Osho talks on ‘Education’
The ﬁrst and the most basic is that we are not to enforce any pattern on the children. We have just to help them to be themselves. So there is no ideal that has to be enforced on them. You just have to be a caring atmosphere around them, so whatsoever they want to do you can help them to do better. Just help them to do it better. And they are not in any game, ambition-game.
We are not trying to make them very very powerful, famous, rich, this and that, in their life, no. Our whole effort here is to help them to be alive, authentic, loving, ﬂowing, and life takes care. A trust in life — that’s what has to be created around them, so they can trust in life. Not that they have to struggle but can relax.
And as for education, just help them to be more creative. Painting is good — they should try painting — or creating something else, but let it be creative; let them do things on their own. And don’t bring in your criteria.
For example, when a child paints, don’t bring in adultish criteria; don’t say that this is not Picasso. If the child has enjoyed it and when he was painting he got absorbed in it, that’s enough. The painting is great! Not because of any objective criterion — the painting may be just nonsense; it may be just colours splashed, may be messy…. It has to be because a child is a child; he has a different vision of things. […]
So it is not the question that you have to judge whether the painting is good or bad. No, we are not going to judge at all. Judge ye not. Don’t make the child feel good or bad about it. If the child is absorbed in painting it, that’s enough. He was in deep meditation, he moved with the painting utterly… he was lost in it! The painting is good because the painter was lost.
Help the child to be completely lost, and whenever a child is painting on his own, he will be lost. If you force him to paint then he will be distracted. So whatsoever the children want to do, let them do; just help them. Mm? You can help in many technical ways. You can tell them — if a child wants to paint — how to mix colours, how to ﬁx the canvas, how to use the brush; that you can help with. Be a help there; rather than being a guide, be a help.
Just as a gardener helps the tree… You cannot pull the tree fast; you cannot do anything in that way, nothing can be done positively. You plant the seed, you water, you give the manure, and you wait! The tree happens on its own. When the tree is happening you protect it so somebody does not hurt it or harm it. That is the function of a teacher: the teacher has to be a gardener. Not that you have to create the child; the child is coming on its own — god is the creator.
That’s what Socrates means when he says, ’I am a midwife.’ A midwife does not create the child. The child is already there, ready to come out; the midwife helps.
So help them to be creative, help them to be joyous, because that has disappeared from the schools. Children are very sad, and sad children create a sad world. They are going to inhabit the world, and we destroy their joy. Help their joy, help their celebration, make them more and more cheerful. Nothing is more valuable than that. If they are not doing mathematics it is perfectly okay, because mathematics is not the point. The point is joy!
If they are not learning language, forget about it; they are learning something far more valuable. In this atmosphere of joy help them to learn two things — language and mathematics. History is meaningless bunk!
Just two small things — a little mathematics will be needed in their life. And about that too: we are not to make them great mathematicians, just a little mathematics so they can ﬁgure out things. And language it needed so they can communicate. They can read poetry, they can enjoy the great works.
And there is going to be no examination. There is going to be no gradation of who is ﬁrst and who is second. Everybody is just the same. We make the space available for them to learn — they all have learned according to their capacities but who are we to judge? So no gradation, no examination. And when children are a little grown up let them learn practical things — carpentry, pottery, weaving — and they will enjoy all those things. When they are still more grown up let them learn something about electricity, cars, mechanisms, technology, but practical things. […]
Man can be saved only if society is de-schooled or if totally different kind of schools which cannot be called schools are evolved; then only humanity can be saved.
So no ambition should be there, no comparison ever. Never compare a child with another and say, ’Look, the other has done a better painting!… That is ugly, violent, destructive. You are destroying both the children. The one you say has done a better painting starts getting the idea of the ego, superiority, and the one who has been condemned starts feeling inferior. And these are the illnesses — the superior and the inferior — so never compare!
It will be difficult for you and other teachers because comparison is so much in us. Never compare. Each child has to be respected on his own. Each child has to be respected as unique — no comparison, no marks, no gradations. Because we are not going to create clerks or ugly things like that. We are going to create men and women.
Yes, they will need a few things in life so they are practically helped. Those things we should give them — and then they have to choose their own. In the new place we will make everything available — painting, music, dance — so wherever they want to join in, they can; whatsoever they want to do, they can do. They can have their own combinations. There will be no syllabus — there will be only opportunity.
And the teachers will work because of their joy… because they enjoy the company of the children. So only choose teachers who are not teachers, because ordinarily teachers are people who are a little sadistic. They want to torture, and the best way to enjoy torture is to become a teacher. A teacher is a torturer, and that is the most legal situation in which to torture: school.
Parents are in favour of the children being tortured — for their own sake; the government is in favour, everybody is in favour. Everybody is for the teacher because he is doing a good job. So all the people who are sadists by and by start moving towards particular professions: the teacher, the policeman. These are the professions where they can torture and still remain respected.
And children are so helpless: you can torture them no end and they cannot retaliate. So remember, choose teachers who are not teachers, not torturers, but people who love small children. Choose gardeners, so they can create a space for children to grow in. And they should be happy, they should not be sad and long faces. They should be able to see the humour of the children, the sense of humour. Children have immense sense of humour and teachers are very dull. They should be able to laugh with them and dance with them and hug them. They should be human. So be very careful about choosing. In the new place, I will choose; right now you start working, but be very careful. No sadist has to be allowed there; nobody who is a disciplinarian has to be allowed there.
And I am not for order at all. Disorder is perfectly beautiful. So let there be disorder — nothing wrong. Order is one of the most dangerous calamities that has happened and obedience is one of the greatest blocks man has suffered from. They should not be forced to obey and they should not be forced into order. They should be allowed all chaos, and in chaos there is creativity, growth.
Osho, Don’t Just Do Something, Sit There, Ch 16