By: Kamil Toume
Why are most students not inspired? Do they lack the persistence and the perseverance to discover their passions? Why does not the sky 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, the Physicist, was a school dropout. He attempted to get into university but initially failed the entrance exams.
What is the problem?
The root of the problem is the very doctrine of the educational institutions across the world and the idea of producing job seekers and obedient workers. Study hard, follow the rules, pass the exam and get a colorful paper formally called a degree to hang first on your wall then to show to your employer. In every college and university around the world, students absorb knowledge and pass an exam in exchange for a degree that guarantees a job that pays the bills. This system is the mirror of the factory era that demanded workers nor thinkers and innovators. The corporate system has replaced the factory one and the goal is still the need for obedient labor who follow the rules and cheaply get the job done. A job that enables its seekers to survive and take two weeks’ summer holiday.
Impractical, bureaucratic, unnecessary, unchallenging, uninspiring, dull, and inundated are amongst a combination of factors that characterize the system and contribute to its steep trajectory. The system is full of policy makers, planners, regulators, inspectors, controllers, supervisors, examiners, invigilators except for leaders. The missing link may be found in the design of the educational institutions, they teach students that it is all about learning, memorizing and parroting the information to get straight a’s in the exams. Vast amounts of information and knowledge are being communicated to the students but with not a single hint how to execute and monetize this knowledge.
The concept of learning for sake of getting the job should be abandoned. The word curiosity has been forgotten and ignored in the current system. Curiosity drives learning and instigates yearning. It inspires action. Anything acquired without passion and curiosity has the effect of limiting success as it might put you on the wrong path. This is the problem for at least 90% of students. They study stuff that they do not like. The typical answer, I am studying to get a good job that pays well. Are you passionate about it? The answer is definitely no.
What is the purpose of the educational institutions?
Having thoroughly examined many inspiring companies in the business world, I have reached the conclusion that greatness and success come from the great cause that the business advances. It is the purpose of the business. Companies that promote a great cause do that through the accumulation of a deeper leadership thinking and understanding by their leaders. This is the missing link in the educational system.
Most universities’ visions are just abstract academic statements 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? There is an absence of purpose and leadership.
What is the solution?
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 action centers. The result is graduating leaders, thinkers, practitioners not jobs seekers and obedient workers. It is about restructuring the whole system and creating new rules. These institutions must recruit leaders who significantly want to overcome the shortcomings of the current system. This is when leadership is born educationally.