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Formal Education makes you dumb and kills your time

More than half of the world’s billioners are college drop-outs. Does that point to something ? Well, sort of. It is becoming evidently clear that going to schools for the purpose of getting “educated” is clearly a waste of time and a breach of knowledge. But colleges provide you an experience that is wonderful and cherishing – for this reason, it is worth the time and effort. If you are lucky, you can get good friends or if you are more lucky, you could get yourself a life partner. But apart from these reasons, there is very little evidence that schools and colleges are going to make you smarter. Intelligence cannot be taught – Intelligence is a trait that cannot really be acquired. Everybody is talented in one way or other. A few out of them, turn out intelligent. And this intelligence is not because of the little “education” you derive from going to any school. Most of the time you do stagnate when you are at school – being coerced to learn things you are not interested in. You loose yourself in that process and your creativity takes a deep hit. Agreed, not all can survive without a proper formal education at schools – but I am talking about the ones who technically do not require schooling. There are many people who think this way and you could identify yourself with it – if this article sounds right for you.

The perils of higher education

Basic schooling is a prerequisite. Something that elementary and middle schools offer, could be of some use to you. But beyond that, it gets into a pointless exercise aimed at conditioning your mind not to be creative. It then makes you something like an intellectual zombie. Formal “higher” education along with the grading system is an assault on intellectuality. It would also contribute to moral degradation of the people who were graded lower. These people would have been a talented contributor in their field of interest but for the emotional drain caused due to the grading system. And those top graded people are at top grades may be because of them memorizing the text books without caring to learn from it. Most likely, it is these people who are considered to be bright students as they can be graded higher than a person with inborn ability to think. Not all people with top grades are always intelligent and similarly not all people with lower grades are always foolish.

The pace of Change

The world is changing pretty fast. Especially in the technical world, where technology is evolving at the speed of light. In this day and age, locking yourself up with a 4 year old textbook or a 4 year old degree would really be detrimental. Though many major companies have stopped stressing on degrees, it is still a pity to see few organizations sticking to a century old thought that formal education is invaluable. I was learning GW BASIC at school when the world was celebrating the huge success of Java. But again, I did not have time at that moment to get the expertise required on Java because that would mean I have to sacrifice on the grades. In a way, I was forced to learn GW BASIC though it would not be useful for me in the long run. Updating the course is not a solution. Because day to day updation is impossible. The only solution is to destress the need for formal education.

It doesnt make economic sense either

Colleges has become a way to make quick money. It is now a business. You pay huge sums to get a piece of paper with your name printed on it. Agreed, money is paper too – but money can buy you things that a degree cannot. And degrees cannot help you make money either. You’ve gotta have skills for that. Skill is not related to education. Skill is closely related to creativity. Formal education places least imporance in development of skills. You are paying a huge amount of money for draining your creativity out. It is sad to see young students get themselves into a debt trap by taking a loan for their education expenses. People who are rich, may not really require a loan but they do not require a formal education either. Instead, if such amount of money is invested carefully, you could save yourself something for the future.

What about areas which are technology agnostic

Formal education could be of some use to more or less static domains – say Law for example. In such case, you have a certain fixed text which needs to be in your head always. Formal education could be of *some* use here (though not required). Even in such cases, a preparation text book is more than sufficient for you to learn. Why colleges ? But for some fields, such as medical – it may make some sense. You cannot expect to have all the laboratory equipments at home. In such cases, colleges may make some sense.

Gross waste of time

You cannot be bound for 6 to 8 hours every day in the name of education. Lets do a simple math. Assume you spend 8 hours a day at school, 5 days a week. That brings you to 40 hours a week. You are spending about 2080 hours a year or about 87 days! You are going to spend a similar time sleeping. So you are spending more than half a year every year in ensuring that you stop thinking and start memorizing. What good this does to you ? Instead if you could spend 8 hours on something constructive – something that interests you – who knows, you could really invent something that could be useful for the mankind!

The world’s greatest inventors have one thing in common

And that is their limited formal education (or the lack of it). It is probably because of that, they were able to devote more time for their inventions. Thomas Edison had not attended any college. But the world is a better place today because of his inventions. Albert Einstein had once stated that the spirit of learning and creative thought were lost in strict rote learning – typical of schools and colleges. Even at college, he learnt physics himself. Most of his learnings were extra-curricular. All of Newton’s discoveries has no connection with his college education.

But if you are over-estimating your potential and think that you could really become a great inventor by skipping college, then you are probably making a mistake. It all boils down to your creativity. If you feel you are creative, experiment with your creativity first. If it succeeds, you may not really continue wasting your time in schools or colleges. But until then, formal education provides you a safe bait to hold on to – given the society’s magnetic mentality towards education in general.

  • visualsan

    Was thinking about this for a long time – every since school… There are several valid points here…