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Doesn’t school make us who we are?

Academics may have been boring, but doesn’t school make us who we are?

From children who need to be taken care of, we become independent adults equipped with basic life skills. If we do not go through school will this not happen? Is school responsible for making us rational, scientific, democratic and civilized? I’d like to share an experiment that an educationist used to do with children of his rural school. Children were shown an image like the one below and asked what they thought about these people.

Almost everyone thought that the couple was Englishspeaking, educated, big city dwellers, rich, sabhya.

Then they were shown an image like the one below and asked the same question.

Their answers included local language, uneducated, village dwellers, not well off, asabhya

The children were then asked: If the city people came to your village tired, lost and hungry, will you help them? If you were tired, lost and hungry in the city, will they help you? This example may seem extreme, but I’d like to explain further. Our qualifications in life can be divided up into two kinds- visible qualifications and invisible qualifications. Visible qualifications such as degrees, diplomas and doctorates give us employment.

Invisible qualifications make our lives richer. These include our connections to ourselves, to other people, to our language, to our culture and to the natural world around us.

The entire focus of our current education system is on the visible qualifications. The system usually hinders the development of our invisible qualifications. The aim of Asli Shiksha is to create a complete person.

Thank you for reading this excerpt from the Learning to Learn book. Click here to purchase the full book, or join discussions like this on our website!

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