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What Is True Education?

“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and go do it. Because what the world needs is more people who have come alive.” – Dr Howard Thurman

What does it really mean to be truly educated?
The core principle and requirement of a truly fulfilled human-being is the ability to enquire and create constructively and independently without external controls. I’ve come to realise that true education is definitely not so much on what is covered in class but what you discover about what is covered in class. So, to be truly educated from this point of view means to be in a position to enquire and create on the basis of the resources available to you.

True education is about developing skills to know where to look and formulate serious questions to question the status quo. To find your own way and shape the questions that are worth pursuing and to develop the path to pursue them. True education means to have the skills to know where to look, how to look, how to question, how to challenge independently and deal with challenges the world presents to you. This, I must say, requires a lot of self-education, enquiry, investigations, cooperation and solidarity with others. That’s what an educational system should encourage from kindergarten to university.

To simplify all of the above in one sentence: ‘True education is to learn how to think, not what to think.’ True education, therefore, is not about teaching what to memorize for tests and exams, but to have insights in order to extend the boundaries. Albert Einstein said, “Education is not the learning of facts, but the training of the mind to think.” This also means that the purpose of education is to make minds not careers or people who do not think outside of what they were taught in class. My friend, true education brings freedom because it is a kind of never-ending story – a matter of continual beginnings, of habitual fresh starts and of persistent newness. Cheers to the beginning of true education!

Veli Ndaba is an Insightful Speaker, Life-Coach and Neuro-Linguistic Programming Practitioner, Author of three books (You Are Born to Win, Your Dream is Calling You and SWITCH ON!), Newspaper Columnist and Entrepreneur. To book him to help you and your team unleash your greatness, contact him on, and 083 304 9773

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