There is a trend, today. Perhaps, a fast-growing concept in which youth had used to justify their rejection of the our education system. In Manglish, it sounds like this, “haiyoh, study that subject also what for! Later where got use when working one! Think I got time to calculate this angle that angle kah when I want to go down the stairs or what?”
There is a concept that our education system is messed up. But to disrespect and reject a certain knowledge means disrespect to your teachers, who have dedicated years in IPGs trying to perfect methods of passing one’s knowledge to the younger generation. When you put aside systems and exams, there’s only one focal point to the process of education: giving and receiving knowledge.
Sadly, the exams, our system becomes the outer shell that repels the youths of today. It’s like walking inside a Cave in Pokemon Johto Game Boy with a repel potion on so you won’t stumble into Zubats and Geodudes, thus eliminating your chances to bump into what could be Gengars and golden Onyxs. But who cares? Quoting Malala Yousafzai,
“Part of our human nature [is] that we don’t learn the importance of anything until it’s snatched from our hands.”
I’m hella old (if you can call 27 old), and I grew up with an interest in reading. My childhood days materials included Charmed novels, Sabrina The Teenage Witch, Siri Salma, Harry Potters and whatnot. I remember probing through my parents’ collection of Readers Digest, reading articles that I couldn’t really understand as a kid. In my defense, they have really interesting humour sections I can indulge in. As I grew older, I found myself buying novels on the bestseller’s bookshelves. Then again, I read for the stories, and I enjoyed reading as much as I enjoyed having these books putting me into my ‘writing mood’.
After a while, I spent more time in bookstores, bringing myself to the non-fiction aisles. I began reading science books, psychology books, memoirs and biographies, and my current read is a non-fiction book bearing histories of the Malayan Archipelago. After a while, I realised I’m reading because it curbs my thirst for curiosity and knowledge. I would wish I could study properly on the subjects I am reading, but I’m bloody 27 now.
27? Too late, meh?
Even at the age where I’m supposed to already have a house and a spouse, popping out a kid or two, I find myself treasuring knowledge more than ever. It wasn’t prominent that I have a certain sponge-like quality when it comes to new information, back then in school, but I never believe this quality is a gift. Your curiosity affects so much of the amount of knowledge that you want to absorb. You must want it, and you must receive it with all your heart, only then you can understand it.
Then, all these stuff about psychology, science, memoirs, how would they benefit me? You must be thinking career-wise, and money-wise if you’d ask me that. What’s better than the grand satisfaction of understanding something? Knowledge, in my opinion, broadens your mind about the things that you yourself couldn’t experience first hand. Knowledge, has power, and it could change the world if you put your heart in it. Einstein isn’t a lazy ass when he discovered theory of relativity. He was simply curious. And this sort of curiosity is something that our youth is lacking nowadays. Having technology shoved into their hands without the need to understand how it works, or where is it from. Having to sit drinking teh tarik, criticizing political issues without lifting a hand to actually focus on things that matters like poverty, environment, lack of education.
Youths of these days ah, I tell you.
I was deeply inspired by two amazing young women who brought into a global focus, the importance of education. One, was the UN Women Goodwill Ambassador, Emma Watson. The other, is a Pakistani activist on women education, Malala Yousafzai. Together, they brought two issues to ponder about. One, was the lack of importance for education among youths, and two, youths being denied of their rights to obtain education. (They focus mostly on girls, but in a bigger picture, these two concepts would apply to all gender regardless of places). While the former promotes reading through her book club ‘Our Shared Shelf’, promoting the culture of reading and feminism/gender equality in her materials, the latter works on providing schools for Syrian refugees, enabling them with their education rights.
And how does all these inspire me?
I’m only simply amazed by two young women who fights for the importance of education, especially in an era where youths are unable to appreciate knowledge due to the flaws in our education system. The love for knowledge should not be limited only to usable knowledge. The love for knowledge should be vast to enable ourselves to see the world in a much larger picture, from different perspectives. Knowledge avoids you from judging a certain event or system from the surface, and knowledge also means understanding issues that matters and eliminating issues that exists as a decoy distraction. Knowledge provides you with better assessment to a certain issue, and it’s method of solving. Knowledge is beautiful.
This is why I’m always on the hunt for new knowledge.
Quoting Malala Yousafzai again,
“If we want to achieve our goal, then let us empower ourselves with the weapon of knowledge and let us shield ourselves with unity and togetherness.”