Schooling Has Taken The Place of Education.
A Call for Justice.

Eleanor Roosevelt argues that education depends on us, not the schools.

Schooling has greatly been confused with education in our society today. That is why there is too much of emphasis in our society on the attendance of the formal school program and the resultant certificates that follows.

If only we could understand the original meaning of education and what it stands for, one could easily see that the current school system does not in any way promote that. Although it claims it does, but on the actual part she does not. And the question still remain unanswered; Does she(the formal school system) know that she does not promote that which she claims to stand for or she knows but has decided to do nothing about?

Etymologically, the word “education” is derived from the Latin word ēducātiō (“A breeding, a bringing up, a rearing”) and also from ēducō (“I educate, I train”) which is related to the homonym ēdūcō (“I lead forth, I take out; I raise up, I erect”) from ē- (“from, out of”) and dūcō (“I lead, I conduct”).

Two things are prevalent in the above etymological definition of education and they are “I” and “within”. That is to say that the original idea of education stands for an individual exercise which involves bringing up from within or making known an already stored up potential. In essence education is an individual activity that takes place within the individual. Emphasis is on the individual and by the individual.

On the other hand a school is an institution designed to provide learning spaces and learning environments for the teaching of students (or “pupils”) under the direction of teachers. While schooling are the activities that goes on in schools. That is, the learning that takes place in a school environment. Also, Websters dictionary defines schooling as the process of being taught, such as in a school.

It is sad to note that the modern day school system does not promote the original core campaign of education which is on self education. The syllabus used in our school today is more a matter of political compromise than a well-considered way to give the learner a balance in life. Courses are dished out based on the societal wants and prospects without any keen interest on the individual need or preference. Although it might seem that the pupils has a choice to a course of study, but it is a mere illusion of freedom of choice. Because they are not allowed to develop any course of study of their own they are only allowed to choose from already developed courses of study which were formulated under the whims and caprices of the system. It is like giving a child the choice of choosing between two sets of clothes brought by you. He might get to choose one but none of those two choices are original to him. And he might not even notice it.

Learning in the school system is like passing down a set of old traditional rites to a younger generation without a any keen interest to ascertain if there is a need for it in the life of the new generation or if there is any modification to be made or if the generation in question has a better preferred way of doing the traditional rites to fit in to their current state. They are just meant to take whatever the teacher or the school curriculum passes across to them without any form of questioning thereby undermining their thinking ability. A refined way of saying to the students “you have the right to accept what is given to you and remain silent because any form of objection is automatically overruled”. The whole point of education is to develop and nurture curiosity among individuals which helps them learn how to learn. And the school system is not in support of this campaign.

The main purpose of education is to vacate the brain and open the brain says a Veteran man but the contemporary schooling does none of the those, instead she fills the brain with junks and unrealistic dogmas and theories. Yet, she calls herself “an educational institution” what a pity!!!

According to Oscar Wilde, education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing that is worth learning can be taught. Here Oscar is saying that for one to acquire the major elements he needs to succeed in life he must take the pains of learning it individually, thus he is talking about self education.

Against the parallel passage of non-functional information and knowledge to pupils which is practiced in the school system, I propose a self centered education, education by the individual and within the individual. According to Bateson, through self education one does not just learn, but learns to learn, and learns to learn to learn, and learns to learn to learn to learn etc. Education is self-education and self-education is taking the homeward path to wisdom, insight and realization.

Am not saying that schooling or the school system is entirely worthless, I acknowledge that she might be doing her best and might mean well for her candidates or customer as the case maybe, but her best is not functional in relation to the everyday life of those that were once or still under her roof. To prove her worth once again, she has to make some serious changes in her system. Learning should be students centered and the students should be allowed to design and choose their own curriculum and course of study. I think the right thing schooling should do to her candidates or pupils as the case may be, is to awaken their senses towards acquiring functional knowledge in solving their everyday needs and that of others and not to teach them. The system should inculcate in the pupils, the act of self education. And then allow these pupils to self educate themselves, acting only as guidance only when called upon by the pupils. The pupils should be allowed to make mistakes and learn from their mistakes. It is possible for one to self educate himself while still under the roof of the formal school system.

So I call on our parents, communities, leaders and society to encourage the pursuit of education through the means of self education against the old unproductive way of hyping the formal school system as the panacea to individual happiness. Let us put self education back in her place in our individual lives and the progress of our communities and the society at large will be assured. Because a productive citizen is one who knows how to draw from within, his God given talents and potentials in solving his everyday life problem and that of others. And this he can do through self education and getting to understand his individual being and not through rote learning.

Finally I say to you, get formal education if you can, but with or without it, you must never forget to self educate yourself, so as to draw out from within you, every God given potential in you. Life only becomes meaningful and valued only at the point of self actualization and self actualization only comes from self education, formal schooling alone cannot give you that. The path of self education is the path to self actualization. And the task of self educating yourself is a continuous one; it does not end till death do you apart.

Written by TheUnlimitBeing_Onye Godson

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