Education beyond 'kangkong-ism'
by Azly Rahman
Let us leave the world of hopelessness and despair aside, momentarily. Let us step aside from this circus arena of ragingly hilarious fiesta of idea on ‘kangkong-ism’. Thanks to the world of cybernetics, our leader’s buffoonery has become a global class act.
There is a perennial and larger issue at hand - education. We have entered yet another epoch of competition, chaos, complexities and perpetual change requiring a collective will to address a collective guilt of the prospect of not being able to leave behind a peaceful and hopeful world for our children.
Our generation and the generation before us is guilty of making this world continue how it is - a theatre of the battle between Good and Evil, possibly a Zoroastrian legacy of falsehood that hath crept into the teachings of the world, into scriptures both profane and sacred.
Must the world be perceived as that - of a dualism that hath brought the flourishing of violence amongst men and tearing the world asunder from time immemorial that we are yet to discern philosophically?
What is the history of the the evolution of Man hath been conceived otherwise, with a lens of Love and Acceptance and the conceptualising of Man as a mere concept of being and becoming, a constellation of learning and knowing, a vigilante of the evolution of social dominance, barbarism, feudalism, slavery, monarchism, capitalism, crypto-crony capitalism, materialism, and all kinds of evolved structures that give rise to the varied forms of Master-Slave narrative.
What if Man needs nothing more that what he has used to alienate, mutilate, and humiliate his fellow beings an in the process rape and ravage Nature he is to live in harmony with?
Herein lies the idea of education we need to revisit - the idea of a new renaissance we need beyond this national joke on ‘kangkong-ism’.
Socrates, Plato, Marx, Rousseau, Maria Montessori, John Dewey and philosophers ancient, modern, post-modern cyberneticists and cognitive philosophers, Marvin Minsky, Neil Postman, Steve Jobs (left) - all ye who have good thoughts and ideas about breaking frontiers of learning, teaching, living, producing, co-creating... come hither .
Let us renew the prosperity of being human and reignite the idea of wisdom in learning. Gather here. Let us educate others in this new school, this ‘Akademie Renaissance’, as I call it, inspired by the ‘School of Athens’...
- What will be the nature of society we wish to create?
- How do we reconfigure the human self?
- What tools do we need to re-engineer communities of learning?
- What must we teach to master the art and science of riding the wave of globalisation?
- How must the mind be developed, consciousness be expanded?
- What design of spaces of power and knowledge do we need to create?
- And society be made to live in a system of perpetual peace built on evolving social justice?
Questions, questions, everywhere ...not a single one yet answered...
‘Bricks in those walls’ we have become, we were born into, and we are still reproducing in our children, in societies, states, and principalities that give rise to regimes of total power, even in schools and in classrooms wherein we leave our children to be ‘educated’ not only by the dictates of the totalitarian state but also by teachers and strangers as managers of ‘virtue’; dictates and decrees that go against the wishes and desire of what we wish to child to become.
We leave children to be babysat by strangers we are unsure what ideological basis contrary to Humanism that colours the latter’s acts of ‘teaching’ and ‘educating’, guised under the mantra of doing these ‘in the best interest of the child’ in accordance with the principles of schooling laid down by the state.
But how do we even begin to recognise the nature and structure of the bricks in walls of the child’s environment? What are the questions we need to ask, as we leave the child to the state and let the kibbutz, the ashram, the boot camp, those glorified prison-house of language called ‘schools’, will offer.
Let us dismantle our schools and redefine schooling
Brick by brick we will bring down... brick by brick we will rebuild, as we ask:
- What is worth learning?
- What is worth teaching?
- What is worth exploring?
- What is worth knowing?
- What is worth sharing?
- What is worth leaving behind when we are dead and gone? In order to redefine the meaning of living, learning, and loving?