Education involves teaching people various subjects, usually at a school or college, or being taught.Collins dictionary
That is the official definition. But Education to me is so much more. In fact when I was reading about it, the best one I read was at ACS which stated “Effective education is a learning experience. Education brings about an inherent and permanent change in a person’s thinking and capacity to do things.”
This is how I differentiate literacy and education. I have met a lot of literate people in my life – people with fancy degrees, amazing careers and prominent positions. But they are not educated. They have not altered their thinking and most times I feel are no different to a machine who has been fed a code and is generating a product based on that.
Education is our capability to think and question, sometimes even ourselves, to expand our cognitive abilities. Education is our ability to debate and question and hear perspectives to broaden our own horizons. A true education helps us light up our brain in areas which we did not know existed.
Education is not just around logic – a big part of our education is also about human and emotions. Emotional quotient is more coveted these days than intellectual quotient. And you don’t learn the former through books but through life experiences, practising the skills like empathy and communication.
Education to me is synonymous with leadership – not in the conventional sense where people determine it through positions. Leadership is taking charge and that starts from “me”. Taking charge of ourselves and how we lead our own life is the truest form of leadership.
Most of us are “educated” to live our life through others’ thoughts. But ensuring that we lead a fulfilling life and leave a better world when we depart earth is a true hallmark of good education.
Education starts at home – through mom’s stories, dad’s valour, grandparents’ values and collegiality of our friends and extended family. Let us not dispense of that as we embark on the formal one through schools and colleges. They both go hand in hand and help create a sensible, educated and humane individual for our world.