What is school for?

Prince Philip, who died last week, once told Malala Yousafzai that parents only send children to school to get them out of the house.

I don’t like Prince Philip, but there is a kernel of truth in his statement. On the surface, we assume that school is meant to educate children, but this is only partly true. School is also for babysitting – a place for kids to stay when their parents go to work and to keep teenagers off the streets. As schools have gone remote, everybody has come to realize this. School is partly for education, partly for baby-sitting and partly for compliance training.

This is true of almost everything we do. We shower daily to keep ourselves clean. But we also shower daily to clear our minds and because our neighbour showers daily. We eat to satisfy our calorific needs. But we also eat to fix our mood and to expose our taste-buds to new experiences.

When you think of what something is for, don’t settle for the most obvious answer. Instead, dig deeper.

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