It was a day, in every aspect as usual as one of my days could be. I was sitting in the metro with a couple of my friends not doing much other than cussing at the ridiculousness of the syllabus, the job scenario, the fact that the formidable ghissu batch of 2K10 EEE, DTU/DCE is not being traumatized by its teachers. It was then, that almost out of nowhere a certain individual sat next to a friend. Then began a series of discussions between the two of them; I was neither a spectator nor a participant in them as I was at the time busy with ‘A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’ The journey continued, soon we were at Kashmere Gate, waiting to hop onto the next metro when the fore mentioned individual said to my friend, ‘What is the difference between Education & Knowledge?’ To this, my friend began to reply as I started towards the open gates of the now-arrived-and-waiting-to-depart Metro. Once in, the question really started to bug me know as I went into processing the event. The following post is a result of the thought process and also something I’ve strongly felt about, education.
Education can be defined as a process, a process at the end of which the individual concerned is more learned than he was before. It should ideally extend over a lifetime as, well there’s always something new to learn!
Knowledge, whereas, can be termed as a sort of end-product, something that an individual possesses, a quality!
Ideally, Education should lead to knowledge and having knowledge should point to the fact that the said person is educated.
That said, it’s a highly imperfect and non-ideal world that we live in. So, let’s talk practical now!
What passes for Education in this country is rote learning, marks, degrees, and finally jobs! Yes, along the way, there are bound to happen people who don’t follow the norms; but they are far too less! Education is the 12 years you put into the system to graduate from the schools plus the four years (if you are an engineer, like me) you put in to graduate with a B.Tech degree, plus any post-graduate courses you went for!
What about Knowledge then? Knowledge is born out of curiosity, of a desire to learn, of a desire to implement! Knowledge can belong to either the theoretical domain or the practical one; but there’s one basic underlying requirement: it must stick! Knowledge can’t be the formulas that were forgotten, along with the questions and answers once you step out of that examination hall! 😉 😀
Now, here’s an elementary question, how much of the knowledge you gained was curriculum granted, so to say?
I do remember (quite fondly in fact) my tenth boards score; ask me about my twelfth board score I’d flutter; ask me about the college scores till now, I’d start by laughing and then follow it up with a “No comments!!” I’ll give you a reason for this behavior here. In the tenth I still do remember I scored the lowest in Social Sciences, which during my time and teaching, consisted mostly of rote learning (the new text books in this respect are vastly more interactive and fun, kudos to the NCERT people!) All the rest was not so much rattafication as was this particular subject. The twelfth standard had just two subjects English and Physics, to some extent, which did not require rote learning; rest others including even Mathematics stood in requirement! 😀 😛
Don’t get me started on the college curriculum. What passes for education in this country does not allow for much creativity, for creation to happen, for aspirations to be born. This is not the case always, though; exceptions are bound to happen, but as mentioned, they are far too less and far too in between.
So far so good; what about this knowledge thing then?
Knowledge is born out of the moments that make an individual wonder about the what, how and when. Knowledge is amassed in the numerous moments that follow the said moment of wonder. Knowledge is what one cherishes, flaunts without deliberation. Knowledge is what is applicable, sharable!
It’d be nice to witness a day when education and knowledge flirt with their ideal definitions, expectations!