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Flight: From Education to Stagnation

By James Razel B. Tanguan, LPT


FROM THE point of view of an educator who has been teaching for almost four (4) years, it is such an alarming incident to notice students, teachers, and administrators flee from a “schooled” status to a for-as-long-as-I-am-earning organizing principle. 

Does education begin after a degree is obtained? Or does it end after getting one? If the answer to the former is yes, perhaps that is why we are on the precipice of academic suicide. If we claim that the answer to the latter is also yes, then the entire point of the education system, all this time, has been to structure our minds to implement human destruction.

The majority of students, teachers, and administrators do not have a unique standpoint compared to people who have not finished school when the term education is in question; they have a firm allegiance to the idea that education is “for your future,” “it is the only thing that cannot be taken away from you,” or worse, “go to school so that you will not end up like our neighbor and their incapacity to provide.” 

But what do they really mean? While these everyday conversations are valid to a great extent, especially common if a person is one of the people below the socio-economic scale, these professions of faith are anchored on the idea that one has to finish school, or college in most cases, to earn a living. And once the degree is received, then one stops learning because they are now educated, a term that now becomes synonymous with stagnated.

The fact that this principle is believed among the people in the education arena, through which our battle for lifelong learning is supposedly fought, is an academic suicide as it is an intellectual arrogance. Now, as 21st-century educators, the guides on the side, if we believe so forcefully in the idea that education begins and stops only at school, then are we molding 13-year-old minds for human progress, or are we fleeing from war because we raise a bar so low just to elevate them to a higher economic scale only to discover that they are there to turn human destruction to fruition?

Education is the only key; if it fails, nothing just follows. The aim of every academic institution, public or private, ought to inculcate in their students and in themselves that learning stops only when one has already returned to dust. Life is a prevailing learning system that has been programmed to continue teaching us something; let it store in your mental archive that learning continues; it must continue.


The author graduated from the University of Mindanao with a degree in Bachelor of Secondary Education with a major in English. He is currently a junior high school teacher and a staunch advocate of the importance of literature to all of humanity.


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