Importance of Education in Modern Society and the World
More than a decade ago, food, clothing, and shelter were considered the basic human needs. But basic human needs cannot be restricted to these alone. The best way to civilize a society is to educate them. Barbaric people are often neglected in society. This indirectly indicates importance of education and why it should also be included in basic human needs. This reminds me of a famous saying of Nelson Mandela, ‘Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world’.
The heroic stories of great leaders who fought for educational rights are known to all. Malala Yousafzai and Maria Montessori are a few among them. Such protests to achieve equal access to education are still happening in every remote corner of the world. Although laws regarding educational rights are being enforced in our nation, the major share of this cake is only enjoyed by the rich people. This is accounted for mainly by the extensive commercialization of education worldwide. Education which was supposed to be free for all could be acquired only in return for money. Commercialization no longer applies only to goods but also to education. Where will this lead us?
Why is education growing more and more important each day? It has changed its definition from something we wanted to something we need. People always had the habit of following trends. When they see something new, they just want it. They try to follow the trends of the general public. This used to be how they viewed education. They felt they were better off with it. Never understood why this was the case. This brings us to the basic question, what is the importance of education in our lives. The definition of education has changed over the years. At first, it was viewed as a way to learn to read and write. But this was only part of it. Then it slowly changed over the years to what we have now. Now education is no longer considered to be just learning a language, it is much more. There was a point in human history where education helped us to understand how the world works. It made us better individuals. Better individuals lead to a more organized, civilized society. Chaos is the default order of nature and education leads us to order and harmony. This meaning would have been enough. Although not particularly accurate this was the closest we came to its definition. What happened afterward was chaotic. We entered the age of information. Now most of them had access to education. This was the only part of this age that made sense. But education as an idea went in the wrong direction. Now it’s considered as something that helps us to gain jobs. If you have a good education you have a higher chance of landing a good job. While this is true, this was never the true purpose of education.
The true purpose of education is quite simple. Education introduces you to the world. Every human being comes to this world with absolutely no idea about how this world works. Nobody can understand the workings of this world single-handedly, they are going to need some help. Education provides the way. It gives us perspective. We can only build upon what has been left to us by our ancestors. To do that we need to begin by understanding what it is in the first place. Even if we intend to completely debunk their theories and institutions, we need to fully understand them first. So education is like the doorway to excellence. It also exposes us to our different tastes so that people get to find out what is most dear to them. In a way, it fulfills our life.
All this proves how education is important in our lives and how it transforms us. Educated individuals are an asset to society. But it is alarming to find that education is being misunderstood nowadays. It is better not to understand something fully rather than misunderstand it. While People do agree with this view of education but they are missing an important point. If we ask people to think about the word education and ask them what came to their minds, ‘schools’ are going to be one of them. When they think about the education they start to think about schools. This is not wrong and is quite natural. We are primed from a very young age to think this way. But if this is all we think, then we need to change. Schools are the best institutions that help humans acquire skills with maximum efficiency. The interaction between teachers and students is what helps the student to learn. While education begins at home, the major share is carried out at schools (At least according to our current societal setup). Schools are themselves a product of education. It is where educated people gather to pass down their skills to create more educated people. So as the definition of education changed so did the definition of schools and teachers. Now schools are a place where we go to pass standards instituted by society. Teachers are people with degrees who work at schools. By incorrectly simplifying their meanings we come to see them are mere institutions and forget the values they stand for.
Anyone who has valuable information and is willing to pass it down is a teacher. Anyone who is eager to learn is a student. When teachers and students meet schools take shape. Viewing them as mere institutions, capable of landing people a job and a livelihood makes the whole idea of school sound like a business. It follows the principle to gain something you have to give something of equal value first. Schools need money to function, but they need just enough. Anything more should be used to pursue more education. There is a clear-cut distinction between wants and needs. Education should not be traded it has to be provided. It has to be equally accessible to every one of us. It’s hard to make it completely free. Some extent of commercialization helps us to bring stability to the system. Teachers could not be asked to work for free. They should be paid so that they could teach more. Schools need infrastructure, facilities all of them which play their part in helping the development of students. But now something that is commonly observed is how people sacrifice quality. This is one of the dark sides of commercialization. Commercialisation encourages competition. Results are a major part of a competition. As long as its healthy competition is good, quite good in fact. It helps to get better results. But how good is the results, if there is no quality. Education gives perspective, but what good is perspective if students aren’t encouraged to open their eyes. Unless they can create on their own what is the point of education. Education was never about imitation. It’s about learning through imitation. Ultimately education helps us to stop imitating.
Humans are conquerors. Every new venture into the unknown gains us greater knowledge and understanding. Sports help people understand the limits of human physical potential. Science challenges and advances our intellectual potential. The arts provide us with insight into the beauty of life itself. To help us in this never-ending pursuit we need more free creative thinkers. We need to widen access to education. Commercialization now stands in our way. The pressures of competition make false results look shinier than ever. But Quality is not the only aspect affected. The commercialization of education pulls back society. As more and more money is pumped into the educational system, it slowly marginalizes the misfortunate. The advancement of humankind is not limited to a section of society. We need all the help we can get. This stresses the added importance of education for all. It helps them to stand up for themselves. This creates an equal society. It removes exploitation, it is the weapon that brings harmony. Commercialization cannot be eradicated. Just as humans need education, schools need money to survive. It should not be about money alone. Two more key ingredients need to be present these are quality and access.
A completely equal society will represent the pinnacle of human achievement. But it is a utopian society. This is because commercialization is only part of the challenge. There are people out there who are still denied the right to education. People of power deny it so that they can continue to stay in power. It is the equivalent of laying society in a deep state of sleep. These kinds of people have educated themselves but are unwilling to pass it down. But one way or another the light will find its way. Whatever they are, dictators or false messiahs we have to stop them from going any further. No longer should they inject toxicity into the minds of humans. Educated people are indebted to humankind to spread knowledge. We have to lead in the path of excellence, in the path of education.
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