From childhood I have been hearing this one sentence continuously, “Study well, or else in the future you will not get a good job or admission in a good college.” One thing is for sure, all these
years are only worth for that one moment, getting job, unless you are planning to start your own business. But is all those years of studying worth it? Not unless you are able to apply those things in real world situations. So how does our education system make sure that we will definitely apply our bookish (textbooks) knowledge into a real world situation? It’s not their headache, it’s ours. That’s why a recent report says that more than half of the graduates in India are unemployable i.e. they are not fit for the very job they were studying for. Either we are not fit for it or there is something wrong in the education system? But no one can ever deem someone unfit. Everyone in this world has got some or the other talent, it’s a matter of identifying or not identifying. But identifying our talent and working hard is not enough; we should also get the right environment to grow our talent.
In school, the young Edison's mind often wandered, and his teacher, the Reverend Engle, was overheard calling him "addled". This ended Edison's three months of official schooling. His mother home schooled him. Much of his education came from reading R.G. Parker's School of Natural Philosophy and The Cooper Union.
His father intended for him to pursue electrical engineering, but Einstein clashed with authorities and resented the school's regimen and teaching method. He later wrote that the spirit of learning and creative thought were lost in strict rote learning. In the spring of 1895, he withdrew to join his family in Pavia, convincing the school to let him go by using a doctor's note. Einstein applied directly to the Eidgenössische Polytechnische Schule (ETH) in Zurich, Switzerland. Lacking the requisite Matura certificate, he took an entrance examination, which he failed, although he got exceptional marks in mathematics and physics.
The very education system ignored or failed to understand such great talents like Edison and Einstein. Today every student is made to read about their works or achievements because without them science is incomplete. These are just the names of only two among thousands or more. So what does all this mean?
I never say that what we study is an absolute waste but what we fail to identify is that, Can I apply it in practice? This should be the question you should keeping asking yourself but instead we solely concentrate on how to score more marks. Don’t fear to make mistakes and face failure when you have the opportunity, go out there and learn new things, experience what you learn and go beyond your textbooks. No curriculum can teach you these things because our education system rarely gives us the opportunity to test our knowledge, to go beyond theoretical world. Only when we are exposed to the real world, we can identify our weaknesses, our limitations and challenges and we can improve upon it. It should go hand in hand with studies. As we grow, our mistakes are also started to be taken seriously. I remember a time, when I used to write everything with pencil, even if I made a mistake, I had to just rub it off with my rubber. The scenario gets more and more serious as we grow up (as I started to write with the pen) and the ultimate test is job. Because when I get a job, my mistakes will be watched carefully, there is no room for errors or else I can even lose the job.
“If you’re not prepared to be wrong, you’ll never come up with anything original.” - Ken Robinson
It’s not the degree that will help you in your job, it’s not even the content of the curriculum but instead it’s the application of that content that will set you apart.
Recently I came through these lines, Sun rises in the east and sets in the west, but it’s just a theory, it can’t be applied in real world. What is practical then? Sun neither rises nor sets; it’s the earth that rotates. Interesting lines! What we fail to understand is; there is little connection between what we study now and what we do in the future, even if the job we do is in the same field that we studied. An exemption can be made only in a few cases. Also what we study now may not be relevant in a later stage. We are living in exponential times, the world is fast changing and the things that we study today will get outdated tomorrow. The top 10 in-demand jobs in 2010 did not even existed in 2004. And experience and practicality of your learning are the only things that will help you adapt in this ever changing world. This is the time to think, it’s your future.
Be a book smart but at the same time also try to be a street smart. The combination of these two, you’ll reach unimaginable heights in your life and will make you extraordinary in the crowd. The power is yours and the time is now.