Having answers

In school, the guy who raise his hands to answer a question gets praised. The one who puts up his hand to ask a question feels like he might have disrupted the flow of a lesson or wasted everyone’s time on something that no one seemed to be interested in besides him. Besides, there never was a quiz by the teacher where credit was given to a student for asking questions.

Yet the older I got, the more I realised that having answers is overrated. The ability to ask the right questions and discover new ideas or thoughts from there is so much more important. The journey of discovery starts with questions and not knowing what to discover. The incentives that our education system designed was more about ease of creating robust, scientific measurement without necessarily aligning with the needs of students going through the system.

There has always been a question of whether schooling and the education system is ultimately about training and uplifting people or just measuring and sorting them. I’ve previously pondered over this quite a bit – whether we intend for the system to produce a pooling or separating equilibrium. It is still a question on my mind and I think it’s a conundrum for systems all around the world.