TEN REASONS WHY EDUCATION IS THE KEY TO LIFE’S HAPPINESS -PART 1
Written by Jeffrey S. Ram, Toronto, Canada, July 6, 2021
Education is an integral part of human life because human learning begins with birth and continues till death. Every day we learn something if we are keen observers of life. Knowledge and skills are necessary to survive and thrive in this world. Education teaches not only the art of making a living but also how to live. African-American Muslim minister and human rights activist Malcolm X said, “Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.”
TEN REASONS WHY EDUCATION IS THE KEY TO LIFE’S HAPPINESS
1.EDUCATION PREPARES FOR LIFE BY IMPARTING KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS ESSENTIAL TO SURVIVE AND THRIVE
The 44th president of the United States, Barak Obama rightly said, “In a global economy where the most valuable skill you can sell is your knowledge, a good education is no longer just a pathway to opportunity - it is a prerequisite.” Education enables adults to make a living in direct proportion to the usefulness of their knowledge and skills. Those who are left behind in the educational race are also left behind in life’s race. Education teaches life skills to survive and thrive.
2. EDUCATION IS THE LADDER FOR UPWARD MOBILITY AND IS A GREAT EQUALIZER
All human beings are the architect of their fortune. Education creates a level playing field by giving all students equal opportunity to gain knowledge and learn skills, irrespective of their background. Education offers escape from inequality, subjugation, and also from the cycle of poverty. It has the power to enable people to move to a higher socioeconomic status according to their talents and genius.
A U.S. educator Horace Mann confirmed this fact and wrote, “Education, then, beyond all other devices of human origin, is the great equalizer of the conditions of men, --the balance-wheel of the social machinery.”
Education gives students the power to break down the barriers of race or birth or income, or gender; it gives them wings to soar and achieve their destiny.
3. EDUCATION EQUIPS THE STUDENTS FOR THE HIGHLY COMPETITIVE WORLD AND TEACHES THE USE OF SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNICAL KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS
Global competition has increased the need and the value of good quality education. The teaching of facts and information is not good enough. President John F. Kennedy said, “Our progress as a nation can be no swifter than our progress in education.” President Barack Obama also recognized this urgency and exhorted Americans, “The countries who out-educate us today will out-compete us tomorrow.”
Education teaches the use of scientific and technological tools to serve human needs and requirements. Only education allows people to keep pace with the rapid magic-like developments that are taking place in science and technology. Techno-literacy has become a necessity; it is no longer an option.
4. EDUCATION OPENS OUR MINDS, TEACHES US TO ASK QUESTIONS AND THINK CRITICALLY
Education not only provides knowledge but also teaches students to think. They learn not to accept all conclusions if they have doubts and questions. In the opinion of the Nobel Prize winner physicist Albert Einstein, “The value of an education in a liberal arts college is not learning of many facts but the training of the mind to think something that cannot be learned from textbooks.”
Schools teach how to think, not what to think. Students learn how to think for themselves, evaluate evidence, and form sound judgments for themselves. Critical thinking enables students to think logically, clearly, and rationally; this skill is also helpful for students in solving problems and making decisions in everyday life.
5. EDUCATION TEACHES US TO BE LIFE-LONG LEARNERS
Education also teaches how to learn because the acquiring of knowledge and skills do not end in school. Henry Adams, an American historian, asserted, “They know enough who know how to learn.” According to a Chinese saying, “Learning is like rowing upstream, not to advance is to drop back.”
Alvin Toffler, well-known as a foremost futurist, predicted, ”The illiterate of the future will not be the person who cannot read. It will be the person who does not know how to learn.” Education equips students to be life-long learners.
PARENTS ARE THE FIRST TEACHERS OF THEIR CHILDREN, AND HOME IS THE FIRST SCHOOL
According to George Santayana, “A child educated only at school is an uneducated child.” Parents should create a love for reading by reading to children in early childhood years. They should also develop in their children a passion for learning.
Knowledge gained and habits acquired in childhood last like engravings on stone. Wise parents help develop study habits in their children and enable them to grow physically, intellectually, emotionally, and morally. Francis Keppel rightly observed, “Education is too important to be left solely to educators.”
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