“Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learnt in school”- Albert Einstein
I believe like Einstein did, that education is not going to school or university, but it is what we learn when there is no textbook, module or manual to follow. A person spends around 15 years of his or her early life in educational institutions, while some spend their entire youth in formal educational institutions. Sadly, this has become the system for the youth in the modern lifestyle.
We need knowledge, especially practical knowledge that can be used on the ground. Schools and varsities can be useful to society, they are important for the advancement of science, technology and even knowledge itself, but for that, does everyone need to go and study things that are being taught for the 30th year straight? And then leave school and learn new skills that the real world requires you to know.
A lot is gained from school, but most of the important things in life are not taught in classrooms. They are learned from outside. Human life has become systematic like robots – there is no longer two sides to a story or an argument. What is repeated the most or said the loudest is generally accepted as the truth, without a second thought given. Conformity to a higher bureaucratic power for 15 years causes that. The majority of the great scientists, inventors, philosophers, mathematicians and authors became great not by going to schools and recycling the same information, but by learning outside the system. Edison and Einstein are two good examples of this.
More could be done, like making schools freer in thought and teaching practical life skills like negotiating and other important aspects of life to learners/students. Importantly, curriculums should be reviewed every now and then to stay relevant to the current crop of learners/students, but should be followed through for the intended skill or lesson to be learned by the learners/students. The curriculum should be flexible and the learners/students should be given the freedom to plan out the lessons.
Education is important. We need an education system that is effective and puts one of life’s decisions in his or her own hands. The freedom to learn in the best method possible should be encouraged amongst the youth and not for exams or marks, but for knowledge.
There is no putting a price on education and the endless opportunities it brings with it. It is a universal language that can and should be taught to everyone in all its raw forms. Education is the key to success and the youth are the keyhole to education.
“The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.” – Alvin Toffle.
Say less, think loud!
* Olavi Popyeinawa has a diploma in Alternative Dispute Resolution and is currently studying law, LLB at the University of Namibia (Unam). He will weekly be contributing in this column on youth matters. Instagram: niceguy_olavi; Facebook: Olavi Longfellow; Twitter: @OlaviPopyeinawa