“Education is not just about going to school and getting a degree. It's about widening your knowledge and absorbing the truth about life.”
- Shakuntala Devi
My Dear Children,
I know that there are days when you don’t feel like waking up early in the morning to come to school because your bed is too warm, or maybe because there is a homework that is incomplete; a reprimand from your teacher yesterday; or a fight with a friend in school which has left a bad taste. There may also be days where you wonder how much of what is taught at school will actually be of importance when it comes to living your life; whether in 10 years it will matter to know whether apples can grow in Mediterranean regions or not, or whether there is any difference between potential and kinetic energy.
I am not here to tell you all that you all are wrong in these thoughts, but to tell you that school is about a lot more than just the books that you read and the homework that you are given. Your school is your playground to learn about life, and give it a try in a safe and protected environment. Your school is about equipping you to deal with everything that life may throw at you at a later stage, and this can only be achieved by providing you with the best weapon in your arsenal: a good education.
Education, if looked at beyond its conventional boundaries, forms the very essence of all our actions. What we do is what we know and have learned, either through instructions or through observation and assimilation. Even when we are not consciously making an effort to learn, we are constantly adding to our knowledge base through the observation of our surroundings, picking up tiny nuances, and formulating reactions to circumstances in life. More often than not, people confuse education to be limited to what is taught in schools and colleges, or the homework being done by students, when in fact, the concept of education goes above and beyond what happens in the four walls of a classroom. Education is a lifelong process, which culminates only with the passing of man.
While most people rightly believe that good education is an absolute necessity in life, they are mistaken about the purpose it serves in their lives. Ask a common man on the streets about why he/she wants to educate their children, and more often than not the answer is to enable them to secure jobs or to earn better. Very few people actually understand that education is more than earning a skill set to suit a particular job. It is more to do with raising good, well rounded men and women, who are able to empathize with others, deal with the difficulties of life in an enlightened manner, and above all, understand that it is more important to be a good man/woman, than it is to be a millionaire.
Education is the best means of self-empowerment. A well educated person is not one who plans his life in a way that he never meets failure. Instead, a well-educated person is one who has the belief that he will be able to overcome everything that life throws at him, and still emerge as a stronger person. The world today, more than ever, needs people who are strong enough to be empathetic to fellow human beings, who are wise enough to rise above the sycophancy prevalent in modern day workspaces, and who are mature enough to understand that life is about more than the money in their bank accounts, and good education is that sceptre which wields the power to convert ordinary people into the kind that will make this world a better place.
Here at Billabong, we try to transcend the boundaries of conventional teaching methods and go beyond the rote learning methods that are redundant and obsolete. We try to provide you with an atmosphere that identifies and nurtures the real you, the you that is hidden from the rest of the world. Good education is that which helps you to deal with the hard questions of life and not just the difficult questions in your test papers, and our endeavour is to enable you to be able to answer the questions of life without feeling ill-equipped to deal with the same. Our interactive methods, and enhanced involvement of our students are to ensure that they are not just mugging up the text, but rather understanding it and learning how to apply it to real life situations.
As a teacher, there is nothing that gives me more happiness than when I see my students helping each other or making up after a fight or learning to be self-aware and responsible of their actions. I see them metamorphosing from little children into conscientious young adults, on the way to being good citizens and even better human beings. A good education is the best resource to have in life and it gives me immense pride that I get to be a part of your educational journey. This is the kind of life education that we intend to equip our children with, the kind that cannot be garnered through books, but instead has to be instilled through experiences, and is more important than mere bookish knowledge.
Always remember that long after you have left school, your education will still continue, albeit through different mediums, and that as long as you continue on the right path and fight life’s battles armed with your education and good judgment, I will believe myself to have been successful.
I wish you all the very best in all your endeavors and look forward to seeing you all become the well-rounded, wholesome adults, who are set to make this world a better place.