Earning Degrees Doesn’t Make One Educated

From as long as we know of human civilization, people looking to improve only their skills and technical expertise went to trade school and learned in the apprentice method. The modern methods of such technical training is provided by ITI’s and Polytechnic. That also requires practical training in the industry for a year or two.

In traditional crafts like carpentry, painting, blacksmith and masonry – the technical skill development training is far more medieval. A person learns at the whim and fancy of the senior person by working under them till the time they are able to develop their skills.

Unlike technical skill development, education has always meant renaissance. Education existed even before 2000 years. Before Alexander, another Greek Xenophon in 3rd Century BC wrote the book ‘The education of Cyrus” outlining the training of the Prince of Persia. Greek civilization also had formal syllabus for education with focus on grammar, communication and logic. Similarly, Chanakya or Kautilya the person behind the formation of India’s first welfare nation outlined the process for the education of the princes in order for them to be able to handle the many challenges of administering the kingdom.

Leaving kings and emperors aside, the focus of education was always to grow the person to look beyond superstition, prevailing practices, rituals and established ways of thinking. Even Nobel prizes are awarded not for the most learned person on the subject but to the person who advances the subject further with new insights. Einstein was a great scientist as well as a humanist. In visits to Asia, Einstein refused to ride in rickshaws, feeling that it would be degrading to the person pulling him along.

Almost all the world civilizations have gone through “dark ages” with no progress in human civilization. It was only the renaissance of Europe that created the foundation for the past growth in civilization – away from superstition, weakening of science and lack of human advancement.

Even Japan went through a non-violent renaissance called the Meiji revolution before it became a world power militarily, in technology and business. You could even term the Indian freedom struggle as the education and involvement of the masses by many leaders with Mahatma Mohandas being the most important.

Having limited perspective and thinking only about your needs is a mercenary way of thinking. A mercenary is a not a honorable person since he does short term assignments for the highest bidder. Whereas, a soldier connects with the needs of his country and does things for his country even at risk to him. Soldiers are respected and mercenaries are hated.

Here we are going with a more limited view of education. Education is Not a Degree and a Degree Does Not Give Education. Specifically, the need to broaden your horizon to be able to connect properly with the needs of the organization that hires you. The ability to connect meaningfully and positively with the society and its institutions. And finally to be supporter and enabler of all good things that happen in your immediate society. These are small ways of showing that you are educated.

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