Does real knowledge depend on how many degress you have attained or how much independent study you have done? By independent study I mean reading history, philosophy,science etc.and analyzing the literature that is being presented to you. When conducting independent study or self edification there are no external views that can tamper with the construction of your personal worldviews. Therefore independent study allows you to formulate your own opinion on whatever information you digest. Inevitably this will cultivate critical thinking. In result you will have a wider scope of reality which will lead to questioning any concept, person, place, or thing you come in contact with. In addition independent study has no limitation to what you can study while school based education is restricted to the subject or theme of the course.
On the other hand learning in a classroom environment will give you knowledge from the teacher's perspective rather than enabling you to draw your own conclusion. Learning in a school also provides a formal education for those who prefer structure. Although, I do think that a structural type of education is critical for the degrees it offers which are prerequesites for many professional fields and are necessary for the job market. Furthermore, school based education creates a safe space for the open dialogue of different ideologies and allows students to challenge each other's view points. By listening to others' view points you become enlightened which subconsciously makes you more open minded, strengthens your ideologies, and enhances your growth. This is the disadvantage to independent study: in independent study your are auto-educating which is basically dictating your thoughts to yourself without disagreeing. This type of education does not challenge you which means it does not strengthen your point of view on any given topic. Each type of edification has its advanatages and disadvanatages. At the end of the day participating in both should be the most beneficial thing for any scholar!