Saturday, December 5, 2015
Education – What does it really mean? In the Sri Lankan context
That is the challenge. There is a crisis of interpretation first. If I say that about 220 of the 225 Parliamentarians are uneducated, these same MPs will take great umbrage to that allegation. However a case can be made by making detailed evaluations of their utterings, that only one who is NOT educated, would make such statements, and thereby prove the point!
So is Education proved by certificate, or proved by behavior and character and conduct. It is NOT the school you went to, it is the person you are, and the respect with which you carry yourself in the presence of others that determine to the rational observer who has never met that person before, that he or she is an educated person.
So then is it awareness, not mere knowledge that makes one educated. I don’t watch any TV, so does that make me uneducated or unaware? On the other hand I don’t know any of the TV dramas or programs, but do I need to know them to be educated? Someone who is glued to the TV will find me grossly uneducated, as I am not able to relate to him, and talk on the subjects most closely of interest to him.
Then is it just a relative point, where one is educated or not in the eyes of another?
All this goes back to the debate about education, and the silly 6% of GNP that should be allocated for Education, and the Govt. is engaged in a game of bluff and mirage to pretend that they are spending larger sums on education when in fact it is far from the case. When you come to this figure, do you include money spent on taking kids to school in school vans? Bus fares to tuition classes, tuition fees, exam fees for foreign exams, private course fees, fees for sports that one’s children engage in school or out of school. Ballet classes (after all ballet is education too!) You get the point!
So let us come back to basics, and define education merely as the tools one has in order to make oneself function independently of anyone else in the world in order to carry oneself both in society and in the work place to enable one to life a full and comfortable life! Certainly under this definition most politicians fail!
However, it is important to use a definition such as that above to be able to understand where we need to get to and then work out how we get there, without tragically wasting the HUGE sums assuming it is being spent on education, when in fact it is making people less educated and thereby completely fooling us on the fact that we really are complete3ly uneducated!!