“The best art of enslaving is creating disciplined minds! We are trained to obey and accept boredom in schools, colleges and work-places.”
Long before we can shape the world, the world shapes us. Right from our birth, we are trained, rather constrained to do things a certain way; our entire lives charted to meet the frivolous fancies of others. All we are expected to do is grow-up and fit ourselves, our dreams, and our ideals into the moulds that society has crafted for us.
“Conveniently, this is labeled as learning and teaching become the ‘oh-so-righteous’ act of instruction!”
In schools and colleges, we’re trained to obey and accept boredom! Our education system (or the Prussian model) can be described as a factory designed to bring in conformity to the pre-established world-view. And finally, when we’re done with our education, we need to leave behind the rights of a citizen to enter our workplace.
In the corporate world, the owners make the decision and that’s the law. Even Stalin couldn’t have controlled our timings to eat-&-sleep; but our work-places do it with no consensus, what-so-ever! How different are we from farm-house chickens? The question will end up making us mad.
Education: An Objective Assessment
Now let’s have an objective assessment of our present education system. Ideally, we would define education as a process where people can optimize their abilities, skills, and talents. In other words, education should broaden our intellect and enable us to think out of the box. Does formal education really enable us to do all that? Let’s see!
Many of the things that we’ve been taught-to-believe are untrue or partially true. History has many sides to it and so does every ‘textbook- representation’ of the physical world. The lectures given to us in our classrooms are the lectures whose contents are determined by a hierarchy of power. Most of us pass through school without a single lesson on the ‘roots of inequality’ or the ‘influence of corporations’.
The important distortion in our education comes from what has been omitted from our textbooks. For instance, ‘The Columbus Story’ has been presented to young students across the world as a story of adventure and nobility. But no school textbook tells us about his main goal—expansion and seizing the riches of territories he occupied. Nor does anyone learn about his terrible cruelty, mutilation, and massacre in the Bahamas.
“Systems of education must prioritize certain acts, ideas, and notions over others to enforce the dominant values and goals of the society.”
Ideological Conformity: Be-all & End-all
The final nail in the coffin—job expectations are lowered to enslave the best minds! Our basic institutions like schools, colleges, and workplaces reward certain attitudes and behaviors while punishing others to discourage deviation from their prescribed path.
Indeed, we transform the world by our work. But most of us have very little or no control over it. When employed, we use our time and creativity to serve agendas set by others. In fact, we are trained to be professionals; or in other words, subordinates—intellectually and politically. We might be allowed to do creative work but we’re stripped off from having any sort of political control over it.
There is a reason why positions of political control do not have exams. In fact, their eligibility criteria are designed such that educational qualification, field experience, personal achievements and everything else comes secondary; thus giving ‘identity politics’ an upper hand. And we hardly bother to question that! Why? Because, ideological conformity is common and hence, it is seen as a politically neutral step.
A hierarchical power demands our obedience and people work day and night to support the status-quo.
#Author’s Note: The topic of ‘formal education’ and ‘ideological conformity’ needs a fair amount of debate and one can’t come to a conclusion using an acid test. However, let me make it clear that this is an opinion and the primary goal of this article is to have a broader understanding of things.