Our education system weakens our minds

The current education system that we have in Zimbabwe - and even throughout the world - was deliberately designed, decades ago, as a means of weakening the mind, so as to create docile beings who could not think critically and independently, and are not innovative.

This was done mainly as a means to benefit both the political and big business establishments.

This system was first designed by Prussians some centuries ago, who used it to ‘brainwash’ their mighty military into a fearless fighting machine that could run right into enemy fire without an ounce of apprehension.

This military system was then ‘improved’ by Adolf Hitler in Nazi Germany – whereby his army was known for its fearless ruthlessness and efficiency.

After the defeat of the Nazis, the ‘Allies’ offered employment to the men who were behind the brainwashing of the Nazi military and German population, and to those who ran Holocaust concentration camps – where extensive and gruesome studies of the human mind and brain were carried out on Jews.

The United States of America recruited most of these Nazi psychological experts, who then assisted the US in developing some of the best ‘brainwashing’ techniques in the world.

At that time, soon after World War II, these techniques were solely for the enhancement of the US military, so that it could be even more efficient that what the Nazis were.

However, as the US economy expanded, big business also jumped onto the bandwagon, wanting to create a new form of a ‘consumerist’ society – thus, these same ‘brainwashing’ techniques were used in the media in advertising.

Suddenly, people became fanatically crazy for all sorts of products, most of which they really did not need – their attention turning away from the important things in life, such as improving the welfare of society, to craving the latest gadgets.

They were made to believe – through adverts – that without such-and-such a gadget they were incomplete or inadequate.

At the same time, the establishment decided that these techniques, albeit in a ‘modified’ form, could be used on an entire population in order to make them more docile, accepting of anything they were told and manageable.

Thus, the education system became the place to start this ‘brainwashing’ of an entire population.

Suddenly, the curriculum was designed in such a way that pupils had to accept as ‘truth’ only what they were taught by their teachers and what was in their school textbooks.

If a pupil believed anything which was outside what he or she had been taught by the teacher or textbook, then they would fail.

An education system that was previously designed to encourage pupils’ ingenuity and innovativeness, was reduced to asking questions based on strictly only what had been taught by teachers and textbooks.

As such, a whole generation of people that had been taught how to be critical and independent thinkers, innovative, and creative, was reduced to nothing more than glorified robots.

When previously pupils were trained to be problems solvers – who would figure out for themselves how to a situation could be solved – they were turned into cramming machines, who merely wait to be told how to do everything.

Little children are naturally inquisitive and strive to be independent problem solvers, but by the time they reach grade five, that fire would have been extinguished, as a result of an education system that limits their thinking.

The main reason Zimbabwe’s pass rates are so low is based on a simply concept – if you do not use it, you lose it.

Our education system incapacitates the mind so much that the pupil ends up not even being able to grasp even the most basic of concepts – but if their education had stretched their minds to the limit through independent, critical and innovative thinking, they would grasp any concept.

Actually, it has been scientifically proven that the brain expands its capacity the more it is given complex tasks to solve, but loses its capacity if given mediocre things to work on.

This also augured well with the interests of big business, as graduates from these ‘mediocre’ schools were a ready source of employment – a whole new generation of ‘educated’ people who could not think for themselves, but merely followed instructions.

They were taught that thinking ‘outside the box’ was wrong – the very same thing they were taught at school.

Only a few schools, though, were deliberately left untouched for the benefit of the powers-that-be, that would continue to churn out innovators.

This ‘brainwashing’ education system has since spread throughout the world, and is the same that we have here in Zimbabwe.

That is why, even today, we have an amazing array of graduates – even PhDs – who can not even come up with a single innovation – everything has to be according to the book.

Such as education system is also a contributor to the current national, and global, economic meltdown.

This is because of a population of highly ‘educated’ people who are not equipped to use that so-called education to stand on their own.

For instance, how can we have an electrical engineer who can not be innovative enough with his or her ‘education’ to come up with new solutions to the country’s power problems?

Instead, we have electrical engineers crying after jobs, and if none are found, go onto the streets to sell airtime vouchers!

Harvard University dropouts can design world-changing systems such as Facebook and (Microsoft) Windows, yet an IT Masters graduate in Zimbabwe is a part-time gardener because he can not find employment!

Typically, these graduates go globetrotting in search of employment.

That is the typical consequence of the useless ‘brainwashing’ education system we adopted.

Even when it comes to everyday sociopolitical issues, such a population seldom asks the tough questions, as they have been taught to accept whatever they are told by their chosen voices – no wonder so many people accept gullibly whatever they are told by their political, or church leaders, without so much as a question.

There is need for a serious overall of the education system, whereby we go back to the original, as we need an education system that is based on critical and independent thinking, and innovativeness – that will create a new generation of people who can stand on their own.

° Tendai Ruben Mbofana is Programmes Director at the Zimbabwe Network for Social Justice (ZimJustice ), but writes in his personal capacity. Please WhatsApp/call on: +263782283975, or email: tendaiandtinta.mbofana@gmail.com.

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  • David Barber

    It is well-known in the West that if you want a good entrepreneur, don’t go for a business graduate. They make very bad entrepreneurs for the very reason Tendai gives: their initiative and ability to think creatively has been ‘bred
    out’ of them.

    In fact, some of the most successful entrepreneurs have had the least education, and often left school early with no qualifications at all, again proving Tendai’s point.

    Similarly, it is less well-known that business graduates don’t
    necessarily make good managers because, believe it or not, the one thing very few business schools teach is how to train, manage and motivate your staff! And, because common sense has often been bred out of them by their college or university education, they may not even be able to rely on their common sense to help them be good managers.