phew!
A nation of sheep begets a government of wolves

Education for freedom

Is there such a subject?

Not many of us really understand the purpose of examinations in schools. Yet in the end of the school term the results from the examinations matter more than anything else. This decides your future. We have setup a judgment system which can have a serious impact on a person’s life. The only purpose behind studying for these examinations is to motivate students to study hard. The examinations are a necessary feedback system to both parents and the students themselves. That report card and the certificates have become the order of merit. School examinations also assess the student’s competence on each subject. If you score an A for your English paper or D, the implications are obvious. Finally we may consider the following:

  • Was the education a good test of knowledge in that subject?
  • Is the examination a test of the student’s ability or the teacher’s ability in teaching that subject?
  • Is the examination a test of the student’s general ability or the student’s interest in that particular subject?
  • Is the examination a test of the student’s general intelligence or the ability to remember the sort of information which examinations demand?

The ability to memorize and give the standard answers based on the knowledge the student has acquired is a prerequisite. If your child cannot memorize well you can be assured the outcome of the examinations. His whole life and future will be seriously affected and suffer as a result. Does this mean your son is stupid just because he cannot memorize as well as his peers? The answer rolls to another misnomer on intelligence. What does it actually mean? Does it mean to do well in intelligence tests? Does it mean to excel in real life and be successful? We can see many results of our traditional schooling methods that leave the inadequately educated in the gutter.

The education system can be a symptom of the the effects of antiquated judgment system especially when authoritarian control is present. Nothing can be changed in as long the ruling oligarchy perseveres. It is designed for those who can reach atop of the pyramid. It is designed bearing in mind the exact purposes and intent of elite schools. The indoctrination is complete. The base of the pyramid lies the innately redundant and nonintellectual. These are the security guards, cleaners, factory workers and any other job that requires little skill and thinking. These cannot be leaders. Teachers have denigrated into tools to disseminate party propaganda and conformed to avoid topics of freedom and opposing views but ruthlessly nurture uniformity and debates. It is so much satisfying to smash an idea than to create it. At times we can contrast them as automatons. An intriguing article can be found here. There are plenty of these automatons too, perched atop of the social pyramid who lack the ability to think, live and breathe servitude, who behave no better than those at the base of pyramid. Alas your education papers do not equate and mirror your acceptance of conformity when lacking the ability to think and speak freely. Never mind if you are a lawyer or a professor and even a rocket scientist, if you but have scant regard to the human spirit and freedom, the education you have received, after all those years, goes out of the window in an instant. Aldous Huxley wrote:

At this point we find ourselves confronted by a very disquieting question: Do we really wish to act upon our knowledge? Does a majority of the population think it is worthwhile to a take a good deal of trouble, in order to halt and if possible, reverse the current drift to totalitarian control of everything?singapore_ndp_06___02_by_dendennism.jpg

The answer lies in your ability to think and your very own soul to harvest. An education should be, an education in facts or figures-the fact of individual diversity and genetic uniqueness and the values of freedom, tolerance and mutual charity which are the ethical collaries of these facts. Without these, the threat of repression, propaganda and authoritarian control, cannot be eliminated thoroughly. These values will provide us a criterion by which propaganda may be judged. The propaganda that is found to be both nonsensical and immoral may be rejected out of hand. That which is merely irrational, but compatible with love and freedom, and not on the principle opposed to the exercise of intelligence, may be provisionally accepted for what it is worth.

(Expositions from Edward de Bono’s book New Thinking For The New Millennium & Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World)

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