Monday, October 25, 2010

On Schools

(New Series No. 168, June 2002)

*The aim of the institution in the form of school today is to assist in the molding of children according to the needs of the market by chiselling, thrashing, and placating them.
*Schools have taken the shape of factories. School is a factory and in it children are raw materials, teachers are machine operators, buildings-books-other employees are auxiliary materials. In the form of ready goods after education, those youngsters who cannot be sold are called unemployed-useless and those who get good rates in the market are praised. We send children to school to prepare being sold in the market.
*To make the life of children is the overriding tenet. Generally, no stone is left unturned in making life hell for children and for parents to 'create a life for themselves.' Those teachers who take 'making a life for children' seriously, they sometimes surpass parents in making life hell for children.

We know it, we repeat it like a chant that a wound by an axe gets healed but a wound caused by a sharp tongue always remains raw. But..the dance of the destruction and violence by words is thousands of times greater than the widespread physical violence against children. Generally, no restraint is exercised in giving innumerable wounds to the mind and soul of children by poisoned word-arrows because we put on the armor of 'making the life of children.'

Like almost every elder person, every child dies hundres of times every time. This is not news.

Look at the news: Children in increasing numbers are committing suicide in Japan; incidents of multiple murders by children inside schools in U.S.A. are increasing; to 'improve' the mind an psyche of children, expansion of medicines and psychiatrists is increasing.

In such a situation, instead of gulping, repeating the dominant meanings of making a successful life, it seems necessary to have extensive discussions on them in a critical fashion.

Success is a bad fruit

*To consider as success being one-up amongst those closest to us is not just widespread but has engulfed the routine activities of daily life. To be one-up vis-a-vis sister, brother, neighbor, co-worker, or fellow classmate in what all arenas, what all efforts have become a part of our daily life; gate or door of the house, clothes, and shoes' value, height of the son, the daughter's color, power position of the acquaintance, marks of the girl in the class, expenses on the birthday party, capacity to drink alcohol, expenses on tent, lighting, status, knowledge, articulation, approach, qualities of your son in-law...To be one-up amongst near ones, you go from shallow to even more shallow levels. This can be taken as an expression of the increasing significance of person in hierarchic social systems. By making a person's being or not being equal, the present social system has made one-upmanship into a psychotic condition. Social psychosis.

*Climbing up the ladder of hierarchy is in reality extremely scarce. but dreaming of it is very common...Those who do make it, their phony or real efforts for success become anecdotes or stories for the lower sections. It's also current to call real success the climbing up over the pyramid made of heads and shoulders.

*To maintain an hold on the upper rungs of the ladder in hierarchy is also called success. Becoming unstable due to the constant efforts of those below and the scramble to climb up does not leave anyone on top for long.

To be one-up always carries with it the fear of being tripped. Tension, guardedness, alertness, putting on a mask is the flipside of the coin of one-upmanship. And to see success in being one-up from one's nearby ones is a barrier to coordinations with those near us. Efforts to be one-up does not allow relations to be easy.

Efforts to climb up the ladder of hierarchy requires extreme stretching of body and soul. One dislikes being subservient to anyone. And efforts are made to impose subservience on others which shatters one's personality into peices. Manipulation, insidiousness, kissing up, lying, cheating become common activities. To hide the real emotion and put on an image is a compulsory aspect of climbing up the ladder of hierarchy. The higher one climbs, so much is one doomed to attempt personal solution of social poblems. 2,500 years ago, Emperor Chandragupta was doomed to change his room each night for security.

Eforts for success bind us, pierce us. Efforts towards success inflict innumerable wounds on body and soul. Efforts for success bloody relations between human beings. And today on acquiring success, what is it that is available? An even worse life than the confined, limited, narrow life of Emperor Chandragupta which consisted of doubting others, constantly hesitating, being devious, and cruel.

In view of success being a bad fruit, climbing up the ladder of hierarchy is a problem in itself. To sit on heads and shoulders is itself a problem. To identify control and management as the source of problems is a point of departure for the creation of a new society.

Let's return to the school.

Abduction of Whom?

Influence during nurturing-stories, anecdotes produce such emotions about education, school, and teacher-guru that one then comes face-to-face with these in the present. Often it is said and heard that education has now become a business. Schools have become licensed enclosures for business. In place of guru, servants have been given in the form of teachers. Pain bursts out in words. "In today's system, education has been abducted."

Rather, the very coming of education-school-guru is linked to the coming of hierarchic social systems. In the ashram, sage-guru used to give education to slave-ownes' sons- this education used to teach how to keep slaves under control and generate one-upmanship amongst slaveowners. An example of the negation is the thumb of Eklaya. (Eklaya was denied education by a guru...) In fact, school, guru and education had abducted the mutual easy relations amongst generations in the community. Education and school in essence are anti-community and feed hierarchy.

Schools have opened in large numbers because of the compulsion which masks extensive literacy as the requirement of the market. Sages and gurus have been transformed into specialists-reputed professors and these people create ever new logic and theories to maintain hierarchy.

Yes, in very large numbers, teachers have become educational workers. They have become wage-workers of the educational field. This is not something to regret. Rather, this is good news. It is the advent of a large group who have the capacity to lift the curtain from anti-community education-school.

Let's go beyond breast-beating and look at "Workers are shirkers." "Gov't employes don't work." "Teachers don't teach." In doing so, the emptiness of the present hierarchic, social system will be clearly visible. From this positive point, we will attempt to go ahead with the discussion of education, school, teacher, student.

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