Educate for purpose in life and not just degrees

Society cannot function without most workers who need no degree

In Summary

• A one-size-fits-all approach to education is leading to 'useless' degrees


Are degrees worth it anymore?

That seems to be the big debate in modern society. While there is some prestige in holding degrees, it is important to remember that not every field requires a degree to work in. What is a degree, after all? It is a formal training for a particular field that one aspires to work in.

Education is important, and I daresay it should be mandatory for all children between three and 16 years of age. That is, in simple terms, from nursery/kindergarten to at least O-levels.

Every individual in the world has a right to education. They deserve to know how to read, to do maths and to learn the fundamentals of society as taught in schools.

Different subjects expose a young mind to the basic operations of the world. They include sewing, cooking, religion, music, art, history, science and sports.

Children before the age of 18 should have one job: to study and enjoy their youth. Adulthood comes for all of us eventually.

But what we fail to understand as adults is that the direction of our children’s life path has already started developing within the first 18 years of life.

It is during their formative years that a child’s interest or talent begins to show. These children need the right guidance and direction from adults and society at large to fully bloom in areas of their interests and talents.

However, instead of doing what’s best for their children, parents just pressure their children into moulding them to be like everyone else. They force them to do things that will bring pride to the family name. Some even go as far as living vicariously through their children and transplanting their own lost dreams into their offspring.

As such, we find ourselves with unhappy lads in universities accumulating student debt, studying for fields they are not passionate about, and others end up quitting midway.

You will find that in more progressive societies, the state intervenes at a young age. Children are categorised as per their interests and strengths in school.

Not every child is destined for university. The state understands that as it is paying for the children’s education. As such, they start training them into their particular fields of interests before the age of 18. They have specific schools that train nurses, mechanics, administrators, factory workers, construction workers, teachers and so on.

Most of the labour force does not need formal education to work effectively; they just need the right training. Society cannot function without cooks, caregivers, mechanics, construction workers, service workers, labourers and shop attendants. What good does it serve anyone if we force these young people to go into universities to get a degree?

All they need is a form of formal training before they enter into their respective fields. There are luxury car mechanics and F1 technicians who out-earn doctors and lawyers by the thousands! Where does the pride lay then?

These younger generations have also been born into an already existing digital society; they can do everything better and faster than we could at our ages. Most of them find that university classes do not offer them much as they can easily learn something similar on the Internet. The digitisation of the technological infrastructure has also opened up doors to new careers for the younger generations without the need for having a degree.

So, then, are university degrees necessary? Yes and no. Those who have the aptitude and desire to study things like physics, medicine, engineering and law need to study at university as well as acquire further training.

Why? These people technically hold other people’s lives in their hands. You think an engineer’s job is easy until you see a house that has withstood an earthquake, saving the lives of all the people inside it. The same can be said for doctors.

Not everyone can be a doctor, not everyone can be a fireman. So, then, why does society have a one-size-fits-all approach to education? Education should be used to mould the person. It is the wet clay that shapes the interests of a young person and helps them become the best version of whomever they choose to be.

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