An ode to education

An Ode to Education by Efterpi Sotiriou

By Efterpi Sotiriou

‘Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learnt at school’ (Albert Einstein).

The task of education is widely multi-faceted, extending far above and beyond the narrow parameters of what is taught in the classic exchange of subject information at school.

Educators are commissioned with transmitting and inspiring an all-important value system as a carry-over life-tool. In application, however, the targeted paradigm of the student is a complex one, underpinned with youthful vulnerability, peer pressures, pre-established curriculum-rigid frameworks and parental prescriptions.

Critical questions arise, inter-alia:

  • What subject matter to include in the education journey?
  • Who decides on content, method, assessment?
  • How to dynamize content with life meaning?

Ultimately, the objective of the teacher is irrefutably daunting but privileged in equal measure. Empowering a child to enter ‘the big world’ with knowledge, skill, insight, sensitivity, tolerance, compassion and awareness must remain the objectives of the educator.

When confronted by decisions in their lives, pupils should be able to make informed choices. As educators, we are required to enable pupils to choose commitment and diligence over indifference, the difficult and worthy over the easy. We should empower them to defy mere conformity to robotized assessment expectations and develop their talents to the limits of their personal potential. The gains in self-respect are immeasurable.

We wish them to be proud of themselves, helpful, purposeful, generous-rather than selfish and self-centered. These are the attributes of true education. Its far-flung capacity should be earnestly sought, cultivated and upheld. It’s ‘the only way’.”

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