On education

It’s the start of the new year and all over the country students (or are they called learners now?) are receiving their matric results. The lucky ones will have the opportunity to further their studies at a university and the others will lament over how their lives are completely ruined by not having that opportunity.

Personally, I think that tertiary education is a privilege – not a right, but even if we ignore that and if we came up with some magical way that we could give every single person a university education… it would kill our society.

I agree that education is a necessity of modern life; ignorance should be fought tooth and nail wherever it is found, but… and it is a BIG ‘but’… our world still needs plumbers, receptionists, gardeners, traffic cops, construction workers, carpenters, welders and the like. Why do we look down on these people who provide such necessary services to our society? If we accorded them the respect and consideration that their hard work deserves, then wouldn’t they feel better about themselves? Wouldn’t that increase the sum total of happiness in the world? Wouldn’t that be a good thing?

Moral of the story: don’t be an elitist jack-ass.

“Never take a person’s dignity; it is worth everything to them, and nothing to you”           – Frank Barron


2 thoughts on “On education

  1. I agree with what you are saying, but I disagree with the way you worded it.

    If we looked back at what you posted before, and you were able to articulate what you meant without words or language, then we would probably “say” the same thing, but since we cannot, yet, do that we say things which might be very different.

    I only say that because you almost imply that plumbers, etc. are not educated (I like the addition of the traffic police). I think just because a person recieves an education through a Technikon, or even an apprenticeship does not mean they do not have a tertiary education.

    I never went to university. I went to a small collage for a year after school, and now I work as a software developer. I probably received a lot less tertiary education than the average plumbers, receptionists, gardeners, traffic cops, construction workers, carpenters, welders and the like receive, by what ever means they receive it.

    I would also like to reaffirm what you have said. Artisan trade is extremely important in any community, including the “High Tech First World”. Carpentry, Electrification work, and Plumbing* does require a lot of skill, and the biggest difference between their jobs and mine is that theirs can not be done in India.

    *Regarding your word of the day, the root word of plumbing might make you laugh, especially when considering the stereotypical image we have of plumbers.

  2. You're quite right…. I in no way wanted to portray people who didn't go to university as 'uneducated', but they don't have the same spectrum of influences as does someone who did… that's not a bad thing… and as we can see in a lot of top executive jobs, the school of hard knocks often does a better job of teaching people real skills than 'official' education.

    Thanks for the comment ^^

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