Learners are not just ‘human resources’. The Human Resource Development Ministry, by virtue of its name, assumes its task is to ‘manufacture’ graduates. India had an Education Minister till about three decades ago. We must go back to having a ministry of Education. The purpose of Education is to cultivate the closed mind, so that seeds of ideas may settle down, spurt, grow and find ways and means to survive. Education frees the mind and allows one the luxury of remembering that one doesn’t have to tie down oneself to the workplace. The courage needed to come out of ‘self-imposed immaturity’ cannot sprout in learners whose mindsets are blinkered by narrow considerations.
“Jefferson was a man of the Enlightenment, and he thought that education would liberate us from what Kant had called “self-imposed immaturity.” He was determined that students not have to choose their specific course of learning at the very start of their studies. You should discover what you are going to do through education – not sign up to be trained in a vocation before you know who you might be and what you might be able to accomplish. Sure, there would be mistakes, false roads taken. But, Jefferson wrote to Adams, “ours will be the follies of enthusiasm” and not of bigotry”.