Dr. Abdul Kalam’s speech just made it easy for me to start the second part.
Today, I would like to address the question of “What is the purpose of schooling?” as of today? How do schools measure themselves and how they should. If schools (in India, my limited knowledge area) are measuring themselves by PASS Percentage, then we certainly are on a wrong path. I would rather believe that schools in essence must be working towards the purpose of leading to betterment of humanity. We cant expect corporates to do that for us. If we believe that this is too lofty a goal even for school, then where else will we address this issue? For all the science that we teach, if we dont let the students explore the consequences of using science wrongly, would we be doing justice?
Coming back to the original thought, for all the advancement we have made, the basic problems that plague our society still remain the same; health, malnutrition, lack of education, sanitation, unequality of wealth distribution, religious intolerance etc. Who will even work towards solving these problems or have we accepted defeat at the hands of these problems and taken them for granted. Are we happy in a world where 70% or more of the population will just scrape through life or even struggle to be free. If we dont bring up these aspects in front of children (at whatever appropriate age), then what message are we giving them? That either we adults know the solution to all of this or that these are not worth attempting and they should just think about how to better their own lives.
In essence, I would believe that a one liner can sum it up all. The goal of schools can be to impart this simple understanding. Coz if only unit economics works, will whole systems be fine.
“Each should give more to society than they take from it”
Some may do so by creating new products that improve health, some may do by establishing social organizations that work towards equality, some may use law to achieve the same. Entrepreneurship need not be restricted to creating for-profit companies. It is as I see a “marathon towards solving problems” which are relevant to society. In that process, one may make money but not always. Creating systems for betterment is the key. That should certainly be a thought which students come out of school with. By not telling them this, we are telling them that we adults know all solutions and that they need not worry. We simply dont. We would better encourage them to attempt some of these and may we help them in this attempt.
(Sorry if I did digress.. That seems unavoidable the way I write 😉 or may be I will learn how not to. )