We are all products of our education system, and better the brand value of this education system the better the product is supposed to be. It’s been believed in our country that IIT’s and IIM’s are the best education brand and are producing the best products. A whole new market of education is been created and going through this education process is considered to be the best way to success. Education is no longer about education but about branded degrees that it offers. This branded degree becomes a guarantee for a good job. But the question is why education system is been shaped in this particular way? Why we have lost true meaning from education? Let us try to deconstruct this education factory, and see how this market is been created.
To deconstruct I am trying to answer the fundamental question about what, how and why.
1. What is education system?
Before understanding the system, let us see what is education; Wikipedia says “Education in its general sense is a form of learning in which the knowledge, skills, values, beliefs and habits of a group of people are transferred from one generation to the next.“ That means education process is designed to enhance the product (students) with different forms of information. And a factory (education system) is been setup all over the globe in form of schools and colleges.
2. How education system works?
We have created spaces (factories) which we call as Schools, universities, and colleges where this education is been transmitted to individuals through the means of different pedagogies. We have defined a set of curriculum in accordance to age-group that we think is best to learn and one has to attain a minimum pass score to get level up (though now grades are used instead of scores, up to certain level in some school boards). This scores and grades acts as a feedback mechanism and from which one can understand how well he/she has understood a particular subject. So like in a factory batches of individuals are categorize on the basis of age and branded degree products are been produced with “standardize testing”.
3. Why we need education system?
One obvious answer is to educate all. But again why we need to educate all? Possibly to make them stand in the economies of 21st century (though we don’t even know what economy would look like at the end of the next week). Second reason can be cultural identity, so that we can pass on the cultural gene while being part of process of this globalization.
Now most of the countries are trying to reform public education system and the way they are doing is by changing this “how” of the education system. By changing how this education is been delivered and by trying to inculcate technology into education. In short they are trying advance this factory of education with new technology. So that better products can be produced. But in all this process of reformation we have forgotten to change the “why” and “what” of the education system which in accordance to the time is changing. The question is not how can we produce good products from the education factory but rather what is this education factory and why we need such factories?
I believe we don’t need to reform education but instead deconstruct and redesign it. We need to understand that true meaning of education is always evolving and adapting with time and technology. There is no fixed definition of education and it will keep on changing with the advancement of technology. We need such a design that is flexible and adaptable. We need to Change by changing the design, as Tim Brown shares in his book Change by Design. We don’t need revolution in education but rather evolution of the education design.