IMPORTANCE OF EDUCATION
What is Education?
Education is a basic human right. The great philosopher Socrates said, “Education means the bringing out of the ideas of universal validity which are latent in the mind of every man”. It can be simply defined as the gradual process of acquisition of knowledge, skills, values, beliefs, and habits. It brings a natural, long-lasting and a positive change in an individual’s life. It provides us with the necessary reasoning and skills to achieve our goals. Education builds our career and personality. It makes us earnable, provides us with sufficient knowledge to deal with many ups and downs in life. Education makes people humble, wise and independent; he can bring a positive impact on others by his intelligence. Basically, we will start this article on education by a quote.
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
Impacts of Education
Education plays an important role in determining the literacy rate of a nation. From the context of history, the world has seen great changes in education over the past two centuries. Global literacy rates increased greatly after the increase in the rate of enrollment in primary education. It was only in the 19th and 20th century that rates of literacy approached universality. As of today, 250 million children around the world lack proper education. Almost three-quarters of the world’s 775 million illiterate adults are found in ten countries: India, China, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Egypt, Brazil, Indonesia, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Also, the existence of the generation gap suggests that with age there will be an improvement in the overall literacy rate. According to the United Nations analysis, one in five adults are illiterate; 75 million children don’t attend school and many more attend irregularly or are dropouts. The International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) predicts that by 2050, we hope most of the cross-country gaps in literacy to be closed.
The children of today are the human resources of tomorrow. The growth of a nation widely depends upon the youth and the quality of education available in the schools and colleges. The process of learning in schools is a key tool for shaping one’s personality and building one’s outlook on the environment. Schooling is considered as a major form of formal education. School education must focus on a few important aspects such as providing the children with a chance to explore various fields of education such as people, literature, history, mathematics, politics, science and several other subjects. Another very important aspect is to develop the child’s communication skill and help him interact with society. This instills qualities such as empathy, friendship, participation, reasoning in a child. Thus, schooling plays a very important role in the overall development of an individual.
Role of Higher Education
- Job opportunities
Most of the private and government sectors have fixed a certain eligibility criterion to offer jobs such as a bachelor degree. Today, many universities provide distance learning courses and admissions in online degree programs. There is tough competition nowadays to get jobs in the desired sectors. The interviewers tend to be keen towards more talented and hardworking students. Moreover, the government has initiated several competitive exams after graduation.
- Personality Improvement
A college student gets opportunities and exposure for their talents. The pressure or the strictness imparted on the college students is comparatively less than the school students, which brings major changes in a student’s attitude, lifestyle, thinking and reasoning as they start going to college. The various platforms available in college make them more confident, outspoken, resourceful and flexible. Higher education also brings a sense of duty or responsibility among students.
- Knowledge of various aspects of life
In college, students come across people of numerous caste or race; they learn several things about culture and society. They come across people who have similar interests and thus, a chance to compete with each other and improve oneself. This sense of competition later helps when students apply for the entrance examinations and job interviews. College is where we make a network of important people who help us in one way or the other in life.
Education and Productivity
Education productivity is a vast and crucial topic which mainly aims at achieving educational equity. The term productivity is defined in the dictionary as the ability of an entity to produce abundantly or to yield favourable or useful results. However, economists define productivity as the relationship between inputs and outputs of a particular sector. Education productivity determines the growth of a country’s output and its capacity to borrow foreign resources. It is a fact that health and nutrition, primary and secondary education raises the productivity of labourers; development of secondary and tertiary education also stands as the basic elements in the development of the government, the law, the financial system and all other sectors which increase the gross domestic product of a nation. Labour productivity (teachers and employed) or the total money spent represents the input measure of education productivity. The output refers to the students’ academic achievements and the student’s performance while entering the labour market, usually in terms of salary. There are many ways by which we can calculate education productivity.
In the case of agriculture, the productivity of farmers increased with the use of modern technologies, which in turn, are the result of education. In Thailand, farmers with four or more years of schooling were three times more likely to adopt fertilizer and other modern methods.
In Thailand, farmers with four or more years of schooling were three
times more likely to adopt fertilizer and other modern inputs than less-educated farmers
(Birdsall, 1993: 75-79). Similarly, in Nepal, the completion of at least seven years of
schooling increased productivity in wheat by over a quarter, and in rice by
In industries, education is an important contributor to modern machines and technologies. Statistical analysis suggests that in Sri Lanka, the skill and education level of workers and entrepreneurs were positively related to the rate of technical change of the firm (Deriniyagala, 1995).
Education and Economic Development
Education alone cannot transform the economy. The quantity and the quality of investment, domestic and foreign trades, improvised government policies and human resources together contribute to economic growth. The quality of policymaking is highly influenced by the skills and education of the policymakers. The higher the level of education of employees, higher will be the human capital and economic growth because education ultimately increases the productivity of the nation. During the twentieth century, education, skills, and the acquisition of knowledge have become the scale of measuring a person’s and a nation’s productivity. Many countries are investing in bringing improvements in the quality of education at all levels. Australia, USA, and Japan are few countries with very high literacy rates. These countries are highly advanced and the citizens have a high per capita income. On the other hand, in underdeveloped and developing countries, where the literacy rate is not so high, economic development is still lagging. Educating girls and women is one of the most effective keys towards economic development; it improves a family’s remunerations as well as promotes better family health, lower infant and child mortality, and enhanced educational attainment of children. Investment in human capital leads to the economic growth of a country. As of now, the education market is worth US$ 100 billion. Currently, higher education contributes 59.7 percent of the education market size.
Benefits of Education
There are several benefits to education. I have listed eight important benefits of education.
- As we have already discussed, education is linked to the economic development of a nation. Hence, it helps in eradicating social evils such as poverty, unemployment, higher child mortality, and many more.
- Education is directly linked to better mental health and one’s productivity. It gives knowledge to a person to uplift his standard of living and meet his family’s needs.
- An educated person is conscious about his environment and promotes green sustainability; moreover, they pass on this message to their children.
- It teaches us to live a meaningful life and makes us better citizens.
- An educated political leader can make better or improvise current policies, he uses his powers wisely and knows the importance of education; and thus primarily focuses on bringing educational reforms.
- Education helps in reducing poverty. According to research, many children living in extreme poverty do not have access to basic education, and this is considered as the root cause of poverty. For example, 171 million people could be lifted out of extreme poverty if all children left school with basic reading skills.
- Education gives people’s a sense of right and wrong and makes them obliged to fulfill one’s duty to society. Since it provides several job opportunities so it reduces crimes in a region.
- Education has a positive effect on people’s mindset and thus, reduces gender-based discrimination and early child marriages.
In today’s modern era, it is extremely important to know about the significance of education. Education is not just about getting a degree or a job but it is a key with which we can explore anything and achieve whatever we dream of, it makes us the master of our life. It inspires us to fight against injustice, negativity and create positive changes in the world. Further, it is the sole basis on which the future of the human race depends. Besides, there are a few threats to education such as terrorism and conflicts, wars, and poor health. Together, it is our responsibility to solve these problems and make the world a better place to live in.