The very first day a child opens his eyes in this world, he or she does not come alone but with a dream, with an inspiring idea that embarks them onto the much-awaited journeys and the greater endeavors of life. They had that inspiration within them since the beginning. They did not have to look around to find it but just had to believe in their selves to become ultimate heroes and live like legends.
Unfortunately, in a Pakistani society, a child does not get a chance to live his dreams and to approach his potential fully because to be officially known as a Taleem-yafta insaan (an educated person), he must pursue a career that is considered “successful” according to the society but not necessarily according to him. Alas! the young souls die when they are in their twenty’s but get buried in their eighty’s.
“Taleem” (education), “Tarbiat” (grooming), “Kamiabi” (success), “Khush-naseebi” (good luck) aur “Taraki” (progress) are some of the words that we keep on hearing in our school and college lives, during our exams and when we finally step into our practical lives for establishing our careers. A lot of us actually do become successful according to the society’s definition and thus are respected by everyone, but what about that thing which we dreamed of having “one day”? “Khushi?” (happiness). Iss ka matlab, na dil roshan aur na dimagh. (This means, neither the heart nor the mind is enlightened).
The term education contains a very profound meaning. It has been defined and discussed at several platforms. According to Google it is defined in two parts:
1- “The process of receiving or giving systematic instruction, especially at a school or university.”
2- “An enlightening experience.”
Herman Horne (1874-1946) was a distinguished professor of Education at New York University, New York City. He was the author of more than twenty books and he contributed to several encyclopedias. He defined education in the following words:
“Education is a perennial process of adjustment. It is higher for the creatures that have evolved physically, mentally free and conscious of God as manifested in the environment, intellectual, emotional and willingness of humans.”
Definition of education according to M.J Langeveld is as follows:
“Education is every interaction that happens, is every association that occurs between adults and children, is a field or a state where the educational work is in progress.”
The definition of education according to Prof. Dr. John Dewey is
“Education is a process of experience. Because life is growth, education means helping inner growth without being restricted by age. The growth process is the process of adjusting to each phase as well as adding in the development of one’s skills.”
Mahatma Gandhi defined education as
“Literacy in itself is no education. Literacy is not the end of education or even the beginning. By education I mean an all-round drawing out of the best in the child and man – body, mind and spirit.”
Such magical words! Aren’t they?
So, what do we understand in the end about getting educated? All the definitions and quotes mentioned above weee written differently but tend to talk about one single purpose of education which we can comprehend. Education is an experience, a journey in itself. It is a path that many walk on but few avail the opportunities that are there in abundance. The opportunity of thinking differently and not caring about the social norms. The opportunity of becoming a free thinker. The opportunity of becoming a human being who does not only think about himself but feels and acts submissive towards the society. The opportunity of making a society where people think and act with a collective approach rather than an individualistic approach. After reading this, do you really think that the majority of us acquire education in the way that has been mentioned here? All of us know the answer very well.
Our Pakistani society regards being taleem-yafta (educated) as having a good financial status, an expensive car (most preferably a Mercedes) which shines enough to prove that you have an MBA degree and the fact that you were smart enough to use your Abba Jee’s reference for ‘achieving’ your dream job in a company where your Abba Jee’s best friend is director. *coughs*. You must carry an iphone in your hand to impress all the Mohale ki auntian (elderly women of the neighbourhood) who, after seeing you with an iphone, will be eyeing you every day from their windows as they would then that you are shareef (innocent) enough to marry their kanwari (unmarried) beti (daughter) who does nothing but makeup and the day when you will accept a rishta at their place, they will be like, “Hamein tou sirf shareef aur khandani log chahiyein…” (we merely wish for decent and civilized people). Moreover, if there is a larki (girl) doing her bachelors from a fancy university (no wonder on daddy’s cash only), is hasmukh (cheerful), chulbully (cute), nat-khat (beautifully mischievous), with a good sense of dressing and has that meesni muskurahat (misleading smile) on her face 24/7 then she can actually be known as khandaan ki zaheen bachi (the intelligent girl of the family). No kidding at all. Trust me, please.
I wonder how our cultural norms created by our illiterate people, more commonly known as hamaray baray, jo kabhi ghalat nahi ho saktae aur jin kae agay kabhi behas nahi karate (who can never be wrong and who should not be argued in front of) are the ones who ruin the standards and practices of our society. Like… seriously? Good looks can earn you the title of a taleem-yafta insaan and the rest who work hard like hell, don’t sleep at nights so they may cover everything and may score well, dream of making their parents proud ‘one day’ do not get anything but dark circles, weird spectacles on their weird face due to weak eyesight, a bad health for not eating anything as they were busy in learning their course books and a SpongeBob face on their last paper thus reducing their chances of getting a bae instantly. *SadLife*. (Apologies for being that truthful and painful at the same time).
A very famous theoretical physicist known as Albert Einstein said some amazing lines regarding getting educated:
“Education is not the learning of facts, but the training of the mind to think.”
I believe that it is high time that we take Taleem-o-Tarbiat differently by teaching our generations to become humans who serve the poor, needy, the destitute, the disadvantaged group of societies, the unfortunate ones rather than to become self-obsessed machines who earn, think of and serve only themselves and their desires and have everything, yet nothing. It is our job, our duty to create a generation that will live up to the words of our legend, Allama Iqbal, become a mirror of the emotions of Faiz Ahmad Faiz, who said these lines which suits so much here:
“Dil na-umeed tou nahi, na-kaam hi tou hae,
Lambi hae gham ki sham, Magar sham hi tou hae”
Let their Dil-o-Dimagh enlighten fully and let them live fully by making them human beings. L.R. Knost said something that completes the notion of this article for sure:
“It’s not our job to toughen our children up to face a cruel and heartless world. It’s our job to raise children who will make the world a little less cruel and heartless.”
Let’s give them that kind of Taleem-o-Tarbiat that will actually roshan their Dil-o-Dimagh.
Written by: Areeha Ijaz