Educational education by prepared preparers

By Alex Paul Atup. Alex, 16, is a student at New Era University, General Santos City, Philippines. Please read his article and leave your thoughts and comments below.

What is one of the universal truths that govern society as of now? What is one of the things that we truly need?

Of course, the answer should be in the clear for everyone: We need to have education. That’s why since childhood, we go to school. We need to give our brains knowledge. We require it. Without it, we could be useless members of society when we grow up. We won’t know what’s going on around us. With it, we can expand the bandwidth of our minds and remove the boundaries of our imagination. But is that all?

We also need it to find a job. That is imperative, whether you like it or not. Unless you are a child in a rich family that will never go bankrupt, you will need one if you want to continue living in this harsh world.

So, should the purpose of education be to prepare students for working life so that they can earn money for survival? Or to broaden their minds so that they gain knowledge, satisfaction, as well as good cognitive ability?

The answer is complicated, but at the same time, simple. It can come from many perspectives. More questions can come from that single question. One might say that some subjects like Math or Science is unnecessary when it comes to certain college courses like literature, or to certain jobs.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg. Life is more complicated that you think.

What’s existing in this world are lots of paradoxes, contradictions, paraprosdokians, clichés and rhetoric questions. You can find something satisfactory, then gradually ending up finding something that nullifies its meaning afterwards. Moreover, education’s purposes will not be exempted from that, either. Sometimes, there might be things that seem to not hold meaning at all – studying it for the sake of graduating, yet in the future, you might find out that it was totally worth it as that knowledge gave you something incomparable to others.

Is intelligence enough? Will cognitive ability alone be enough to survive in this world? Is that the reason why schools are teaching subjects that seem unrelated to survival of humankind? Of course, the answer should be obvious: A big NO.

Academics are important, for what comes from those are from the basic up to the most advanced knowledge you will ever need and you will use the majority of it later in life. However, you will also need skills – useful ones to be used in real life, like cooking, negotiating, and others. You will also need skills to socialize with other people. Why? Academic skills and life skills are different from each other. Academic ones are graded – you will know if you passed or not while life skills, on the other hand, are not. It’s up to you to think if you actually pulled it off. You also need to be ready for failures and let-me-downs if you want to get ready for a job. Academics are all learned in the classroom, however, life skills, especially the important ones are NOT ALL learned within its four walls. Although teaching it in school is a very good idea, you will gain them through experience, and that’s a better way for you to gain them.

You know that graduation is necessary. You will need the power to apply all that you have learned. Yes, the roots of education are bitter. Gaining the knowledge and skills you need is hard work and you need to suffer through it, yet, when you strive, you gather up the skills you need. But remember, the fruit is sweet. It is giving you the preparedness in your future job – giving you the fruitful future you deserve. And in that sense, you will also need a broad mind in order to process why you should do it and to persevere – even if the overall process is difficult.

Let’s say that you have graduated, and are finally ready for your job. You now have the knowledge and skills you need. If you use it to its extremities, to its full potential, you can easily be successful. With your various inspirations and motivations, life will be easy. You can achieve the things you want to achieve. However, you will encounter trials, adversities, and worst of all, persecutions. Those are inevitable because many people are surely be there in order to bring you down. Talk about crab mentality. Yet one may get disappointed for things did not go according to plan. Were you really ready?

Life is unfair. I have experienced that myself, even though I am still at a young age. Even before graduating from elementary, I have always wondered. Example: Why do I go to school, even though I find it so easy to learn, to take quizzes, and to ace exams? So that I could get a job? Is that it? What a boring life I must lead. Wake up at five, rush to work with toast in my mouth, do the job, get salary on a monthly basis, go back home, eat, wash the dishes, and sleep. Is my life going to be as unconventional as that? Yet again, the answer is a big NO. With the things you can get from education, you can get a job – of course. However, you also get to have a BROAD MIND, stemming from character and values to knowledge and skills. You must be able to discern truths and bogusness, to separate facts and falseness. And that can help truly in the job for your future.

In conclusion, the answer for the aforementioned question is obviously BOTH. That is common sense, even though the answer is quite clichéd. In life, you will be needing to be prepared for your working life, as well as having a very broad mind in order to overcome the various situations which can decide you and your fate. You cannot survive in life if you only have the permission or credentials to do something that you should, but also have the knowledge in order to use it. But once again, knowledge alone won’t support you. Remember those things and victory is guaranteed.

Or…can you? It’s up to the human itself to think about it.

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