making them look like powerful ones!
This is the point I want to convey when I asked the questions above. What is the meaning of education?How we can define the meaning of education?
All the great minds from Socrates,Plato down to our modern times,not to miss the greats in between,Rousseau and others,who have all made education what it is today. Education is power.That is the meaning of the sociology of education. Here, everyone, Marx to Gandhi have something or other to say and make our lives meaningul or meaningless as we see the world! There is the harsh reality,education for the powerful is only one more ingredient of power.
That is why the rich send their children to prestigious schools,be it Doon or Eton or Oxford or Cambridge. The other side of the reality is that there is always the middle class madness,the job seeking class who have made education a commodity.There is a price for the education,the degrees and also for the jobs. For the poor there is always life and death.The report from the FT correspondent on slum schools(published in this issue) shows the poor now desperately need English language as a passport to success in life! But all these sociological desperations dont make for real education.This is my message.
The exam-ridden Indian education system doesnt prove anything.If it does,then it is this:withoiut education also you can become the Prime Minister of India!
See the number of Ministers, number of MPs,tainted by criminal charges! Or, the most successful underworld dons,the film stars who are all mostly illiterates! And yet,we,the society,the gullible public put them all on high pedestals and almost worship them! In Tamil Nadu,AP and now in other States too film stars,criminals and others are worshipped as gods! So,what is the message?I define the meaning of education, in the true sense of the term,as that capacity to give men and women to become free men and free women.Any educated person must be knowing he or she is or should be a free person.
But then freedom is a tough concept! Even our ordinarily educated persons are cowards first and last!
So,this education that makes us timid is no education at all! More than this,I define educated person is one who assumes moral responsibility for what he or she does.Educated persons are moral persons who knows their moral responsibilities.This also is a tough job. But then then only education acquires its true meaning and significance.Educated societies have these sorts of highly motivated and highly elevated personalities.That is what makes for a cultured society,a civilised society.