The Purpose of Education: Turning Mirrors into Windows


The enlightening experience of getting oneself educated is an aid to surpass the current horizons that one is living within. Facilitating learning opens up new avenues for an individual and makes him acknowledge various facets of life. Till the time the individual is aloof to the process of learning, any form formal or informal, he doesn’t grasp either the atrocities of his environment or the advantages he can employ for a better future. Little knowledge is a very dangerous thing for any individual, therefore, it is a vital criterion for any education process to impart knowledge of a certain arena without living any voids to be filled. For a developing nation like India, where start-ups are booming at a phenomenal rate in every nook and corner of the country, education is one of the most powerful weapons available. This can grossly better our current position globally. Right from new job opportunities to a decreased level of crime rates, education if blooms well, can decorate the Indian diaspora beautifully with its incredible talent pool. But what are the various ways in which education is an asset to mankind? What are those ways in which it can add to our personality in general? What are those infinite opportunities that education can bring in, to turn us from a mirror with a limited reflection of a window with a world of possibilities in front?

Noble men say, “Children must be taught how to think, not what to think”. Education, thus allows, a person to have a deep sense of the happenings around and gain positive knowledge and a lot of experiences from those and also tap on the available opportunities. Education imparts the ability to look beyond what a person currently believes in. The golden door of freedom of thought is unlocked through learning. These abilities help a person develop a wide range of thoughts on as trivial or as huge a matter be. With amendments in the person’s cognitive abilities, education adds new dimensions of survival to the person’s lifestyle. An educated soul looks beyond processes of eating, sleeping and repeating the same. Education can thus, in a way, be said to hone the raw potential that the individual has and transform his abilities into a groomed reality. Post this, he compares and contrasts his knowledge base with that of the world and leads life for the greater good. Therefore, the detailing in skills that education brings with itself is remarkable in its own ways since it causes humongous levels of self-development in any individual.

Knowledge gain helps in removing the coating of self-obsession from an individual’s personality and makes him more susceptible to continuous improvement. As Apple Inc.’s founder, Steve Jobs has quoted, “Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish”, education imparts this hunger in a human being which he cannot overcome unless he shuns relying only on his own reflection. The desire to progress on the path of self-improvement is fueled by the feeling of being non-complacent. This eventually induces the yearn for looking beyond one’s present set of knowledge, skills, and abilities and become a human being more sound, more literate, more complete than what one was the day before.

The process of education fills the voids in one’s knowledge base and along with it imparts the ability to consider the perspective of a wide range of people and not just lead life on the basis of one’s own set of principles and logic. The economic benefit of education is thus surpassed by the understanding that one gains through this holy process. As an example, educating girl child can be considered as an extra cost by a certain section of society but it may be seen as an investment by another. Here the former may anticipate the world of insecurities that may be exposed to the girl in lieu of getting educated. On the other hand, the latter section may expect the girl to grow up to a responsible woman who would not just contribute to the society economically but would also bring up another successful and responsible household. The people holding the former perspective may be drifted towards the latter, if aided with education about the wide range of benefits that girl child education is coupled with.

Firstly, education boosts the human capital inherent in the labor force, which increases their productivity as well as the transitional growth towards equilibrium level of outputs. Secondly and more importantly, education may as well increase the innovation capacity of the economy along with the knowledge capital on new technologies, products, processes, thus promoting growth. Thirdly, education may also facilitate the diffusion and transmission of knowledge which is essential to understand the process and to implement successfully the new technologies devised by others, which again promotes economic growth. According to a recent OECD report, giving every child access to education and the skills needed to participate fully in society would boost GDP by an average 28% per year in lower-income countries and 16% per year in high-income countries for the next 80 years. According to the International Labor Organization, an additional 280 million jobs are going to be sought after by 2019. Therefore, it is vital for policymakers to ensure that the right frameworks and incentives are established so that those jobs can be created and filled. Robust education systems – underpinned by qualified, professionally trained, motivated, and well-supported teachers – will be the cornerstone of this effort.

Weighing the pros and cons of the process and the repercussions of knowledge gain, the conclusion is that education clears the loopholes in one’s personality and prepares the person for facing the world with greater grit and confidence. It helps one project a stronger image of oneself to the world and also debars from holding on to a one-dimensional trajectory towards everything.  Education is thus the backbone of an individual’s personality.  If a person has the power to read and write, he has the power to conquer world’s biggest battles.  The very many obstacles that we come across in our daily life can be dealt with, more fiercely and gracefully, when one gives up ignorance and dedicates himself towards the bliss of knowledge. The latent talent of an individual is eventually glittered by education and it completes the person in its true essence. Education brings along with it the sheer pleasure of living with the other being in more co-ordination and makes life more livable for the community as a whole.

To read more on education, here are some reference books:

1. I am Malala By Malala Yousafzai and Christina Lamb

2. The Rise of India in the Global Economy: Technology·Infrastructure·Education·Services By Peter Lowe

3. Value Education and Social Transformation By Naina Sharma