Do you believe our current education system prepares us for adult working life?
In fact, I believe schools harm our youth, teaching them useless facts and skills during their brightest, most formative years.
95% of these skills have no use in the modern workplace.
And worse yet, no one is brave enough to admit this.
In fact, despite knowing this, parents still force their kids through that same 16-year education mandatory sentence.
We volunteer at top primary schools, hoping our contributions will help our kids get a spot there when their time comes.
While doing that, we forget that all the most important learning happens at home, at the family dinner table. (which most parents are too busy to pay full attention to)
It’s not enough that the adults are remarkably busy. We push that same burden on to our children by packing their days with extracurricular activities. They’re constantly exhausted, with little energy for their personal interests.
And yet, we want them to be creative. To follow their passions. To have more fulfilling careers than us.
If we truly wanted that, we’d place much less emphasis on schools.
There needs to be more focus on creating things. Whether its a painting, star wars lego set or coding a simple program for the family computer.
There’s a great book I like. It’s called “Smart People Should Build Things”
More importantly, they build things they want to build – not what the teacher wants them to build.
The best lessons come from doing things with no instruction manuals, no safety nets. Where you have no one to turn to except yourself.
Encourage exploration. Encourage interests.
Just as Steve Jobs’ random interest in typography led to the Macintosh having beautiful fonts, you won’t know for sure which skills will be valuable in tomorrow’s world.
You just need to have faith. If you’re a smart person, chances are, what you find to be interesting, will soon be valuable.
Lastly, don’t place too much emphasis on higher education.
One of my best friends graduated with a degree from Singapore’s most prestigious university – NUS.
He recounted how he spent an entire semester learning about pumps. The course taught him everything about them – formulas, performance curves, reliability, etc.
One thing the professor never did though, was to show what these pumps looked like. If you placed one of those pumps in front of him, he wouldn’t be able to identify it.
The knowledge was all theory, no practice.
Remember that the Wright brothers had no degrees nor funding. And yet, they were the first to fly.
Don’t work too hard, or spend too much money on a fancy degree. It means little.
Instead, embrace learning – both online and offline.
Work hard. Develop a deep understanding of things.
And most importantly, have fun. Life is short. 🙂