At the pinnacle of Education, we have the Harvards, the Oxfords, the UFTs and Laussane but in the real world, we have the streets. I’m not talking about life’s hard learned lessons, emergent pickpockets and fruit thieves. We’re talking about 75% of the skilled tradesmen of the world’s emerging economies.
It’s always been this way. Jesus never went near a local community college. He worked at home with his Dad and learned to be a carpenter. Bill Gates learned in his garage pretty much by himself.
When you look at these pictures, you’ll see street-based learning that focuses on one outcome: Can the kid do the job? Can he cut the gear? Can he fix the computer? Can she weld the seam? Can the car start?
It’s really simple. You graduate when you can do the job. It’s true. They’ll probably get their ears boxed once a week and they very well might sleep in the shop but you’ll find more broken air conditioners on the curbs of Chicago than you’ll find in Siem Reap.
So, while the education community does its best to destroy the world’s oldest and apparently most effective learning system, the developing world is getting along just fine in the maintenance of every doo-dad, gee-gaw and appliance that we can dream up.
Maybe, we should help improve street learning and stop building technical colleges that really don’t achieve very much. What do you think?