Why alternative learning now?
“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”Albert Einstein
Still when it comes to education, and helping individuals learn, we are quite insane.
If education is supposed to help individuals solve problems of the world such as unemployment, mental ill being, poverty,
If education was supposed to equip individuals to create an equitable, fair, and just society,
If education was supposed to increase individuals’ quality of life, and attain highest potential collectively,
It has failed miserably.
The only approach the educational system has is to keep filling the old wine in the new bottle.
Here old wine refers to a colonial, industrialised, factory schooling – where the metrics of success means 14+3 years of formal schooling of the mind, in order to prepare oneself to become innovative, creative, critical, collaborative individuals, team players, and social entrepreneurs. Education’s sole purpose has become limited to gaining a job, scoring more points in the economic ladder, and moving from a lower class to an upper class, even if this competition costs them to pull hundreds of their peers down.
In a capitalistic world, where there are only a handful of rulers, we create an illusion in the minds of our young children and youth, that hard work and perseverance is bound to help them succeed. This formal “schooling” of the mind rips us of the fundamental fibre of a human being, devaluing the environment, the relationships in the family, and ultimately our own selves, to fit into a specific mould and become copies of meritorious individuals.
We do not need more sophisticated forms of schooling that teaches individuals to become self-centred, materialistic, competitive, reckless, disconnected selves.
We need to unschool the minds to be open to and embrace multiple perspectives, unlearn the colonised ways of living to return to our roots and indigenous forms of knowing and being, and decondition the norms, expectations, and rules of materialistic wealth to prioritise health, nature, and compassionate community living.
The current educational system is not a failure. It is functioning at its highest potential in retaining oppression, and fear in common people to fall in line to serve the people sitting high up on the pyramid. It is the game that needs to be disrupted.
Let us change the game and allow for new opportunities for play that serve individual, and collective needs for all beings in nature.
We need to recognise that education is not a preparation for life, but life itself*. In order to manifest this, we need open learning spaces that are intergenerational, culturally rooted, environment-friendly, lifelong, democratic, intentional, and spiritually inspired.