School Versus People

I believe:

It is people who make themselves learn, not school.

School is just a vehicle, a means, a facility made available to help — to encourage — people to learn. It will not make them learn unless they want to.

Conversely, nothing — including the unavailability of school — will ever stop anyone from learning, if they want and have a strong desire to learn.

Let’s stop being dependent on school; stop blaming schools for people’s failure to learn. For thousands of years before the existence of schools, humans had learned to improve themselves, solve problems, acquire knowledge, and build civilizations that are no less admirable than those that have emerged after the invention of school. If they could do it without schools, we certainly can too.

Let’s stop thinking that it is school that (can) make us learn, and start thinking that it is us, instead, that (can) make learning happen.

The first thing that ought to happen in order for learning to happen is the desire — our own desire — to learn. It is us who should have the initiative and the direction to learn. It is us who needs to set the goals about what we want to learn, how much of it, and to what ends and objectives.

Let us not let others impose upon us what we need to learn. Let us not let them control and kill our enthusiasm for learning by letting them impose their own desire, their own ideas, their own enthusiasm, and their own designs on us. Let us instead find our own spirit and drive that can make us excel in the field(s) that we want to excel. Let us become our unique selves, making our own unique and important contributions to the world we live in.

Kindle that fire to learn that each of us is born with by finding what really moves us, drives us to achieve what we believe and know we can achieve. Find the resources, find the helps you need if you need them. Find them in nature — for mother nature is no less intelligent than we are. Find them in other people — for each of them is intelligent in their own (unique) ways even without the credentials and degrees that schools confer upon them. Find them in the wisdom life itself has to offer — for life is infinitely smarter than any of us put together. Find them in books written by those who have had the opportunity to learn before us.

Let us not lower our heads before the tyrany of schools. Let us instead subordinate schools to the might of our will, our desire, and our consistent and relentless efforts to learn and to conquer the obstacles put between us and the realization of our potentials.

Let us put school in its appropriate box: that it is nothing but a false facade to learning, that it is small and insignificant compared to the whole grand infrastructure of learning, and that it is US that matters most in this infrastructure. It is us that is the master of our own learning, not school.

Let us put school in its appropriate perspective so that we may find joy in learning, in discovering ourselves, our potentials, and our true place in the grand design of life.

Eki Akhwan,

12 May 2012


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