Today we are living in the world of knowledge economy and to thrive successfully, education is the most valuable tool. The modern era has been possible due to education and learning, and is the basis for rational and logical thinking. It has brought in huge benefits for the people across every nook and cranny of the globe. Some of them are visible and some of them are not but overall they have contributed immensely to the development of society.
For the souls taking refuge in education, the desire for growth has no boundaries. Education is not a destination, but a journey to be cherished. It is an enriching path, not only in the lives of individuals, but is also chartering histories of nations and building strong foundations of development.
Education has provided light of survival to several nations. Europe could march to development only after Renaissance. Indians could question the evils of sati and caste system only when reformers were exposed to ideas from Western world. Even our freedom movement received impetus when we awoke to ideas of liberty, equality and fraternity from American and French Revolutions. Though we could successfully overthrow the Britishers, their education system was adopted without questioning. Every society needs to reform the systems to meet some specific needs.
Education is an overall process of not only personal growth but also an enriching growth of society and nation. It is the foundation of development of any nation. Educated youth have the ability to think beyond their stagnating lives and contribute to the development of their societies. Education arms individuals with the knowledge of their rights and duties. It is informed citizenry which forms the base for the development of any society. If the people are educated, they can easily contribute to the national economy because they can better know the economic principles and rules.
India still lives in its villages. The seeds of education must find their way to villages. The ‘Adult Education Programme’ and ‘National Rural Education Programme’ still have a long distance to cover. By opening more primary schools in villages, we can not only curb the problem of migration by creating novel opportunities in village, but also educate farmers on knowledge of right seeds and fertilisers. This may lead to better yield and could end our reliance on the import of wheat, rice and other essential commodities.
The quality of education needs better monitoring in both rural and urban India. Awareness programmes for education must be carried out with more zeal and vigour. The Central Government’s scheme ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ needs a massive boost. Education for all should be the primary focus. Our government expenditure on education is mere 2.8% of Gross Domestic Product, as against the generally-accepted norm of 6% or even above in the developed world. More innovative and scientific development programmes should be launched, like Skill Acquisition and Knowledge Awareness for Livelihood Promotion programme (SANKALP), Skill Strengthening for Industrial Value Enhancement (STRIVE), etc.
Along with driving self-sufficiency, education provides awareness. This awareness about the rights creates responsible citizens and responsible citizens can demand responsible and accountable governance. Education in the field of IT has opened a galaxy of opportunities in urban India with jobs in software, call centres and BPO’s ushering in a revolution of sorts. The services sector, in this backdrop, is proving a significant contributor to the growth of economy. This knowledge hub has attracted large investments from several countries. The emphasis of government on technical education also highlights the commitment to drive excellence in areas of research and manufacturing.
Education plays a critical role in the democratic setup where an educated voter can make an informed choice. The voice of ballots gets translated into the fate of the voters through the levels of governance delivered. The policies charting the course of development of society get their nod from the representatives of people. Roads, ports, telecom, irrigation, industries, agriculture all demand simultaneous attention for a wholesome and inclusive development. Targeted policies in all these sectors must perform in unison for a balanced development to occur.
More number of higher education institutions and universities will create a breed of individuals who are capable to chart their future in a growing economy. Education gives a level of confidence which capacitates individuals to compete globally and assert themselves. Such individuals become national asset with their contribution to the growth story of the nation. Through the entrepreneurial spirit they are able to create jobs and set up corporate empires to employ people. This employment generation goes a long way in raising the quality of life of several families. It is, thus, a positive spread effect which becomes possible from the seeds of education.
Swami Vivekananda said, “The education which does not help the common mass of people to equip themselves for the struggle of life, which does not bring out strength of character, a spirit of philanthropy, and the courage of a lion—is it worth its name? Real education is that which enables one to stand on ones’ legs”. Education plays a significant role in the life of a nation and importance in a country like India cannot be underestimated. The character and quality of the people greatly depend on the education imparted to them at different levels. Rich empires may rise and fall in a stroke but those with firm rooted educational groundings have an element of sustainability. This ensures their survival for ages.
One of the most important benefits of education is that it helps to meet the objectives of life. Right education with dedication can help to accomplish the same. Getting a professional degree is the only way to excel in different business domains such as Engineering, Medicine and Accounting. By enrolling in the course of your choice, it is not only possible to enhance the skill level but also the professional expertise. People who are educated can access a lot of opportunities. People with high intellectual wealth also enjoy good social status in society. Therefore, we can say that education is probably the most valuable aspect of life. It brings about evolution in the way we think and conduct ourselves, which improves life and living. Education gives people the skills they need to help themselves out of poverty or, in other words, into prosperity. There is huge difference between educated and uneducated persons. An uneducated person cannot show his ideas and skills better than an educated person.
A holistic development of society is only said to occur when the material wealth is complemented by cultural, social and educational achievements. These are reflected in art, architecture, music, writings and the heritage of that society. All great civilisations of the world, which are remembered as developed, had attained that zenith on the basis of importance accorded to education in those societies. The Romans, the Egyptians or closer home, Magadha or any empire for that matter boasted of rich lineage of scholars and universities which built a solid intellectual foundation and a progressive outlook for the society.
Education not only provides an opportunity for development in numerous spheres but also contributes to the standard of living. Education of our culture and values should not take a back seat in this era of modernisation. We must encourage at all levels an understanding of our tradition as part of our education, for a holistic development. The effectiveness of this can be seen in people to people contacts with our neighbouring country, which help us to enhance our international relations.
Education has been part and parcel of human life ever since antiquity because it implies cultivation of the mind to make life tolerable and the acquisition of skills for making it possible. Today, education has become the basic necessity of human beings, as education equips them with the knowledge necessary to face the challenges of life. Nelson Mandela aptly said that “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”. Education, today, is the foundation on which the pillars of modern society rest. There is no denying the fact that in today’s competitive era education has become a major part not only for human kind but also for a country’s development because it plays an important role in social and economic progress. If a person wants to get success and progress in his life, he should be educated. In the same way, if a nation wants development, the country must have more developed education and educated people. Education should remain the focus of governments, ahead of their political agendas. Not only more policies but their effective implementation are also essential to the latter. Some modifications in our educational system are required to encourage talent-based and growth-oriented teachings. This would be a welcome step.