I am going to make a bold claim and say that the education system in Nepal is a failing enterprise. I do think that one day our kids and our Grand-kids will laugh at how much value we put on a piece of paper, how we help to educate people out of creativity. But why do most of us waste our time with a college education even though we all know that in today’s world, a college education is worthless for many?
I heard this statement somewhere, and it has stuck with me, “Every child is born a scientist, but then they are sent to school.” I think this is most true in Nepal.
In this article, I want to discuss a few of the issues I have with the present education system:
- Why I despise the education system in Nepal
- What if colleges and schools stopped handing out certificates
- A toxic culture and a failed education system
- The problem of academic inflation
Why I despise the education system in Nepal
I am not against academia. I consider myself an academic(in a traditional sense, like education, was during the time of Socrates and Plato). I love to read and research and think about new and exciting ideas, and for some reason, that gives me a sense of fulfillment. Then you might ask, why do I criticize the very discipline I am most passionate about. And there are a few reasons for this. First is that I don’t think academia is for everyone. Not because it is hard but because it is just idiotic to say that everyone should get a degree to do well in life. We push people into academic fields in such a way that there is nothing else worth doing in the world. As there are better things to do.
The second reason why I despise the education system in this country is that it doesn’t take into consideration individual needs. The system is linear, and for the sake of sounding blunt, it is an idiotic way to help people learn. Human beings are diverse creatures. We think in a very dynamic and distinct manner. We are not machines which take information and put it on paper.
And the most important reason as to why I despise this system is that Colleges today are a business. Let’s be honest here; the only thing that most Nepalese colleges do are sell certificates at a price. Colleges today completely disregard the learning process. Education(information) without learning(application) is worthless in my view.
What if colleges and schools stopped handing out certificates
Let’s think about a hypothetical scenario, what if colleges and schools tomorrow declared that they would not hand out any more certificates. What will happen then? Will People adapt and still send their kids to school to be “educated”. Or, If you are thinking the same thing I am, then what are we doing, isn’t it better to instead buy a certificate from a college and not waste four fucking years trying to prove how good you are at giving exams.
What are colleges today if not a massive Ponzi scheme. Parents invest in their children’s “education” and wait to get a return that they will never get. One thing is different, though, colleges do not run away with the money they steal. Instead, they stand big and proud of what they have accomplished (Which is nothing). They sell an idea of accomplishment, and instead of condemning them for destroying years of a young mind, we praise them. Learning isn’t about changing our grade; it’s about changing the way we see the world.
A toxic culture and a failed education system
As I have said earlier, I despise the education system for what it is at its current state. I have never liked college or school for that matter. I know it’s a very unpopular opinion but it is the truth. Most of all, I find the way we teach today boring and that is a valid argument even though it’s a cliche.
I never really got this argument. Why is it that if we go to an institute and sit 7 hours a day doing low-grade clerical work, we are considered to be “educated,” regardless of how wasted those 7 hours were. But instead, if I choose not to go to a college and read at home about the subjects I am in love with, I will be considered an uneducated barbarian. Regardless of how much progress I make intellectually or can apply what I study. When did we end up subscribing to such a toxic way of thinking about education?
This way of “educating” people is I am afraid, creating a generation of people who are frustrated and suffering from mental disorders and suffering through life in general. It’s a Psychological crime if there is such a thing. How is it that more and more students straight out of universities suffer from depression and anxiety or worse commit suicide. It’s an epidemic now, and although I admit that many other factors cause these disorders, colleges, and universities are leading the charts.
The problem of academic inflation
No, this has nothing to do with the economy. Think about six years ago(2012/13) and how much value was there in an S.L.C certificate. A few years later, and it’s hard to find a job with a Bachelor’s degree. This is telling a story, isn’t it? Year after year, the value of the degree we possess is losing its power. How long before organizations start asking for a master’s degree for an entry-level job.
I have been to my fair share of conferences and interviews. And mostly I find that Organizations who hire people based on their degrees know that they are worthless(The degrees not the people). They know they have to retrain and reform students out of college. Hell, even colleges themselves know that their degrees are worthless. I recently went to a conference, and there was an academic head present in the panel. The discussion at the time was about soft skills (skills which involve communication, teamwork among others) and how important it is in the actual workplace. The question was, “how much time do you put into teaching your students about soft skills”. The answer was predictable, to say the least. “We want to, but we have all these courses we have to complete in time.”
Most of his answers were predicated on an argument that people have to learn everything outside of college. However, college is still relevant because it is the only place where you can get official validation (Laughable, right). They know how useless the system is. Hell, we as a culture, know-how ineffective this education system is, but we still choose to let it stay.
It is sometimes better to not have a map than to have a map that leads you to the wrong place
I do not know when this madness will end. But I will fight against this even if it kills me. I, as one person, cannot make a dent in this. But as Edward Snowden once said, “If you lay a single brick, then someone else may decide to put a brick on top of it, and the wall will slowly get stronger.” (I am paraphrasing)
I know when it comes to education, my views are very extreme. And if you are offended by the things I have written in this article, then you should be.
“In order to be able to think, you have to risk being offensive.”
― Jordan B. Peterson
In a future post, I want to talk about some of the ways I think we can build an education system that can work for us. This is a post where I whine and cry about the system that has failed me. But I am not a victim. I am just very concerned about where we are headed as a culture when it comes to how we educate people.