Between Structures and Agencies

by Shreya Parikh

On one hand, there is a container without the contained, and then on the other side, there is the water free-flowing without the container. With no form at all, the water free-falls into infinity without its abso-lute enthusiasm being harnessed or deviated to productivity. But then there is also the container all empty, all purposeless. The con-tainer as structure and water as the agent- if observed will seem to complement: since the agency de-fines the other as structure while accepting itself to have the role of an agent and vice-versa.
I believe that education is supposed to structure to frame of free-thought. For a thought without the frame of words or language will never have the chance of being communicated. But our obsession to label and structure has shifted to over-structuralization while over-looking the agent. The importance today has turned too much towards complicating a discourse with com-plex terminology when simple words could have efficiently con-veyed the meaning.
It is the same with the system of education in place. What we have in place is functional, for it over-looks the fact that every human body functions differently. You cannot have every child in the class bringing out the best of his or her creativity in 9:00 am drawing. You just cannot! And to judge everyone on the same scale of efficiency-output is utterly unjust, almost tor-turous. Maybe I read well at 3:00am or work amazingly on cal-culus after a sleep filled with night-mares. And to judge it with my brother’s skills to frame mathe-matical theorems in his English class would be an insult to both our respective skills.
Every individual is an agent and every agent is different; you cannot tell them to be structures, because they are not. We are not made to be factory-produced. And it is this that the globalization-pressures on countries like India are doing: pro-duce engineers and doctors who think and produce the same quality and quantity of work, which lacks in any form of innovation or soul. They fail at application: so telling them to apply mathematical know-how to philosophy would result into absolute disaster.
I do not know if solutions exist, but I know that there is a road to some-thing better. Only if we could tell our children to stop judging them-selves on the grades that they bring back from school, this may lead to huge shifts. I have known little artsy kids who stop painting be-cause the class graded them a ‘C’. We have lost innumerable scien-tists, mathematicians, doctors and strange innovators to the system that worships structural imitation, and I hope that someday, we can change this!




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