Schooling Versus Leadership

Perhaps the terms, such as school and leadership were derived from the word education. Classically speaking, many things are implied in education. It covers a wide range of notions and meanings. In this short article, however, it will mean one thing to explore the negative relationship between schooling and leadership.

Why we have education, school and leadership simultaneously? What is the need of the three terms at the same time in an academic or a business institution? There seems to be some confusion, duplication or ambiguity. I argue that education in its purest form would have been enough to address philosophical issues especially in the academic sphere.

Education as a Latin word means to bring out something new. It may sometimes mean creativity, invention or other possibilities to exercise and cultivate the human mind so as to realize the mystery of life in every human being. If education is then about opening human eyes, what should be the purpose of schools and the essence of leadership? A million dollar question, right?

Here is a story that may help to clarify the context. A provident Chinese woman set aside some money long ago for her child to attend a prestigious university somewhere in the west. She would always think that the best school is expensive as well as life changing. As you may know, Chinese people are good at collecting money despite hurdles. When the time happened, the mother successfully managed to pay everything for the child. Her child attended the best university in America for four years and came back home with the best qualification ever. After a while, the mother realized that her son somehow changed in a western style or way of life. He could not secure a good job in china. He could not pass a single interview. So his mother had to help him again and live with her for some more years. He wished that he had not been schooled in the west. He thought, “The money could have been enough to buy a house, a car and open a new business, had it not been paid for my tuition.”

The story is very interesting. We may use it to explain the situation of leadership. Howsoever one may be a provident leader, if schools are not set right with the purpose of education, there is always a corollary failure. Schools may shape a good character, but cannot produce a kinetic personality. When I graduated, for instance, I came upon a number of things which took me many years to adapt and figure out. Schools stuff us with bundle of information and facts, and thus the brain runs out of enough space to create and see future possibilities. As of this, it can be inferred that schools are failing leadership as well as the main purpose of education.

Normally education should be the basic tenet of schools and leadership. We give education because we believe that mankind has something in him that needs a cause to manifest. In contrast, we open schools to shape a desirable or docile behavior which is only relevant to a certain political ideology. If this is then the whole function of schools, what is the need of leadership? Another a million dollar question, right?