By: Kamil Toume
This article seriously challenges the corporate educational system in the schools and the universities around the world. My argument is that the educational systems are constantly failing to ignite students’ passions. Why are most students not inspired? Are they lacking the persistence and the perseverance to discover their passions? Why the sky does not rain inspiration between the age of 12 and 24 at the time of formal education? Most successful figures of the world did not have higher education. Where did their genius come from? Steve Jobs, Apple Co-Founder has done incredible things without ever having finished college. Henry Ford, Industrialist, and Entrepreneur had a limited formal education. Albert Einstein, Physicist was a school dropout. He attempted to get into university but initially failed the entrance exams.
Why are the educational institutions failing on one hand and failing students on the other one?
Having thoroughly examined many inspiring companies in the business world, I have completely realised that greatness and success come from the great cause that the business advances. Companies that promote a great cause do that through the accumulation of a deeper leadership thinking and understanding by their leaders.
What is the problem with the educational institutions?
The following is the first paragraph of chapter five from the book, Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill” “THERE are two kinds of knowledge. One is general, the other is specialised. General knowledge, no matter how great in quantity or variety it may be, is of but little use in the accumulation of money. The faculties of the great universities possess, in the aggregate, practically every form of general knowledge known to civilisation. Most of the professors have but little or no money. They specialise on teaching knowledge, but they do not specialise on the organisation or the use of knowledge. KNOWLEDGE will not attract money unless it is organised and intelligently directed, through practical PLANS OF ACTION, to the DEFINITE END of accumulation of money. Lack of understanding of this fact has been the source of confusion to millions of people who falsely believe that “knowledge is power.” It is nothing of the sort! Knowledge is only potential power. It becomes power only when, and if, it is organised into definite plans of action, and directed to a definite end”.
Why do universities exist?
As stated in chapter 5 of the specialized knowledge by Napoleon Hill, the missing link in all systems of education may be found in the failure of the educational institutions to teach their students how to organise and execute knowledge. Most universities’ visions are just academic statements. They do not inspire students to wake up the next day to go to university. Most of them go like this. “We are a university and we exist to be a university”. It is amorphous and vague. They are knowledge houses. The greatness of any vision is the greatness of its clarity and simplicity to inspire action. It should be describable, imaginative, and most importantly having the inspiration recipe to ignite people’s passions to respond to a high-stake challenge.
The educational institutions require leaders who turn the table upside down in a serious attempt to turn the knowledge machines into think and action tanks. It is about turning the flashes of insights and thoughts into practical initiatives that declare the departure from learning into yearning which leads to action. It is the move from being teaching centers to centers of excellence and action. Inspiring students to work collaboratively to contribute and solve a problem not to study and get straight a’s individually. The result is graduating leaders, thinkers, practitioners not jobs seekers and labor. To do that, universities must uphold inspiring visions not fluffy words that do not add up. The funniest tagline that I have ever read for a college is that let learning flourish. What does that mean? It is a meaningless and a clueless phrase.
What are the universities trying to achieve?
Most schools, colleges and universities are structured on the principles of teaching and spreading knowledge. They do not exist to let students grow the thinking muscle. It is the route of learning till graduating and getting the job. It is not the translation of the knowledge to pursue a passion that yields great results for all. Proposing a new system of thinking and learning will solve the problems which students face. Anything acquired without passion has the effect of limiting success through emphasizing the following fact: Studies are being undertaken to ensure a job that pays the bills, enable students to survive for the next day and take two weeks’ summer holiday.
It is so disgraceful to see the educational institutions equip the students with knowledge that they do not know how to utilize. Knowledge should be acquired to help students find a solution to a given challenge. The question that directly pops up: What is the challenge? This simple question constitutes many interrelated paths that shape the future purpose of anyone of us. Anyone would ask why I am studying this course or this major. Money is always the result. What is the main reason for undertaking any study?
This is the starting point that determines those who create the rules and those who follow the rules. The first ones are the few and the second ones are the majority. The schools and the universities have nothing to do with helping people discovering their passions and embarking on their purposes for one simple reason. They do not know theirs. They exist to spread knowledge. They do nothing to help students execute and monetise that knowledge. It is about teaching technical skills that do not add up. People keep struggling till their retirement. They discover their passion at the age of 70 years old. Is that acceptable? Not anymore.
The most important problem that faces most of the educational institutions across the world is the lack of leaders who significantly want to assume an educational leadership responsibility in overcoming the shortcomings of the current system. The current educational institutions are filled with evidence that the declining trajectory of the educational system is unstoppable. Impractical, bureaucratic, unnecessary, unchallenging, uninspiring, fluffy, dull, and inundated are amongst a combination of factors that are contributing to the steep trajectory. There is an absence of a great leadership. The system is full of policy makers, planners, regulators, inspectors, controllers, supervisors, examiners, invigilators except for leaders.
The educational institutions should ignite students’ passions to embark on their lives’ missions and empower them to pull all strings to figure out the sound plan to face the challenge of their lives and others’ lives. The answer is how? It is about attracting the right leaders to these knowledge hubs and convert them into actions’ units that radically transform the mainstream norm. This is when leadership is born educationally.