Comparing two different education systems

After I graduated from high school, I remember thinking I’ve wasted my time with education. It really isn’t helping me to face the reality.

I even said it to my parents and my friends. My friends also agreed with me. We’re just accumulating knowledge and facts (that are already obsolete) into our brain, without practical knowledge and best practices to live the rest of my life.

Then I realized. It’s too hard to teach someone how to live. Because everybody else is still figuring it out. No one really knows how to live.

But then, is the education really beneficial for us? Or is it only narrowing our point of view? Supplying us with complicated but unnecessary formula?

I guess I’ll never know.

But without the education I received, I wouldn’t have been able to write here in English!

I don’t watch the news, I read novels, non-fictions, Medium, watch NatGeo, NatGeo People, Youtube channels, and some TV series occasionally. I’m trying to stay away from the negativity.

My recent discoveries have been very interesting, I can’t help but to share them with you guys!

They are both about education, but in two contrasting circumstances.

Massive education to overcome poverty

I don’t know if you’ve heard of this one, but I just discovered it several days ago when I was watching NatGeo’s India’s Mega Kitchen. I was dumbfounded.

Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences, Odisha, India.

They provide FREE education, food, and home for about 25,000 tribal children since 1993! It was founded by Dr. Achyuta Samanta, who experienced poverty firsthand as a child.

He realized that lack of education was the root cause of the slow development of the tribes. He started small with 125 students, but he’s a visionary, so he ended up with more than 25,000 students.

I’m amazed by the holistic and such selfless approach. It is massive and colossal. I’m also confused why my country, Indonesia, doesn’t have an institution like this one. We have almost similar problems with almost similar conditions.

Even though I doubt the benefits of traditional education systems, I do believe that a movement this massive would effectively eradicate poverty, illiteracy, and ignorance.

College and campus reinvented

Last week I was just scrolling through my Youtube feeds, when I found this unique education system.

Mindvalley U

The school for humanity. Mindvalley U’s founder, Vishen Lakhiani, envisioned a new form of university/education, where you will be attending a month full of talks and seminars by world class speakers and educators, which will be held in different cities every year.

The point of Mindvalley U is to keep up with the world, filling the gap that the regular education systems make. They state it clearly in their website it’s not for people who wants to learn physics or engineering.

“…for the skills our regular education system ignored. Like entrepreneurship, leadership, public speaking, personal growth, health and wellness, happiness, love, parenting, mindfulness, and much more.”

You might be asking, how is this ‘education’ will be accepted in the society? As said by Vishen in an interview with Forbes,

“We see companies like Google, Ernst & Young and others changing their recruitment model, dropping the mandatory criteria. We see the same here at Mindvalley… since we bring together extraordinary people of all stages of their lives together, we know it will create more employment opportunities than just blasting out resumes with a line about your college degree.”

Which one is better?

We can’t compare these two very different systems side by side, obviously. The first one was established to eradicate poverty, while the second is to cultivate a global community.

All of the subjects and lessons taught in these two systems are equally important. You need to be able to read, do some maths, and connect with people in order to make the world better.

Maybe some graduates from Mindvalley U will build another Kalinga Institute?


With the growing number of unemployment, I know my college degree doesn’t guarantee anything. I won’t be automatically hired by a multinational company just by obtaining it.

Luckily, for me, my university requires a year off-campus internship during my 4-year program. I just completed mine in a big general insurance company here in Indonesia, and those one year gave me much more learning experience and personal development than my 3 years in campus.

The learning process doesn’t stop there, of course.

Like any other systems, the education systems can never please everyone. There must be some bugs and incompatibility. But if you don’t fit in one, you can always find another one.

Don’t trap yourself in the system.

Leave your thoughts below! What do you think about your current education system? Which one do you think is the best, Kalinga Institute or Mindvalley U?

Writer and marketer from Indonesia. Find more of me at or twitter: @ascenciafike