Reverse law of education

Flights Of Fantasy

[ M Panging Pao ]

Many readers would agree that many things today are quite different and opposite to what things were a few decades back.

There was a time when bell-bottom trousers, big collars and long hair were stylish for men. Earlier, we worked by day and slept by night; now many of us sleep till late in the day and stay awake deep into the night. Earlier, there were no TVs, computers and mobiles, so people spent more time with family, friends and played outdoor games; today, each member is so busy with TV, computer and mobile that there is no time left to spend with your loved ones or play outdoor games. Earlier, petty thieves caught in villages stealing fowls and ornaments were outcast out from the village; today, persons plundering public money and property are invited as chief guests and guests of honour and garlanded.

Similarly, many observers feel that there is an inverse logic in the field of education vis-à-vis power and position. Usually, the most brilliant in school clear the competitive examinations after Class 12 and become engineers, doctors, army/navy/air force officers. Those who cannot make it to engineering, medicine and the armed forces opt for graduation in arts, science, commerce, law, etc. Immediately after graduation, they clear other competitive exams and join the central police forces, PSUs, MNCs, etc. Among the students who are left out, many attempt the civil services exams, the state civil service exams and join the IAS, IPS, IRS, APCS, APPS, etc. Those who could not qualify for all these professions become politicians or leaders of societies/unions. And some who do not complete their studies become dons.

A deep analysis would reveal the hierarchy of power. The don and the society/union leaders dictate to the politicians; the politicians dictate to the bureaucrats; the bureaucrats dictate to the police, PSUs, armed forces, engineers, doctors, etc. In this inverse logic, the most brilliant students end up at the bottom of the job pyramid and the average or below-average students reach the top of the job pyramid.

While this may be a generic observation and may not apply to all cases, it is an indication that just being brilliant in studies is not a guarantee to get the best job. A study of the profiles of many successful persons will reveal that the formula of becoming successful in life includes a combination of being good in studies, being good in co-curricular and extracurricular activities, being smart and receiving some good guidance by parents/relatives. A quick glance around you might confirm the validity of this inverse law of education.

Many successful personalities like Bill Gates (Microsoft), Steve Jobs (Apple), Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook), Jack Dorsey (Twitter), Michael Dell (Dell), Jan Koum (WhatsApp) are college dropouts. Famous Indian college dropouts include Sachin Tendulkar, Dhirubhai Ambani, Gautam Adani and Subhash Chandra Goel (Zee).

Do you still want your children to be brilliant in studies only? Do you still want to run after arduous tuitions and chase dreams of IITs and IIMs? (The contributor is retired Group Captain, Indian Air Force)