The Oxford Dictionary defines the word ‘Education’ as, “the process of receiving or giving systematic instruction, especially at a school or university.” To define education, Rabindranath Tagore commented, “The highest education is that which merely gives us information but makes our life in harmony with all existence.” According to Swami Vivekananda, “If the poor boy cannot come to education, education must go to him.” Albert Einstein believed, “The only thing that interferes with learning is education.” Mahatma Gandhi thought of education as, “The object of basic education is the physical, intellectual and moral development of children through the medium of handicraft.” These famous personalities had their own definitions for ‘education’ or ‘right attitude towards learning’, something that is grasped in an entirely contradictory manner in this era.

The purpose of getting educated is not to gain information, but to gather knowledge. The motive of education is to turn mirrors into windows. Today, education has become a basic necessity. To be able to survive in this world, one needs education to take a stand for himself. An educated man can cross all boundaries and reach the top, in spite of all the hurdles that come in his way.

Unfortunately, the word ‘education’ has lost its meaning in this cruel world. In this age of downfall called the ‘kalyug’, everything that exists has turned negative, by the same token, the education sector in the country has followed the ‘everything’.

The education sector, which should rightly develop the students for the market and also teach about the attitude towards learning , is on the other hand, developing for the economic benefits of the people in charge. Education in India is provided by the public sector as well as the private sector, with control and funding coming from three levels: central, state and local. Under various articles of the Indian Constitution, free and compulsory education is stated as a fundamental right to children between the ages of 6 and 14. Going by the rules, can one name a minimum of 5-10 public schools that provide free education to the underprivileged? Well, it is indeed a question that leaves no answer behind.

While our universities are producing armies of graduates, one out of every three graduates in the age group of 15-29 years, is unemployed. Education has evolved with the changing times. Our current education system is the result of an era where technological breakthroughs were not so frequent, and if you mastered a trade, you could practice it for a number of years. The current market, however, requires a workforce that’s skilled not only in their craft, but also has the ability to learn a new skill when the need arises. Easier said than done, this ideology remains merely on paper and is often lost in translation.

Today’s graduates are well polished in their grade sheets, but they are unable and hesitant to take a step outside of what has been taught to them. The education system that they forcibly followed since their early childhood, is to be blamed. A report on ‘Youth Employment- Unemployment Scenario (in India)’ published by the Ministry of Labour and Employment in 2012-13 stated that one out of every three graduates in the age group of 15-29 years, is unemployed. This is gravely concerning for a nation and its future, and for the graduates themselves.

If one goes through the education pattern followed in India, one would definitely be left despondent. Political negatives like corruption, bribe, duplicity and delinquency have crossed their boundaries and spoiled the education sector as well. Schools and other such institutions are focussing on money-making rather than imparting knowledge in its students.

The beliefs that our society holds today says that cramming an entire book shows the intelligence of a student. A bookworm is definitely going to reach the top in his career, is what the people in our society believe in. Well, it is time that people accept the reality that they are highly mistaken. It is time for them to change their beliefs. Education does not mean cramming. It means a lot more than what people perceive it as. Education comes along with the responsibility of developing a student in every possible way. It means to provide as much amount of knowledge to a child as possible. A well educated person does not merely depend on books to be successful in his career. He finds his own path, develops a way through it, crosses all the milestones and finally reaches the point where he had always wanted to.

The world is constantly changing, and school grades can’t keep up with it. Employers aren’t looking at grades that much. It’s because they know that the things students are learning in school will eventually become obsolete, given the current pace of technological advancement. Scoring perfect grades in C, Java or Python in college won’t help students for too long, unless they’ve developed an ability to analyse the problem at hand and apply their coding prowess to devise a solution. A new language can be mastered in a few months but it is not easy to invent problem-specific algorithms.

Today, a 95% score in exams won’t guarantee you a 6-figure job; but a well-built personality sure does. Slowly and gradually, one should realize that extra-curricular activities play the same role as books do. One must realize where his interest lies and work accordingly. There is no doubt in the certitude that marks play a major role in the development of a person’s career, but that only helps when the child understands everything. Cramming does not stay by your side in the long run. For instance, if a fresher applies for a job right after his graduation, he would get the job on the basis of the work he has done during his graduation because his results wouldn’t even be out by then.

Jobs, technology, and mechanisms of the global market evolve continuously. Graduates need to be capable of riding the tide and continuously evolving their skills or else risk the danger of becoming obsolete.

What needs to change is our attitude towards learning, especially at the grass-root level. A child is to be told that he should learn about the French Revolution not because he has to score good grades, but because it is a part of history; a history that maps the evolution of mankind even before his grandfather set foot on this planet. A student must learn about the molecular structure of the diamond to understand why it stands out in the world of chemistry, and not because it is a part of the final exams! We need to encourage students to ask questions, and not mug-up answers. Our current attitude for learning is strongly responsible for the absence of research platforms in the country, the sole bearer of the future of science.

It is not only one person who is concerned about this. Since this deals with a huge section of the country, a number of people are concerned about the issue. For instance, Mr. Heng, Minister of Finance, Singapore, in an hour-long speech in Parliament said, “…This is necessary as jobs will keep changing in future and people will need to keep learning, master skills and learn for life. Parents would have to give up their obsession with grades; employers would have to hire based on skills, not degrees; and teachers should strive for an all-round development of their students…”

The need of the hour is to replace our old beliefs about the education system with the new ones. Let us not give all our attention to the current grades, rather divide it between the present and future situations. We should all discover that it is the skills & personality we build today that is going to stay with us tomorrow and after that. Let’s make education fun. Be ready to mould your thoughts and once you do that, be ready to stand on the top and shout out loud. Toppr wishes the best of luck to all of you 🙂 And Please pass on the right attitude towards learning, which is the need of the hour!

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