Why go to School?

There is a universal movement to send all children to a school, am today wondering is this the only way for providing education?

Education is liberation with responsibility, and am sure when we look back thousands of years we find that schools are not the only means of providing education. To push a universal solution is like working on an assembly line and may even be called cloning! In biology, cloning is the process of producing similar populations of genetically identical individuals (Wikipedia). Yes, we want to offer every person equal opportunity, freedom and liberty to lead a respectable life, but does the 'process' provide that? The debate 'literacy vs education' is indeed never ending and more often than not the so called education we provide only works for universal literacy.

The school of life is an environment for an individual to flower and find oneself, and this is the real school that we need, not just a School that we all are pushed to attend. School is not a venue but an environment, not an escape from the misgivings of life but a haven of opportunity. Our so called schools are really not a place we should go to. Inclusive, good-quality education is a foundation for dynamic and equitable societies. - Desmond Tutu This single line really is the inherent philosophy and the need for a school to abide by. Most schools due to economic necessity and societal bias skirt the main reason as to 'why we should go to school'. But the fact is, no matter how good the teacher, how small the class, how focused on quality education the school may be none of this matters if we ignore the individual needs of our students. - Roy Barnes 

Wikipedia states "A school is an institution designed for the teaching of students (or "pupils") under the direction of teachers. Most countries have systems of formal education, which is commonly compulsory." When there is compulsion are we not curbing a freedom? Protagonist and realist will question the need of absolute freedom, and counter that we need a process and environment of delivery. Look back and we find that education the way it is delivered in the schools has created economic imbalances, strained the ecosystem and added to many inherent challenges. Some even go on to say that science the panacea of all evils has also created its own demons. No system is perfect and thus why we all go to the same school, and not find ourselves is really an anomaly.

The school is just a description of a learning environment and not really a physical space as we have today come to describe our places of learning. The ancient philosophy of learning was indeed far more superior to our modern school methodology of 'by hearting'  practiced at most schools. Every kind of open mindedness and tolerance should be encouraged so that curiosity and desire to experiment increases. Physical, psycho-motor, emotional and intellectual and spiritual training can be accomplished with pragmatic approach. One can only make improvements in the scheme through trial and errors and learning from others' experiences.

Why go to School? The question itself is a challenge and we need to reflect on what kind of school rather than the need of going to any school. The best environment and perhaps the most distinguished learners as well as great people have often not cared to go to school, the place we are all are being pushed to go. What we need to attend is the 'School of Life'. The learning or in fact the curiosity within is the best fire to ignite and this needs a good environment and not just a process as most schools are. The School of Life is made up of family, peers, nature, all the flora and fauna, the world around and historically the need for human beings to live in harmony.

Am sure the question 'Why go to School?' will remain unanswered always, and what is called a school is a debate in itself. If we can help an individual think, learn and find herself/ himself am sure the journey through school will be a rewarding one.

- Sandeep Dutt, the author helps schools delivery better, the views expressed are his personal views please.

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