What is Education? Education refers to the systematic process of gaining knowledge and skills through study and instructions. The person providing the instruction and guidance is known as teacher. And, the person who receives or gains education is called a student or pupil.
Education can be formal and informal. Formal education generally have a standard and structured curriculum. School and university education is an excellent form of formal education. Informal education includes informal learning and skills acquired without any structured curriculum. Any experience that bears a positive impact on a person can also be considered educational.
School education includes primary or elementary education, secondary education and higher secondary education. A school should have competent teachers and well-equipped infrastructure. After completing the school education, a student can join a college, university or institute for further studies.
Illiterate Adults can join part-time courses to learn reading and writing. They can also develop skills in a particular trade by enrolling himself in a Vocational and Technical Education (VTE) institute.
Importance of Education
Education has many benefits and has positive impact in our life. An educated person is an asset for any country. In today’s world, human capital is considered the best national resource. On one hand, he can explore better opportunities for himself, and on the other hand, the entire nation would get benefited from his works. (Also read, Short Essay on Education and its Advantages.)
In this article, we have made an attempt to discuss the need and importance of education in our life, for the development of a nation, and for the overall benefits of humanity.
21 Reasons why Education is Important
There are many reasons why education is important. They are discussed below:
1. World Citizenship: Education is a must for world citizenship or global citizenship. Such a person always works for the benefits of humanity. He treats the entire human-race as brothers and sisters. We all acknowledge the importance of education, knowledge and truth for promoting the world outlook.
Education produces citizens who are men of intellectual and moral integrity, who are neither fanatical nor cynical, but are public-spirited, tolerant and wise. Education aims at producing ideal human-beings. These people are truly cultured, wise, tolerant and public-spirited. Different ages have different conceptions of ideal men.
2. Promotes National Interest: Education also promotes national interest. The highly educated people have a critical intelligence of an exceptional order. They can form independent conclusions from given facts. An educated person has the wisdom and knowledge to work for the good of the country. The doctors, engineers, scientists, soldiers, police-officers, IAS, etc. all work together in protecting the national interest.
3. True benefactors of human race: We must praise great writers, scientists, humanistic philosophers, profoundly religious man with abiding faith in spiritual values, social reformers and other men with a constructive genius because these educated men alone are the true benefactors of the human race.
4. Backbone of developing countries: Education is the backbone of developing countries. Developing countries should understand the importance of education and develop a sound educational system. Sustainable development of economy and society is closely related to education. The most important resource of a nation is its human-capital. Educated people have more understanding of themselves and of the others. They have the ability to become entrepreneurs, scientists and agriculturists. The world of today is driven by Information Technology and education in this field may become a deciding factor for the future economic development of developing countries.
5. Moral, spiritual and ethical values: Educated people promote equality of opportunity. Any privilege, when based on merit alone, is bound to be more moral because it has to justify no unmerited privilege, advocate no ethical system which promotes class-feeling or social snobbery and defend nothing, which is unjust or ethically wrong. The aim of education, whatever the social system, must be not only to disseminate knowledge, but also to stimulate the questioning spirit.
Educational institutions cannot produce saints. But they can certainly inculcate among students respect for spiritual and ethical values and make them understand that the promotion of human welfare, not self-aggrandizement, is the end of life. No man, however brilliant, however gifted, can be considered truly cultured unless he identifies himself with the wellbeing of others, unless he has the passion to make the Kingdom of God prevail on earth.
6. Education produces good citizens: Education also produce well-cultured and wise men. It is often said that the children of today are the citizens of tomorrow. If children of today study hard to become good students, then they will surely become good citizens in future. It is not easy to measure the loss which the human race has suffered on account of want of education by men and women who had exceptional talent but could not make full use of it.
7. Enjoy life: Education enables young men and women to develop all the latent powers and faculties of their nature and to enjoy a good life.
8. Freshness of approach: A sound education system encourages freshness of approach. Education should bring out the best in the student, not stifle his mind.
9. Transmit national culture: Education is an important medium to transmit national culture to the students. Of course, educational institutions are not the only agencies through which the culture of the nation can be passed on to the younger generations. The home exercises a powerful influence on the youthful mind. Religion and churches have a big role to play in making men truly cultured and moral. But schools and colleges have also a contribution to make to the transmission of national culture.
10. Character: Education also helps in building the character of a person. The educational teachers make attempts to give their students a moral outlook.
11. Literacy: Education enables a person to become literate. Literacy refers to the ability of a person to read and write. Literacy is important not only for children but also for adults.
12. Curiosity: An educated man should have infinite curiosity, the passion to know and understand things in a scientific way, with complete objectivity.
13. Wisdom: In democratic countries educational institutions earnestly try to arouse intellectual curiosity, satisfy the appetite for more and more knowledge and develop the critical spirit which alone brings wisdom.
14. Intellectual discipline: He cultivates intellectual discipline and intellectual humility. He is an earnest seeker after truth and knowledge with an open mind.
15. Seeks perfection: A truly educated man always seeks perfection. He is not a specialist who has perfected only his body or the intellect or the mind but one who seeks the development of all his faculties.
16. Earn a livelihood: Education enables a boy or a girl to earn his or her living. It is true that employment does not depend upon intellectual attainments alone. It is also determined by the stage of economic development of a country. However, there are chances that an educated person will get a good job with income sufficient to earn him his livelihood. An educated person can easily meet the basic material needs of life.
17. Adult Education: There is a dire need for education among adults. An adult engaged in economic activity can join the night classes and educate himself. (Also read, Short article on Adult Education.)
18. Knowledge: Education is important because it provides us with the knowledge that we need to navigate the world. Education can help us to do everything from mathematical calculations to theatrical performances.
19. Empathy: As well as teaching us academic knowledge, education helps us to be better people. With good education, we can become more empathetic – for instance, widely read people are often said to have high levels of empathy as they are able to see the world through the eyes of numerous different people.
20. Help to our communities: The better educated we are, the more able we will be to help out our communities – whether that is by means of engineering projects or whether it is by means of writing literature for them to enjoy.
21. Friendship and social bonding: Education brings people together and helps them to make friends. Sitting in a classroom or a university lecture hall with fellow learners is a social bonding experience that helps to forge strong relationships.
Conclusion: The aim of education is not to develop one single virtue but to produce healthy normal human beings who understand the meaning of life and what it demands from them. From childhood to youth, students must be constantly reminded by educationists and psychologists that the fundamental law of life is co-operation, not self-aggrandizement or domination or conflict. If students are intellectually and morally brought up on co-operation, most of our troubles would be at an end and life would be much healthier, richer and nobler than ever before.
Edited with input from various contributors.