Posted in Family and Society, Life, Reflections, Stories Around the World

Aim of Schooling

“Intelligence plus character-that is the goal of true education.” Martin Luther King Jr.

As an infant grows up into a toddler entering childhood, one of the first things parents do, is to rush them into pre-school or centers for education to foster their growth of knowledge, skills and learning. Then the next stage is to ensure their admission into the best schools of the locality with high marks performance of marks and grades. Schooling is an extensive way of learning whereby understanding and ability of students are passed on from one initiation to the next by guidance and examinations. The primary purpose of schooling is not just to impart knowledge, but to enable the children of today to be productive for the distant tomorrow of society and to lead the future.

Education comes from within; you get it by struggle and effort and thought. Napoleon Hill

School doesn’t pave the way only to be literate, get jobs, vote or to be a professional. Instead it broadens the horizons, helps to find the inner talents and gifts, putting them to good use. School initiates children for the basics of life, finding self confidence and ability to stand on their own feet, rooting for the right ideals and strong principles. Unfortunately the current scenario of schools and education is to stereotype each child and mould them into a particular profession, whether it is by their choice is irrelevant. The fault lies not only with them alone, but also with parents and society who classify children based on their professional qualifications and job capacities.

“Do not train a child to learn by force or harshness; but direct them to it by what amuses their minds, so that you may be better able to discover with accuracy the peculiar bent of the genius of each.”  Plato

The catch to all the school based learning is whether it prepares our children for the realities of life. As they mature into young adults, children and adolescents get trapped in the social structure of thoughts, patterns and needs of the society foregoing their own likes, talents and gifts. Just like the eagles which soars the skies and cheetah the land, substitute their places or confine them in boxes, they lose their ability to fight, survive and appreciate life. This scenario could be metaphorically extended to children who are being moulded into the schools for grades and marks alone. Instead we, society as a whole, lose out on special talents, skills and art. There is more to life than jobs, grades, marks and examinations. Though they are indeed necessary, they are not what life is all about. For the most successful person that we know with the best grades making good money can be the unhappiest, dissatisfied or mentally disturbed on the inside. Let each child look beyond the exams and do what they love and excel in. The rest will follow.

This letter to the parents of students was written by the director of the Singapore school. But what do you want to be read by all parents in all schools in the world.
“Dear Parents. Your children will begin examinations soon. I know that you are all very worried that they should pass them well. But please remember: among the students in this exam there will be an artist who does not need to understand mathematics thoroughly. There will be an entrepreneur for whom history or English literature is not so important. A musician who does not need chemistry. An athlete for whom physical education is more important than physics. Great if your child gets good grades. But please do not deprive them of their self-confidence and dignity, if this does not happen. Tell them that this is normal, that this is just an exam. They are created for much more significant things in life. Tell them that whatever their assessment, you love them and you will not judge them. Please do it – and just watch how they will then conquer the world. One exam or a bad mark will not take away their dreams and talent. And please, do not consider doctors and engineers the only happy people on the planet. With best regards, the director of the school “

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