Are Schools Still Relevant?

Acknowledgment: this writing is merely my opinion on the subject, so please don’t quote me. But if you want to, I prefer the APA citation format for absolutely no reasons.

9/11 changed my life. The fall of the Taliban regime opened an opportunity for my family to get into the education industry, a nonexistent one during their regime. We launched a premium tuition center called National Institute of Science, a pretty exaggerated name for a tuition center I know. This business meant that I could, more honestly had to, attend tuition classes to gain an edge in my school studies. And boy I gained a lot more than that. Fast-forward to 2011, I was awarded a full scholarship by Afghanistan’s ministry of higher education to pursue my bachelor studies in the field of engineering in Malaysia. So, I moved to Malaysia only to find out another wave of change was awaiting me.

There, I had to learn English, so I did. And that changed the course of my life as much as 9/11 did. For those who think English is just a language, you’re wrong: it is a lot more than that. English is empowerment. English meant I could “listen” to lectures and later watch Youtube videos to understand them. English meant that I could talk to people from various cultures and learn all the stereotypes they had about my country. On a side note, I still remember my buddy Sohaib asking me for some “Afghani” weed. (Clarification: It’s not true that we people just carry around a bag of weed with us everywhere. We keep it at home and take it with us if you ask for it). Going back to all the good things English brought into my life, I learned debating or what I like to call thinking from multiple views. Subsequently, I signed up for a minor in business administration. I took random courses on psychology, programming, public speaking, and whatnot on Coursera without paying a penny. By the time I finished my bachelor degree in Mechatronics, I had acquired a bunch of other skills that could very soon prove handy. 

Three days before my convocation ceremony, those very skills landed me a job at the Princeton Review Malaysia. The hiring manager Brindha, who would soon become a great friend and mentor of mine, hired me as a trainer and US Education consultant. For over a year, I learned a ton of things there, but most important of all was good leadership. Turn of events then took me to the United Arab Emirates to join the Princeton Review Middle East in a similar position, where I continue to learn and prepare for a brighter future. 

Is going to school still relevant? Absolutely yes. Schools have been changing people’s lives positively on a massive scale since the dawn of formal education. Take me as an example: without school and education, I would probably still be a grocery store boy. Do not mistake the salesmanship of motivational speakers with the reality of schools. It is utterly absurd to think you can’t be an entrepreneur or a musician because you are attending school. Do you know why these people preach against schools? Because it has an emotional appeal to it. Don’t get me wrong though. I don’t argue that schools are perfect. Nor are you. Nor am I. But that doesn’t make us irrelevant today. School isn’t the boring history class you took in the 10th grade. School isn’t the maddening mathematics class you had to take in the 12th grade. School is a package. All the things that you learned in and outside the classroom is part of school education. The billionaire dropouts that motivational speakers love to name during their speeches aren’t billionaires BECAUSE they dropped out. They are billionaires IN SPITE of dropping out. And you learned the difference between my last two statements in school. I could not be where I am today without school and education, and I bet you too feel the same. So let’s give credit where credit’s due. 

This Post Has 28,443 Comments

  1. Great ideas 👍 and great writing from a young and aspiring fellow Toastmaster I like for what he says and is: Genuine!!! Keep going!

    1. Thank you DTM Peter. As you said, keep pushing the bar. That’s what I have been doing.

  2. Looking at the Title: “Are Schools Still Relevant” I had a wrong impression that you are 100% Digital oriented and you are no longet believing in conventional education.
    I am please to note that you greatly believe in the impotance School Systems for deeper and practical education through attending Schools.
    No doubt,most of us we believe that the education systems need contineous check and refurbishment in order to cope with the rapid technological advances.

    It is a great article and looking forward for your future writing….God bless you.

    1. Thank you dear DTM Saeed for reading my blog.

  3. Wow.. Great insights!
    You have always amazed me with the way you look at things.
    I agree that “School is a Package” and of course not every school drop out is an entrepreneur. Yet there are certain things that we need to unlearn too.. The schools program us in a certain way.. For instance, schools make us compete with one another. That to me is irrelevant, as we can solve a lot of world’s problems through co-operation and not mere competition. I believe, those drop-outs who are billionaires, were not influenced by schools in that sense. Learning is easy and unlearning is tough!
    Educationalists like you are blessings in disguise for students, as you never fail to inspire them!!
    God Bless!!

    1. Thanks Brindha for sharing your thoughts. Cheers to continuous development of education sector.

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