Importance of education
Perhaps nothing illustrates the importance of education better than the fact that it is one of the fundamental human rights according to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).
In fact, when we start the process of learning the first steps, words, learning complex lessons, taking tests and exams, all the way to attending professional development programs and various extracurricular activites, we never stop being part of a broad and significant educational process. Therefore, although many people primarily associate education with the time spent in school or in college, education is actually much more than that and occurs in many places and in many different ways – in the classroom, but also in everyday life.
Thus, education comes in many different forms and types, from formal to informal, and there are different ways to realize the educational process: from organized to individual. What remains an undeniable fact is the importance of education for each individual who treats life in a productive way.
Why is education so important?
In our civilization, there is probably no other value about which people are so unanimous as the importance of education. According to UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights, all people should have access to primary education at least. However, education is an activity that people who want to develop, make progress and improve both their personal and professional achievement seek to practice in different ways throughout their life.
The fact is that as long as we are learning and getting an education, our life is being enriched. Specifically, nothing provides such great opportunities as real education: from concrete tools and skills needed for everyday life, to specialized knowledge important for certain vocations and professions, and finally, fundamental values and qualities that make us good human beings.
Hence, education can be understood as a process of our (self)construction, i.e. ways to become complete personalities. Being a doctor, IT expert, entrepreneur, good friend, responsible member of society – all these things are something we do our whole life, and education can help us become better at them.
Education gifts us with the most fundamental human value of all – freedom, by allowing us to choose what we want to learn, and as a result, what we want to be, i.e. how we want to live. Thus, education is not just about acquiring knowledge that will provide us with good jobs, successful careers and comfortable life, but also about adopting fundamental human qualities, such as the ability to distinguish right from wrong, importance of altruism, and to care for oneself and others, all of which will help us to become better individuals.
Authentic education seeks to provide the individual with everything they need to develop into a versatile and well-rounded person. In other words, life education is a powerful weapon that ensures success in different areas of life.
Important facts about education:
- Education helps reduce poverty in the world. Education is one of the most powerful tools that allows the integration of children and adults from the margins of society into that same society. UNESCO data show that if all adults in the world completed secondary education, poverty would be cut by at least half.
- Reduces gender inequality. Education reduces the gender gap in favor of women and girls.
- Standards and control are important. In order for education as a fundamental right to be equally exercised by all, it is necessary to provide equal opportunities for all, a universal approach and quality standards that can be easily monitored and implemented.
- Most countries in the world guarantee at least eight years of free education. 155 countries guarantee nine or more years of free compulsory education within their education system.
- Almost a hundred countries guarantee 12 years of free education. Only 99 countries legally guarantee at least 12 years of free education.
- Education is also a privilege. Higher education is not a right, but a privilege that an individual is able to exercise based on their talent and achieved results.
There is no development without education
Nowadays, many world leaders, scientists and entrepreneurs clearly emphasize that without a good education, there is no stable and long-term progress in society. In consequence, more and more resources are invested in the field of education in an attempt to equip people with the necessary knowledge and skills that will help society and economy to thrive.
The example of South Korea confirms the importance and role of education in the development of a country. Only 70 years ago, in the 1950s, this country was in a worse position than many African countries are today. However, investments, and equal access to education both for men and for women led to the economic boom this country is known for today.
A powerful tool for changing the world, and oneself
One of the most famous quotes about education is attributed to Nelson Mandela. He once said that education is the most powerful tool that we can use to change the world. However, education can also help us to change ourselves. Whether we are at the very beginning of our path, or we want to reinvent ourselves, education is the key. Thanks to it, we can become entrepreneurs, doctors, authors, IT experts, etc. But even more than that, education helps us to become good people with broad and varied interests, high values, ideals and goals we strive to achieve.
Thanks to education, one can achieve personal growth, and advance both socially and professionally. Simply put, education provides us with the necessary tools for success in each of these fields. And success creates a well-rounded and satisfied individual who is a productive member of society and who wants to share his/her ideas and positive experiences with others. Therefore, the whole society and all its members benefit from education.
Education is important because:
- It helps us better adapt to the dynamic world of changes that surround us. Therefore, proper education is necessary in order for students to prepare for the future.
- It enables us to preserve fundamental values in times of crisis, to distinguish right from wrong, and thus preserve the core of civilization.
- An educated individual wants to work on overcoming social injustices, he/she is environmentally conscious and works on the preservation of the environment.
- Educated individuals have better chances of building a successful career and achieving personal goals.
As individuals become more educated, they become valuable members of society as they have the possibility to, thanks to their knowledge and ideas, drive the progress of all. Thus, by transforming their own life through education, the individual at the same time positively influences the lives of others. Regardless of where you start from, if you have access to education and make use of the advantages it provides, you will be able to achieve exceptional results.
From an uneducated 13-year-old to a successful entrepreneur
Margarita Pelico was born in Guatemala where men usually work the land, while women are weavers. The school she attended in the village where she grew up closed down, so at the age of 13, Margarita fell seriously behind her peers, and had no bright future or perspectives to look forward to. However, she found a flexible adult education program designed for older girls who had to drop out of school or missed part of their education for different reasons.
She learned to count and perform computational operations while visiting the market with her teacher, or while she weaved. She was determined to continue her education, so she later finished high school and college. Today, Margarita is a social worker, and the owner of her own weaving company, and is committed to providing as many girls as possible with the opportunity to continue their education. For Margaria, education was the key to succes and the driving force behind her decision to help others pursue their own dream.
The golden age of education?
We certainly live in the age of information. According to some, that also means that we live in the golden age of education, because the development of the Internet and a relatively free flow of information have made numerous learning materials, a wide range of knowledge and skills available to a large number of people. Hence, the impression that education is perhaps more accessible than ever before in history.
This means that, nowadays, one has easier access to education, and more opportunities to design their own personal and professional life in line with their individual needs and desires. Education does not end with a college degree, instead, anyone can decide to continue their education independently.
This also means that one is running out of excuses, because the responsibility for one’s destiny is more than ever before in one’s hands. Therefore, everyone should use the opportunity to get an education, but all of us should work together to make education accessible even to people who live in underdeveloped countries, because education is the passport for the future for all of us.