Why Education is Important

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You dare ask why education is important? We had this conversation many years ago with a friend who invested part of his savings to provide his son with a proper education.

“Johnny was a complete rogue. He didn’t speak a word of English, was rebellious and could not sit still. So my wife and I had no choice but to ship him off to boarding school in Scotland. After a few months, the change was remarkable. Johnny turned out to be a real gentleman – a 9 year old gentleman at that!”

Our friend’s son also learned to speak English impeccably – the “Queen’s English” they called it.

Why Education is Important | Your Child Needs a Steady Diet of His ABCs

It really isn’t just the abacus, mathematical cleverness, ABCs or learning flawless speaking and writing of the language, whatever the medium of instruction is. Education goes beyond pedagogical considerations or scholarly aspirations. Education, we believe, should first teach human beings that most essential survival tool: resourcefulness.

Resourcefulness. When you’re resourceful, things happen…very nicely!  

When we were under the tutelage of Catholic nuns who ran this private school half an hour away from home, they taught us the rudiments and refinements of writing. “If you want to write well”, one of them reminded us, “you have to read voraciously. And if that means spending your free time in the library, do so.”

The nuns loved to say that consistent research teaches students to be resourceful. The more time you spend looking for answers, the more opportunities stream into your consciousness.

They were right, of course. The amount of term papers assigned to us made us hang out in the library longer than we cared to. Deadlines, however, left us no choice. We called these nuns the machines of torture who probably should be let out of the convent gates more often. To us - oppressed pupils that we were - they needed to see that the world outside was more than just books.

Those machines of torture may have been motivated by only one thing – academic instruction – but it sure ingrained in us the ability to find information in the oddest possible places. If you expand your horizons, they used to say, you’ll be resourcefulness experts. They had it all figured out. If they thought that it was worthwhile to drill us on reciting the alphabet backwards, they would ram it down our throats. Of that we were sure. Thankfully, getting our ABCs right one way was sufficient. It wasn’t necessary to say, ZYX and further backwards until the letter A.

Why Education is Important | It’s Your Passport to the World

Basic arithmetic, reading and writing will get you somewhere, but not everywhere. The higher your educational attainment is, the better your chances of creating opportunities for yourself. And the better your opportunities are, the better your quality of life is. There’s no other way to put it.

What are some of the benefits of a well-rounded education?

  • we’ll say it one more time: resourcefulness. This quality will serve you long after you’ve left the walls of academia. With resourcefulness comes a sharpened set of problem-solving skills;
  • knowledge is power – schools and universities are logically the first sources of knowledge and we take that knowledge later on to build our careers after graduation. More knowledge is acquired on-the-job, but without an education, that job would not be within easy reach. Knowledge begets knowledge.
  • greater understanding of different cultures – while confined within the walls of educational institutions, we openly explore other cultures of the world. We come to know that ours is not the only culture. Other cultures have valuable insights to share, enriching our own. We also learn that different races have different ways of thinking and doing things, and we realize that anything foreign can be an enlightenment of our minds and spirit. Education also makes us want to travel and interact with various cultures. When we understand other people, our tolerance level is much higher for things alien to us;
  • quality of life – when there’s a downturn in the economy, those who lose their jobs owing to a downsizing will most likely be the ones who find another job sooner, compared to someone who only finished grade school and has a limited skills set. The more education you have, the more chances you get for improving your lot in life. You have a better job, earn a higher a salary, and if you’re financially prudent, you get to acquire the material comforts (and more) that not everyone can have;
  • a good education translates to excellent networking – when you’re skillful and knowledgeable, you get to “rub knees” with people of similar backgrounds and tastes. By building a network of contacts in your field or industry, you enlarge your spheres of influence and hence the circle of people that you can rely on in time of need;
  • you can make your conversations sizzle! – when you possess oodles and oodles of knowledge, you become a more interesting person. You can talk about ideas and events instead of just about other people and what’s on sale in stores. An educated person does not gossip, having a preference to discuss ideas and to listen to what other people have to say. An educated person usually doesn’t make a habit of keeping ears and eyes to the latest Hollywood scandal because the lives of famous people aren’t really stimulating topics to begin with;
  • healthier lifestyle – when you’re educated, experts say that those who have a university and post graduate education are least likely to suffer from Alzheimer’s or dementia. We’re not sure if this has a scientific basis, but if the medical profession recommends that people keep their brains healthy and active, that means those who pursued higher learning have more opportunities to keep their brains and minds active.

Why Education is Important | Start the Kids Young

We’ve heard of some parents who would rather have their children home-schooled rather than send them to school. This may have its merits – except we’re not sure what they are – but we would worry if the child spent all day with one tutor and misses out on the chance to interact with kids his age.

We believe that education is important in a school setting because that education has to be accompanied by social interaction. The child also needs tools and resources (like a library) that only schools can provide. True, there are problems in schools like bullying, drugs and other distractions, but the education and interaction acquired in a school setting are more enriching than one received at home with a single tutor.

Education is important especially for young kids because it is when they are still young that their minds are open and teachable, and it’s a time of life when they view things with innocence and receptiveness.

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