Purpose of Education

Have you gave a thought on the purpose of education? Of course we go to school to receive knowledge that will open our sight to the world. Subjects such as Science, Mathematics and Languages will aid us in becoming successful in life. There is no doubt about this.

However, the next question will be: does scoring all distinctions that important? Does a student who don’t score well will destine to be a failure in the future? Recently there is a discussion with my friend who works as a teacher. The question is what should we do with the poor performer in class. I told my friend that it will be good if she can look for her privately to encourage her to continue to work hard despite her failure this semester. It is important for the student not to lose hope and to understand one failure doesn’t mean she will fail the next time. The message is that if you work hard, you should be able to succeed one day.

Soft Skills Are Equally Important

The above example is my philosophy is bringing up a kid. A child should learn that a failure now that not meant is the end to his/her future. It just meant that more effort has to be done. He/She should persevere whenever he/she meet with a difficult situation. As it is highly likely that he/she will face with failure and rejection when they step into adulthood. Right now, organisations are having a greater emphasis on Adversity Quotient (AQ) – ability to turn crisis into advantage. This ability to cope with crisis is a valuable skill that is highly sought for.  Other important skills such as interpersonal communication, values, resourcefulness and critical thinking are worth a mention.

Also this child might have other talents other than in academic studies. Everyone is build differently. Our education system is a system for the majority. The minority who is talented in other ways tend to get neglected and being regard as poor learner. This shouldn’t be the case. To illustrate on this point, a classic comic that has been circulating in the internet is as follows:


Good Grades and Degree Are Not The Only Ways

We do have real life examples of people who are college drop out and yet build the world most valuable companies. Some examples are:

1. Steve Jobs – Dropout from Reeds College and build Apple

2. Mark Zuckerberg – Dropout from Harvard University and founded Facebook

3. Bill Gates – Dropout from Harvard and build Microsoft

In Singapore, we have Nickson Fong as an example who from school dropout to Academy Award winner – http://www.straitstimes.com/breaking-news/singapore/story/school-dropout-academy-award-winner-20130124

I am also sure there are other unsung heroes who are fighting a shining battle of their own without any spectacular academic background.

Although you might argue that not all people I mentioned are doing bad in academic studies (hello is Harvard University..) but the point is that they give up their studies to pursue their passion and created wealth and valuable business that benefit people all around the globe.


I am not saying education is not important and you should immediately give up on schooling (if you are still a student) and go start an enterprise. What I am driving at is that education is not all, a scholar doesn’t mean he/she is able to perform well in his career. On the other hand, average student can be just as successful. It takes soft skills to complement your technical skills or hard skills.

Who likes to work with a brainy yet an arrogant person?

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