Inverse law of education

Flights Of Fantasy

[ M Panging Pao ]

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 we are so busy with TV, computer and mobile that there is minimal time left to spend with our families, or to play outdoor games. Earlier, petty thieves caught in villages stealing fowls and ornaments were made outcasts from the village; today persons plundering public money and property are called as chief guests and guests of honour, and garlanded.

Similarly, many observers feel that there is a reverse logic in the field of education, vis-à-vis power and position. Usually, the most brilliant in school clear competitive examinations immediately after Class 12 and become engineers, doctors, army/IAF officers. Those who could not make it to engineering, medicine and the armed forces opted 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 left-out students, many attempt civil services exams, state civil service exams and join IAS, IPS, APCS, APPS, etc. Those who could not qualify for all these professions become politicians, leaders, union/student leaders, clan leaders, etc. And some who do not complete their studies become dons.

A deeper analysis would reveal the inverse hierarchy of power. The don and the society/union/student 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 profile 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 some good guidance by parents and relatives. A quick glance around you might confirm the validity of this inverse law of education.

Many successful personalities like Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook), Bill Gates (Microsoft), Steve Jobs (Apple), Jan Koum (WhatsApp), Tiger Woods, and Vin Diesel are all college dropouts. Famous Indian college dropouts include Sachin Tendulkar, Dhirubhai Ambani, Gautam Adani, Subhash Chandra Goel (Zee), and Bhaichung Bhutia.

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?