The foremost purpose of education is to teach students and provide equal opportunity to them to succeed in life. Education ignites and enlightens the thinking of an individual. It creates a spark and a sense of understanding about the meaning of life and the world around. Education teaches students to discriminate between the logical and illogical, fact and fiction, life and death, space and time, finite and infinite, etc.
The key reason for learning is to impart knowledge so that the learners can see the world and experience its colors, shapes, qualities, and emotions. The concept of education is different for every individual as no two persons will have the same input and output. Their reaction and understanding of the lessons learned will be different.
Education aims to simplify the difficulty and clarify the power of infinity through facts and skills. It also teaches basic values such as following rules, punctuality, teamwork, and a sense of responsibility. The combination of skills and basic values help young learners grow into dynamic and responsible citizens. However, schools today offer facts and textbook learning that is quite different from teaching knowledge.
Most of the discussion around education is focused on the number of professionals (doctors, engineers), graduates, post-graduates, and PhDs that serves as a criterion to categorize industrially advanced countries but the fundamental issue of curriculum and the reason of education do not attract attention. This is because the advanced countries have already decided these things and others have to just follow them to achieve progress.
The industrially advanced countries want education to produce a qualified workforce for its equipment and excited consumers for its goods. For them, education should provide for the financial prosperity of a country. On the same lines, the reason for education is to be capable of earning a respectable living. It changes learning centers into mere career centers that demean education.
The pivotal role of education is to bring to mind the fundamental difference that exists between humans and animals. While animals use their instincts and physical needs alone to live together in a perfectly balanced natural society, human beings are not wired to function that way. They have to conduct themselves in a certain manner and follow a framework that is essential for the harmonious existence of the society.
In the absence of this framework, a human society will not exist. In addition, the people must ensure that this framework will be followed by succeeding generations. The true purpose of the education system of a society is to produce citizens and leaders who can smoothly run the society, today and in the future. The state of the education system will translate directly into the state of the society it serves.
Most of the problems around us – poverty, corruption, oppression, injustice can be directly or indirectly traced to the education system that created those people who perpetuated the problems. The kings who subjugate their people and surrender to foreign powers, the bureaucrats who enforce wrong laws; the army men who fight against their own public; the industrialists who cheat and exploit; the reporters who sensationalize and endorse indecency; all of them are educated. They were educated to act in the same way they were behaving in their real-life – fight, cheat, subjugate, and spread lies.
This implies that the learners should get an education that enables them to think and work purposefully and intelligently. Our society is evolving continuously, and yet, somehow, the education system has not changed much. People believe that what worked in the past will remain relevant. The truth is far from it. We have changed; the world around us is different. The education system and the purpose of education should change accordingly.