Education, Musings

What’s the point of school?

Really, what’s the point?

There was recently a call-out for people to share their views on 8-4-4 & our education policy on the whole. This year has seen leaders in the management of education (your ministers, your ministry officials) conceptualise education as an anti-terrorist, patriotic venture.

Each of these conversations makes me think that maybe the thing we need to question is the very idea of school. Why do we attend it? What would we lose if we had less of it? Who does it benefit?

Increasingly, lately, what sort of school? Why send our children to school?

I think of the fee paying schools (as the World Bank calls them) sprouting around (Bridge comes to mind) and how they are supposedly delivering better education in the same institution: school. What part do these places have in the gradual (further,  even) divestment government may be willing to conduct in the education sector?

Does it help to consider school an embodiment of things that are right – or wrong – in our society? And once we do, what then? Would we then have to think about what our values are and what we want to pass on?

In the midst of all this, I think of people who are currently getting a raw deal out of education as it is currently framed: girls and boys from desperately poor families, children with disabilities, vulnerable children. What does school mean to them, what can reform offer them?

These questions keep me going; they make me keep reading (what are you currently reading?) and they keep me talking to people who know so much more. (Reminder: the #ed10reads meeting is tomorrow. Grab your ticket!)

For a long time, I thought school was a place one went to meet agemates, to learn new things (not exclusively from teachers; think about playground lessons) and to get ready for ‘the real world’.

I’m not too sure it’s that simple any more but I’m hopeful that I’ll keep learning about more aspects of this complicated business that is schooling and sharing some of my reflections with you.

Note: This post is part of #CuminWrites366, my year-long attempt to write a post a day. Find the rest over at

Questions, comments, suggestions or a recipe for a cure for insomnia? Send them to 🙂


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