Playing in the open ground, going out on boat adventures, listening to bird calls, catching fish to earn a livelihood at the age of 14 or go to school, listen to monotonous classes, take painful tests, fail, and feel disappointed? Which one would you prefer? Yes, of course some peeps love to go to school, they love to read, play, explore, and aim to see themselves in a profession.
Universally parents want their kids to have basic education, for it is their belief that education is a staircase to grow and sustain in today’s monetized world. It’s a safe play. The fishermen as with other folk don’t want their children to lead the gruelling lives they did. Coz, they know the sea is rising, their living spaces are shrinking; maintaining the boats is expensive, there is hardly any money during off season, they either get plentiful resources or nothing at all, they either have a bountiful or they remain empty handed. They know the nuances of the innate risky lifestyle they lead. But a fisher’s kid fancies the adventurous stories of the sea, the countless stars, pitch darkness, stormy weathers, and endless tales of the offshore waters.
In the metropolitan cities in India, there are institutions that offer training for IIT from class one. It’s purely the wish of the adults (parents) to see their child excel in a stream they desire even before the child is aware of the available options. How different are the fellows in cities than those thriving in rural landscapes? There is no stark difference of thought between the educated and uneducated, rather I should say literate and illiterate. Yes! We have good literacy rates in India but we hardly have a handful of educated minds.
The purpose of education is not merely to read, write, and gain an educational qualification. It is the ability to comprehend, discern, and respect the differences among people. It is not to gain a position in a socially respectable field but to respect all fields of work. It is not to attain a coveted position but to deserve to be worthy of it. The goal of education should be to have a better understanding about the world in terms of its functioning rather than a system available to earn more money.
“Money has not fragmented people but the uniform desire to possess it definitely did.”
When my hands are full your hands are empty and when your hands are full mine are empty. Money appears to be a source of perpetual dissatisfaction for those who don’t possess it and fear of losing it for those who possess it. Earning is essential to live in this world but earning alone should not be the purpose of life. At least for a first-class kid stepping into this world.
A fishermen kid once asked me: “How much do you earn akka?”
I said: “Rs 30,000 a month.”
Kid: “That’s all! You come here every day; in the hot sun you look at those birds and write so much and fill so many full pages (I am a researcher and he is referring to my datasheet). After all that work, you get paid so less?”
I silently looked into those innocent eyes not knowing what to say.
He continued: “How much did you study?”
I said: “17 years of education”
He was all the way more disappointed.
Kid: “After 17 years of education, you get only so less? For one trip that we go for a catch in the sea, we get Rs.10,000.”
A 14-year-old kid earning 10,000 rupees per one good catch finds no valid reason to spend 17 years of education to earn 30,000 rupees per month. It’s because education is portrayed as a ladder to earn money and why need that when it does not serve the purpose? But the point they miss out is, they might earn money but they fail to understand their dependency on others even to read a small pamphlet of a notice that comes to their village. Their confidence to face the world outside of their homes is far less; so, their world itself shrinks and hardly does it expand beyond their bubble of security.
The Government has lured kids to school to complete their basic education with incentives but the purpose of education has to be detailed to the teachers and parents. Coz in the end we might have an era of many literate and uneducated people which is a dangerous experiment that could explode anytime.
Ultimately it is choice of each parent to think if they want to literate their child or educate their child and before they do that, they must educate themselves. A child learns lot more from parents than anyone else. With all the perks of urban landscapes, the change should begin with us.
You have a choice to be wise, you can either prove to be one or otherwise.
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