Real Education? Partially published in The New Paper, Pg 17 on Monday 01.01.2007
Education is the long term solution to most of our problems.
However, we must not confuse academic qualifications with education! Simply put, having a qualification or degree or certificate, is not the same thing as being educated.
An educated person is one who can differentiate right from wrong most of the time.
He or she will have the guts to stand up for justice and equality.
Educated people know that their responsibility is to protect the weak from the oppression of the uneducated strong.
They will help the needy in appropriate ways, by teaching the poor how to fish, as well as giving them the fish when necessary.
Educated citizens admit their mistakes, and more importantly, dare to acknowledge their errors. They know they will bounce back from failure to success with such feedback.
Being educated means that there will be impartiality and thus there will be narrowing of the double standards that we now observe in modern society.
Education is a never-ending process where everyone values lifelong learning. Otherwise how else can an enlightened person be tolerant, open-minded, and patient while at some times being aware that there are no solutions to some problems.
Being socially responsible is a hallmark of education. Educated industrialists will not pollute the environment, even though that translates into lesser net profit or maybe losses. Only uneducated businesspeople would, for instance, sell fake milk powder, which causes deaths in babies and infants. There is a great difference, therefore, between a socially-responsible entrepreneur and a business person!
A Chinese politician once said, "White cat, black cat or flower cat, as long as it can catch the rats, it's a good cat!" So does it matter to the company or establishment who contributes the solutions, so as long as these solutions can help? Must one always have a degree, or a professional qualification, before one's proposals, thoughts and solutions are taken by society to be valid or authoritative?
There is this joke that PhD stands for Permanent head Damage. So what, if the sixty-year old security guard or that sixty-two-year old tea lady can tell you what to do?
Is it very shameful to accept feasible solutions from senior workers who are unqualified and is it necessary that those without qualification are incompetent ?
What has happened to the maxim Substance over form ? Why must the trend be image over substance ? We must change our mindset if we want to survive ! The time is now or never.
Real gold is not afraid of fire. In order to make this radical definition of education widely accepted, real educators must be prepared for a very hard struggle to overturn the years of conditioning and misconception.
And the story of the three blind men and the elephant should remind us that you are right but at the same time I am not wrong as the truth has many appearances.
Will there be queue-jumpers or drunken drivers when Singaporeans are truly educated?
When will there be educated Singaporeans who can have meals with his or her maid at the same table, eating the same food, at the same time?
Will there be educated global citizens who treat every human equally regardless of color, religion, class or sex?
It is very difficult, but with passion everyone can be truly educated!
Food for thought - Is the over-emphasis on paper qualification dangerous?
Challenge - Who will join me to solve most of our problems by advocating real education?
July 2006 © Jonathan CHEE Fook Heng Author of Entrepreneurship Made Simple?
Nominee, Spirit of Enterprise Award 2007 AJ Mgt Svcs’ PR Consultant : Ms Catherine Lim +65 9726 7237