Literate or Educated. This sums up the conundrum the youth face today. In Hindi these words are, साक्षर or शिक्षित. So, Literate basically means, one who knows the letters (अक्षर). Whereas Educated means, someone who is in possession of a systematic intellectual, social and moral instruction based on study or experience.
In the first case, the person merely knows what has been taught or rather told to him while in the second case he has to develop a reasoning regarding the situation in hand. It is indeed not possible for a single person to be educated about everything that he comes across every day. But when I look around myself, I find more literates than educated.
Even 20 years ago the literacy percentage of India was dismal. But that does not obviously tell us about their education levels. 20 years hence our literacy percentage has improved but the education levels have not improved much. A large percentage of the Indian population did not have access to schools and colleges 20 years ago. This resulted in the aforementioned dismal literacy levels. But the people then and before them took it upon themselves to develop such skills that helped them in countering the needs of the society.
Now getting admissions and degrees is not that big a problem as before. Educational institutes of all hues and colours are available in the country. This has certainly taken the literacy percentage upwards. But still we see large scale unemployment in the country. People will argue that the large population and the unavailability of jobs are the major factors. Well these factors can surely not be rejected. But jobs here certainly mean the Government sector and the big private companies. If someone cares to find out the attrition rate in major companies, they would find that a sizeable chunk of their employees either leave on their own accord (not only for another company in the same realm but for something altogether different) or they have to be phased out owing to them being a burden to the company (You know what I mean!). And they are supposed to be the best in the country (at least their mark sheets say so!). The attrition in the smaller companies is not recorded but we can safely say that it is even higher.
Now everyone will accept that it is certainly a disturbing trend. I can safely say that I have seldom seen a worthy person not getting his/her due. The question now arises why we are having such a number of unworthy. I would put the same in a different way that they are white – collared mules. They are neither race – horses nor donkeys. These are the people who have studied well for the examinations and excelled in them. But the process has been mostly GIGO (Garbage In Garbage Out). A lot of the information they processed was not assimilated. In most cases it is seen that the job in hand is neither their priority nor do they have the aptitude for it.
The question now arises that what should be done to rectify this. The education system in hand has been designed to be an all – inclusive model. It is bound to produce the same goods over and over again. It is the duty of the goods to become finished products. It is okay to flirt. But flirting cannot be the way of life. It has to culminate in a pleasing marriage. One has to develop a base skill either from the regular education model or take outside help. The base skill will help in getting a job where one can use his knowledge to excel. Having a base skill helps as one is always confident and comfortable when he uses that skill. He knows that he would not fail while using it.
But one should not be content with just a base skill. The learning curve should always be raised higher and higher. Firstly, learning is not a bad habit. Secondly, the base skill one has learnt (and not improved upon) might become redundant later. Knowledge is just like the horizon. As you approach it, it continues to shift away. But the quest for the horizon should never stop. There are two basic ways to learn, DIY (Do It Yourself) and reading. Neither of them is a self – sufficient method. The best way is to read first and then DIY.
Reading is becoming obsolete day by day. Moreover reading is becoming more and more need – oriented rather than being learning – oriented. This needs to change. It helps us in knowing about things that we certainly would not have thought, improves our imagination process and helps us to get away from the I am the best syndrome. DIY helps us to explore our limits. Most of us think that a job which we do not do for a living is something which we are not even supposed to do. It is either hi – fi or downmarket. This mindset needs to change. It will help us in our jobs as well outside it.
To sum up, for me education is that knowledge which one would love to gain rather than something which is just an obligation. And the quest for love should only increase throughout the lifetime. It is said that, everyone wants to go to heaven but nobody wants to die. I strongly believe that if you love something, you are bound to strive to succeed. The love gives you the inner strength to wade upon stormy waters.
किनारों पे खड़े होके, कश्ती कोई तैरा नहीं करती,
पानी के बहाव में ही उसकी असली इम्तेहान होती है,
वो कश्ती ही किनारे लगती है, जिसके पटवार में ज़ोर होता है,
यूँ तो कमज़ोर कश्तियाँ डूब जाती है, रह जाती है पानी के किस्मत में सिर्फ गालियाँ।