By Juliet Rodgers, Sierra Leone
In dealing with the postulates of this subject, it would be necessary to first attempt to proffer a credible definition of education. Some people actually miss the point by mistaking ‘literacy’ which is the ability to read and write for ‘education.’
Education is that status which equips a man with adequate wisdom, knowledge and understanding to make one able to relate with others more effectively. Education is generally acquired by learning. We must not derogate from the importance of the learning process which is an indispensable ingredient to education.
If you don’t show willingness to learn, you will remain ignorant and you’ll never be equipped with the required knowledge to “capacitate” you for social and intellectual developments in society. There is an illustrious saying that “learning is better than silver and gold.” This quotation by itself presupposes that, we live in an age of scientific and technological advancement wherein ‘education’ is a vital ingredient to civilized living.
But someone may ask, “What then is the relevance of education to Mankind?”
“Education” is the catalyst by which and through which a man seeks to develop his intellect in a manner that would equip him to approach the numerous challenges of life. As Martin Luther King Jr. has written:
“Education must enable one to sift and weigh evidence, to discern the true from the false, the real from the unreal, and the facts from the fiction. The function of education, therefore, is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically.”
The advancement of the First World is because of their unbridled access to education. In 2 Timothy 2:15, the Bible says:
“Study and do your best to present yourself to God approved, a workman [tested by trial] who has no reason to be ashamed, accurately handling and skillfully teaching the word of truth.”
It is a fact that without being studious one cannot achieve the level of education required for the development of oneself and society at large.
Education therefore is the greatest asset of a nation by which positive developments can be achieved. It is education that teaches us the “does” and “don’ts” of society. Without education, we loose a lot because society will almost invariably Isolate us because of our ignorance. Without education there can be no active grooming and application of permissive wisdom, without wisdom there can be no knowledge and without knowledge there can be no development.
In the meantime, reflect on these words:
Education is a key prerequisite for development. In order to be self-reliant and capable of taking informed decisions, one must be educated. Education enables us to assess and deliberate on very important issues. With good education goes success and development. It is against this background that people often reiterate the popular saying that: “Learning is better than silver and gold.”
Admonition: Since the negative consequences of being uneducated are too numerous to recount in this brief narrative, it would be necessary to highlight a few pertinent examples of the benefits of education. To be armed with knowledge is to be educated and well equipped for life. The Bible says that “the people perish because of lack of knowledge,” and this is very true.
Education is such an important ingredient for development worldwide that the Nigerian Chibok school girls who were abducted from school by the dreadful Boko Haram have mostly escaped and are now being taught in various disciplines to be relevant to society. On the other hand, in Sierra Leone quite recently, irate youths mostly school drop-outs, lacking basic education, reportedly stormed Christ Church area by Circular Road, banged on-going vehicles, smashed wind screens and carted away peoples’ properties with threats of violence. This is one of the likely scenarios when you breed uneducated youths in any community.
In yonder days, only the few highly-placed or well to do individuals accorded their children the opportunity to attend school. This is not so today. As the world is fast becoming a global village, education is the bed-rock of development as well as an essential ingredient to modern civilized living. Education therefore is no longer a privilege but a human right.
In these days of civilization, it must be clearly borne in mind that, there is no place for ignorance and stupidity in the present world of technology. One cannot afford to be ignorant of topical issues or of common sense factors which help to make one relate more accurately with society. No man is an island and so we all have to take the advantage of education to be able to interact positively with one another. The most important admonition is for all of us to re-double our effort to improve the educational standards in our country which was once, because of its academic enlightments and educational standards, referred to as ‘The Athens of West Africa.’
There is more so now than ever the need to educate almost every child, because children and youths are thought to be the leaders of tomorrow. The lack of education can spell disaster. One celebrated writer said: “It is better to close your mouth and leave people guessing as to whether you are talking sense or not, rather than to speak and give out your bad breathe.” Even in Parliament where laws are expected to be made by very vocal representatives, the less educated or the uneducated normally keep quiet because of ignorance and only ‘concur and support’ blindly whatever is debated in the House.
With all these examples, it is crystal clear that education is an invaluable asset which one must give to one’s children to get them equipped for life. Let everyone take advantage of the opportunity to eradicate ignorance, stupefaction and backwardness by embracing education without delay. Education is the bedrock of modern civilization, as we live in a world of scientific and technological advancement. We have to be amenable to the wind of productive change. We must put on the armour of self reliance, the godly sword of defence, through which we can eventually achieve success. The unending pursuit of excellence is indeed a sine qua non for cultural and economic advancement.
The writer, Juliet Rogers, Sociètal Engineer, Life & Emotional Intelligence Coach.