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S-C-H-O-O-L-S

May 16, 2010


The stage was all set

Capitalists needed compliant workers, workers who would be productive and were willing to work for less than the value that their productivity created. The gap between what they were paid and what the capitalists received was profit.

The best way to increase the profits was to increase both the productivity and the compliance of factory workers. And as Carneige saw, the best way to do that was to build a huge educational/ industrial complex designed to teach workers just enough to get them to cooperate.

I believe that it is not an accident that school/ college is like a job, not an accident that there are supervisors and rules and tests and quality control. You do well, you get another job (the next grade), and continue to do well and you get a real job. Do poorly, don’t fit in, rebel – and you are kicked out of the system. It is not mere coincidence that we have started to smother local knowledge and that today a child in Ladakh, a child in Kerala, and the one in Bihar (and possibly in Africa and Europe too) are studying the same curriculum, which has nothing to do with their own culture, their own place and their own language and traditions.

And today that is what most of the schools are doing. I had the privilege to go to Delhi Public School, the grand school, the big school with all the facilities, everything that a good training institute would have and thereby had the privilege to witness the above firsthand. I got to learn a lot (especially how utterly useless place it was) and in turn had a lot to pay too (apart from the high fees) – Ridiculous levels of competition, forcibly being pitting against one another in the race, the induced fear of standing apart, and of course the insecurity and consumerism pills that I was fed day in and day out led to innumerable deformities, deformities that I finding so hard to get rid off.

The sign in front of my school should have said:

WE TRAIN THE FACTORY WORKERS OF TOMORROW. OUR GRADUATES ARE VERY GOOD AT FOLLOWING INSTRUCTIONS. AND WE TEACH THE POWER OF CONSUMPTION AS AN AID FOR SOCIAL APPROVAL.

Instead it said:

SERVICE BEFORE SELF (I still wonder how can someone be so amusing)

I wonder if we can have places which are ready to do the following:

WE TEACH PEOPLE TO TAKE INITIATIVE AND BECOME REMARKABLE ARTISTS, TO QUESTION THE STATUS QUO, AND TO INTERACT WITH TRANSPARENCY. AND OUR GRADUATES UNDERSTAND THAT CONSUMPTION IS NOT THE ANSWER TO SOCIAL PROBLEMS. AND IT COULD BE PERFECTLY OK IF SOMEONE IS LIVING ON LESS THAN $2 A DAY.

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10 Comments leave one →
  1. amey permalink
    May 16, 2010 15:22

    great.. here’s a line to add to that: > a piece from truth in teaching…

    “It seems paradoxical beyond endurance to rule that a manufacturer of shampoos may not endanger a student’s scalp but a premier educational institution is free to stuff his skull with nonsense.” – Judge Mcintosh, (Miscellany – A history of truth in teaching, by George Stigler)

    Like

    • Consty permalink*
      May 16, 2010 15:45

      Ha ha… What seems positive though is that still there are many teachers who believe that schools are educational institutes and not training bunkers. Some of us are lucky to have had teachers like that who have helped shape the vision.

      Like

  2. May 17, 2010 12:32

    @consty – and book gifted to achal kothari by Anuj Choudhary 🙂 I referred you Dead Poet Society too and so to Achal ;P I wonder how much of ownership i have on your blog :))

    I follow Seth Godin like a deity 😉

    Like

    • Consty permalink*
      May 17, 2010 13:41

      Gifted? 450 ki book? 900 given? Kuch yaad aaya Hula kamine… Ab next entry “Hula” ka PARDAFASH likhun kya? 🙂

      Like

  3. May 17, 2010 14:01

    i bought it for 1200!! gave it in 900… not my fault 😛 book ki value paiso mein napi… chi chi chi..

    Like

  4. May 17, 2010 14:02

    and there were additional invaluable comments in the book too 😀

    Like

    • Consty permalink*
      May 17, 2010 14:10

      U bought a 450 buk for 1200… Kuch bhi ho dost, Achal ka jo kaata hai tumne 🙂 Le li bechare ki.. yeah but he gets awed by the additional comment quite often… 🙂

      Like

  5. May 17, 2010 14:28

    yaar… I really wanted him to appericiate the value of book and make him read it really carefully 🙂 samjha karo yaar….

    Like

    • Consty permalink*
      May 17, 2010 21:34

      Main to samajh gaya 🙂 Achal ko samjhao to pata chale

      Like

  6. May 18, 2010 16:17

    Yes ..I appreciate the value of book ..
    But what about the value of the person .. As a matter of fact Hula aapki value toh gir gayi ab

    Like

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