Conformity and blind obedience have no place in the right kind of education, says Abdul Rashid Hanafi.
Our education is at present concerned with outward efficiency, and it utterly disregards or deliberately ignores the inward nature of the human being. It develops only one part of the person, leaving the rest to drag along as best it can.
We are the product of a system that is turning many of us into thoughtless entities; it does very little to help us find our individual vocation. We pass certain examinations and then, with luck, we get a job – which often means endless routine for the rest of our life. We may dislike our job, but we are forced to continue with it because many of us have no other means of livelihood.
We may want to do something entirely different, but commitments and responsibilities holds us down, and we are hedged in by our own anxieties and fears. Being frustrated, some seek escape through sex, drink, drugs, politics or fanciful religion.
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When our ambitions are thwarted we give undue importance to that which should be normal, and we develop a psychological twist. Until we have a deep understanding of our life, of our political, religious and social desires, with their demands and hindrances, we shall have ever-increasing problems in our relationships, leading us to misery and destruction.
Conformity and blind obedience have no place in the right kind of education. What is essential in education, as in every other field, is to have people who are understanding and affectionate, whose hearts are not filled with empty
We need people who understand the things of the mind and are capable of imparting that understanding and discovering lasting values so that we do not merely cling to formulas or repeat slogans.
Abdul Rashid Hanafi, a long-time reader of Aliran, is a former teacher based in Kedah.