There is no such thing as ‘Free Lunch’, yes that’s right, but when an order is placed at an ordinary hotel, the waiter along with food brings in a glass and a jug filled with water. If you ask him, why did he bring water, his reply would be, it’s free.
I want to make use of my previous analogy of water and knowledge and would say that since water is available in nature for free, so is knowledge in the form of data.
When I tell my students that knowledge is free, they come up with an argument, that they have to pay the fee to get education. My reply to them is, that the answer to their argument is in the question itself, i.e. they are not paying fee for knowledge, that fee is collected to impart education.
Everything around in nature is data, that data is converted into information, during the process of imparting education. and when that information is analyzed by the student making use of his mind, it is converted into knowledge.
For converting information into knowledge, one needs to make use of the gift (mind) given only to humans (there is difference between ‘mind’ and ‘brain’) to distinguish them from other creatures. A capability to make use of and explore the world around.
Using the imparted information and converting it into knowledge using the mind, does not require anything, except that mental effort (thinking), which is the essence of life. So during the process of imparting education students are provided with information and when they (students) make use of this information to open up their minds, it is converted into knowledge and its free.