My Interview Q&A with Praxis.

Recently, I answered some survey questions relating to education. Education, for long, has been an interesting cause for me. So taking the time to carve out these answers was part of my way of voicing my thoughts. I hope you learn, relearn and unlearn as you read through.

Q: What is your education background?

A: I am an high school graduate. I am currently spending a gap year and preparing for college.

Q: In your opinion, what is the purpose of education?

Education is meant to bring out the potential in each and every individual. Education has its root in the word “EDOOCE” which means to bring out.  So real and true education is meant to bring out the hidden potentials in every student.

Q: What do you believe are the most important things for people to learn through their education?

Things that are useful not only for the present but for the future. I mean through education people should learn skills that are required not just on multiple-choice exams but on the journey called life. For instance, students and people shouldn’t just learn how to apply time management on exams but how to balance the link between good time management and the increasing workloads of life experiences.

Furthermore,  the Boston Children Hospital predicts that in the U.S., suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among children and adolescents ages 10-24, and the 3rd leading cause of death among 12-year-olds and World Economic Forum study suggests that the biggest predictor of success is ones attitude. Then through education, people should learn skills and ways to manage rejections, bullies, anxiety, or depression. I mean skills that are needed throughout ones life.

Q: What do you think are the most important results of a successful education?

Things that are useful not only for the present but for the future. I mean through education people should learn skills that are required not just on multiple-choice exams but on the journey called life. For instance, students and people shouldn’t just learn how to apply time management on exams but how to balance the link between good time management and the increasing workloads of life experiences.

Furthermore,  the Boston Children Hospital predicts that in the U.S., suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among children and adolescents ages 10-24, and the 3rd leading cause of death among 12-year-olds and World Economic Forum study suggests that the biggest predictor of success is ones attitude. Then through education, people should learn skills and ways to manage rejections, bullies, anxiety, or depression. I mean skills that are needed throughout ones life.


Q: When you set out to learn something new, where do you start?

I start from the root. The rudiments of what I about to learn and how it came into existence.

Q: From your own experience, what do you feel is the most effective way to learn?

The hard but real truth is that we are all different and what worked for A might be a bane to B. As Albert Einstein once said “Everybody is a genius but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing it is stupid” 

Every child has a different need, different dreams, different goals, different strengths, different weaknesses, so teaching the same thing the same way won’t work. Plus, our brian obeys the principle of plasticity meaning that its has great sense of flexibility. From my experience, there’s no hard and fast rule to learning. But I can say that one method that has proven effective generally is allowing children to learn at their pace.

Q: In your opinion, how much is a successful education worth?

A successful education is invaluable. The worth of a truly successful education can’t be determined. Because much as schools may charge students for classes, education goes beyond the four walls of a classroom. It goes without saying that the day you stop learning you start dying. In essence, one only stops learning at death. So the worth of a successful education is the same as the worth of life. If living can’t be bought at a price then education can’t be purchased at any price.

Q: Do you feel college is a worthwhile investment?

Not until certain changes are made to the educational system. The question that should he on the lip of everyone is “What is school for?” It is not the lectures and classes that major education worthwhile. It is the application of the acquired skills and experiences to change lives positively that makes college a worthwhile investment. And so, college should be bent towards developing the next generation of innovators and creative thinkers rather than crammers. Collaborators instead of competitors. This is what would make college a worthwhile investment.

Q: Do you feel college does a good job preparing students for future jobs?

Absolutely not. Not if students are still evaluated based on how they can memorize the dots rather than connect the dots. In the future, most people will be hired not because of what they know but because of what they can do with what they know. Can you solve real-life problems and not just bubble in multiple-choice questions? In the future, most jobs will become automated so the ones who succeed will need to be curious, creative, innovative, collaborative with resilience to adapt to changes. Yet, the skills that are needed on the jobs of the future aren’t what college teach students. 

Founder of Alibaba, Jack Ma, has been quoted as saying that we shouldn’t compete with artificial intelligence instead, we should focus on unique human intelligence. The first step to focusing on unique human intelligence is discovering such unique intelligence in order words, bringing out the unique intelligence which, in actual fact, is the real reason education exists but these days, colleges are more likely to shut doors at students rather than to open them. Colleges are more likely to stuff students with facts and data rather than to discover the unique human intelligence that will help in the future. 

Founder of Tesla and CEO of SpaceX agreed when he said “I think college are basically for fun and to prove that you can do your chores [cram data and facts for the test day], they aren’t for learning.” Google has also been quoted as saying GPAs are worthless criteria for hiring. 

If schools don’t change the way they handle students, then most students would be found graduating right into the unemployment sector.

Q: Recently, many colleges across the country have moved online due to COVID-19. Do you think these colleges should refund their students?

Absolutely not. There’s no debunking the fact that colleges have running cost and much as there may seem to be cut in normal school life, the economy of each and every country is battling with the pandemic. In an attempt to care for its workers, colleges will need to play their role in reducing the unemployment rate in the country. 

Most importantly, we shouldn’t see the use of technology as a substitute for education. Rather, technology and innovation should be seen as a complement for education.

Q: If you could change one thing about college, what would it be?

There’s a need to revisit the evaluation of students. Students should be tested based on how they learned and the pace they learned. Each student should have a specific means of evaluation of his or her abilities. Imagining a teacher standing in front of 30 students and teaching them the same thing the same way is baffling. 

Testing and exams have become too crude to be used and should be abandoned and most of the exams have outlived their usage as they have become mere repetiton and modifications of previous questions. 

Critical thinking instead of la cram la pour (I crammed, I poured) should be tested. Collaboration instead of competition. Students should be tested based on their problem-solving skills and not their data-cramming mindset. To ensure students are tested on how they can connect the dots rather than memorize the dots is a major thing I would change about education in college if I could truly change it.

Q: What do you believe the future of education looks like?

The future of education would be determined based on what changes are made to the system at this time. Should the chinks in the armor be ignored or seen as irrelevant, the dangers ahead are better imagined than experienced. Definitely, education has got its indispensable benefits but to acquire such benefits would be a matter of letting go of the old and archaic way and conforming to the right way. The discovery manner.

Thank you for reading! Recently, I wrote an article on Education and Literacy for the World Literacy Foundation. Kindly take the time to learn, unlearn and relearn with this article (https://worldliteracyfoundation.org/literacy-the-key-to-true-education/)

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