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Nov 20

The Real Importance of Education We Seldom Reflect On

A teacher in high school used to say that thinking is education. Thinking, she said, opened the doors to our mind and made us receptive to the very idea of broadening our horizons and learning new things. She used to say, ‘Question everything and anything, and you shall learn in the process’.

But why is it important to learn new things? Why is it essential to broaden our horizons? What is the importance of education? The answer to these questions lies within all of us. We consider education a coveted commodity. A learned person is always put up on a pedestal. If one notices the scholars of the world (people who have achieved great knowledge), we see that they make their presence felt in the way they speak and the opinions they hold. It is a natural reaction to bestow feelings of awe and respect upon them. It is therefore very easy to deduce that education leads to success. But that is not all. The importance of education in today’s society runs deeper than merely success in the worldly terms.

Grants Us Freedom
It was Epictetus who said that only the educated are free. Education releases us from the confines of our mind and forces us to think and question. It makes us aware of our rights in the society. It thus grants us the power to never be enslaved, either by thought or action.

Opens Our Minds
Education makes us broadminded. In fact, there is no better time than the present to understand this concept. Globalization has transformed the world into one big village, the borders don’t count and neither are there any restrictions as far gaining knowledge is concerned. It is possible for us to know about the different cultures or events taking place at the other end of the world. All this has been made possible due to education. Education has broadened our minds, so that we are not confined to our countries and comfort zones anymore. We aren’t trapped in our small worlds, instead we have come out of our shells and begun to explore and learn new things about the world. Learning about new things and different cultures not only adds to our literacy bank but also instills in us humane qualities. For example if we see that a society in some other part of the world has accepted HIV patients and begun to work for them, then we might also begin to do the same. Maybe we had resorted to shunning them earlier, but education can change our thought processes for the better. It therefore helps in making us more tolerant and accepting.

Forms the Basis of Society
Education forms the basis of any society. It is responsible for the economic, social, and political growth and development of society in general. Education imparts knowledge, whereby making discoveries and implementing them for the betterment of the society becomes possible. The thread of the growth of society depends upon the quality of education that is being imparted. The better the quality, the better people can learn and utilize that education to make reforms that lead to research and development.

Provides a Strong Base for Children
The importance of education as a concept needs to be instilled in children from an early age. They need to be told that education does not simply mean bookish knowledge or learning things by rote, but holds a much deeper meaning. It means opening your minds to learn new things and pursue different options. Opting for higher education provides one with a clearer vision of things, makes one’s goals clearer and makes one more receptive to change. It makes a person rational, instilling in him an ability to think and question. And these are the basis on which reforms are made.

Beyond Books, Classrooms and Degrees
Education cannot remain confined to books and classrooms alone. Other than these sources, it has to be sought from anything and everything that one does. In this respect, physical education also plays a major role in one’s education because it makes our body healthy and therefore strengthens our mind for seeking more knowledge. Education also provides opportunities to interact with people from different walks of life. It leads to better understanding and an exposure of how the world lives and thinks. It is our duty to inculcate the importance of education in children. They should be made aware that the list of degrees that tail an individual’s name do not mean that one is educated. It holds a much wider perspective. Education means to go beyond the degrees and continue to achieve things by acquiring knowledge. In the real sense, education means to evolve from being an individual to a human being, capable of not merely ‘surviving’ but living life.

The importance of education goes beyond the concept of being literate. It goes much deeper, in denoting a way of life and thinking. Education today has become synonymous (rightly so) with being a well informed, thinking person.

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