A woman named Hilda Yao, executive director of the Claire Giannini Fund, has donated over $1 million to fund the wish-lists of EVERY teacher in California. Yao mailed a check of more than $1.3 million to Charles Best, founder of DonorsChoose.org, to cover the entire California wish list, 2,233 projects in all, with an extra $100,000 tossed in to help pay for other teacher needs across the country. Read the full story here>>
"It's happening all over, in all sorts of families, not just young people moving back home but also young people taking longer to reach adulthood overall. It's a development that predates the current economic doldrums, and no one knows yet what the impact will be - on the prospects of the young men and women; on the parents on whom so many of them depend; on society, built on the expectation of an orderly progression in which kids finish school, grow up, start careers, make a family and eventually retire to live on pensions supported by the next crop of kids who finish school, grow up, start careers, make a family and on and on. The traditional cycle seems to have gone off course, as young people remain un tethered to romantic partners or to permanent homes, going back to school for lack of better options, traveling, avoiding commitments, competing ferociously for unpaid internships or temporary (and often grueling) Teach for America jobs, forestalling the beginning of adult life."
"It has always seemed strange to me that in our endless discussions about education so little stress is laid on the pleasure of becoming an educated person, the enormous interest it adds to life. To be able to be caught up into the world of thought - that is to be educated."
"Kapil Sibalji thinks that by changing the syllabus or introducing a grading system, education will improve. The system will not change like this. Change will come when teachers have the passion to teach. Jab unme junoon hoga!" said Anand Kumar, the famous mathematician from Bihar, in an interview.
Obviously, one can't disagree with this universal fact that teachers are more important than students in any educational institution and/or system. The student is there to be guided and helped, always; but if the guide, the teacher is himself confused and theory-ridden, then naturally his student, under his uselessness, will be what he is, and education becomes a source of further confusion and strife. The problem, therefore, is not the child (or, so to speak, the student), but the teacher; the problem is to educate the educator.
But, educate in what sense? It will be a mistake to think that academic qualification is the only criterion of a teacher. He may have encyclopedic knowledge, but to this must be added moral excellence of the highest order. A teacher need not teach high moral principles, he has to live them. He should be an example of what is best in man. A teacher can inspire by what he is and not by what he knows. 'To know is to be' - runs a popular dictum in India. Knowledge is useless if it does not make a man perfect – perfect not merely in skills and abilities, but also in character.
"We shall not grow wiser before we learn that much that we have done was very foolish."
- F. A. Hayek
If the main purpose of education is to improve, the question may very well be asked, to improve what in man? Improvement of 'the total man' will probably be the obvious answer, for that is how the role of education is viewed nowadays. It is a fine idea, no doubt, but does the present system of education really cover 'the total man'? Does it, for instance, help an individual develop his body, mind, and spirit, if these three constitute 'the total man'?
Education, as it prevails today, does nothing more than impart some knowledge and skill. How much knowledge and skill does it in reality impart? Except for a few who are very brilliant, most students learn little or nothing at school. It is the experience of all who have gone through the process called 'education' that they have learnt nothing worthwhile even if judged from the standpoint of being able to earn money, leave alone improving 'the total man'. It may also be asked if imparting knowledge and skill is the same thing as improving an individual. A man who has learnt much and has also acquired much skill at some trade is not necessarily a better man. A learned man may be an unscrupulous man, just as a skilled worker may be a criminal. If they are educated in the accepted sense of the word, what sort of education is this?
As J. Krishnamurti asserts, "Education is not merely a matter of training the mind. Training makes for efficiency, but it does not bring about completeness. A mind that has merely been trained is the continuation of the past, and such a mind can never discover the new." Just to know what's what, is neither the purpose of education nor the purpose of life.
What passes as education does not touch the real personality of the student. His character remains unchanged – his perspective, his sense of right and wrong, his attitude towards fellow men, all these remain unchanged. If he turns out to be a good man, it is not because of the education he has received, but in spite of it. He may have learnt a few things to be able to earn his living (though it is possible he would have been able to earn his living even without learning them), but he has not learnt – because he has not been taught – how he could be a better man. Education has served no purpose in his case. No more than just an arrow in the quiver. To call him an educated man is a misnomer.
Indeed, education everywhere is in a mess today. In short, education everywhere is ill-conceived and ill-managed, though it is readily conceded by both the Government and the public that a sound educational system is the sheet-anchor of a healthy and progressive society.