Our system of education is a product of government bureaucracy
I believe the system of education Ian on Sunday accurately criticizes is essentially a product of government bureaucracy. What else would profit from manageably standardized citizens?
The great teachers of yore taught by example, and this still remains the best method. Their students and disciples preserved some aspects of what they learned and we are grateful for being able to access this knowledge.
However, some of the students seemed to have liked the results more than the learning and desired to make them available for wider consumption, ostensibly for posterity, but more likely for their reputations as teachers in lieu of actually putting the learning into practice (thus camouflaging their inabilities?), thereby founding a useful profession. In relatively few generations the whole purpose of the original teachings to mould the life and character of the student is
transformed into academia, the success of which is measured by the degree to which attractive subjectivity is replaced by soulless objectivity.
Science is the branch of knowledge that has been most successful in avoiding this fate, because it has redistributed the practicality of the learning into observable repeatability. Unfortunately, in Guyana few experiments are done, and they are copied with variations and submitted for SBAs. I cannot believe the CXC examiners cannot pick this up, so they must be deliberately allowing it because they are doing the same thing in other parts of the Caribbean.
Only yesterday some of my students (early 20s) urged me for the umpteenth time to write down my findings (in non-Euclidean geometry and other esoterics, as well as about life, the universe, and everything …). My reply was that this would just be another book. I may be an oddity to them, but I would rather be known for living what I preach than for attempting to exhaustively write what I teach.
I remind them of the reason they seek me out in the first place: they want real knowledge without the pretence they have to tolerate at institutions in this country for the paper qualifications to become employed; they know they have the opportunity to question me every step of the way and bring counter-arguments; to measure the correlation of ideality with reality; and that I will point out any flaw in character that I detect along the way.
Dr McDonald is absolutely right in portraying institutional learning as boring. But there are advantages to it for many employers, which has so far inhibited their getting together to get the syllabi changed. They want people who can endure in the systems of the world, evidence of which is the certificate of qualification. And this one they will not publicly admit: the ideal employee is as competent as possible but with character flaws manipulable by the boss.