We live in 21 century when we have available all resources for self education on-line for free. Those free resources are available 24/7 365 days a week. Almost every subject or field of study has its textbooks available online. Some should be paid for and some are free.
In past we had limited resources, there were a few books in every topic and not everyone could have them. Printing even in paper form was not available, but today printing in paper form is almost gone, we are just using digital form and digital is easier to have around and to share.
With other words resources for self education are everywhere but what is missing? Why don’t we live on advanced society where everyone is self thought scientist or programmer? Why is self education not in?
To answer this question we shell think about traditional education, why do people pursue it, what motivates them and what do they gain with it?
The thing about formal traditional education is that it gives people jobs and it gives people jobs because society believes in it, thrusts it and supports it.
With self education and non formal learning there is not a system which would grade the knowledge and which would support it. The question is if this system is even needed? Why to support self education and can it be tested in a good way like traditional formal education? Can someone who is self thought, or who is using online resources for learning, become respected expert just like someone who is using traditional education? The answer is I think yes but in a different way. Someone who is self though or who was learning online learned to learn, to organise , to research, to adapt to new discoveries which is even better than traditional closed model of education. With self learning and non formal education we get experts who are more adapted for work in 21 century environment than someone who was educated in traditional formal education.
So why doesn’t society support self education? The answer can be found if we follow the money. If teachers would be just instructors and testers the need for them could be reduced and most of them would get lower salaries and some who would not adapt woud even loose jobs.
So the answer to what is stopping expansion of self education and non formal learning is in the fact that very power interest groups are against it because they would lose money and power. Those interest groups beside formal education teachers are other schools officials, politician’s, corporations, religious organization and others. Almost all who have the most powerful positions in the society are against big reforms in education, because to say it once again clearly and loudly: They woul lose money and power if people would become self educated and independent.
Those who are against self education and non foemal learning are sacrificing the good of everyone for their own benefits.
What can be done?
We who are consciousness of the need of supporting, encouraging and advancing self education and non formal learning should make pressure on those in power to do what is best for everyone not just for themselves. We should make pressure on formal education teachers that they will teach more about how to learn and how to think critically than what to learn and what to think and the most important thing for us is to become ourselves self learners, independent and critical thinkers.