Education is the process through which knowledge is acquired. But why is knowledge acquired? What is the purpose of acquiring knowledge? Why should people be educated? This is a serious aspect that is never brought into account. Education is not just going through a particular system, it should be transformative. It should transform a whole person: physically, mentally, socially and economically. Transformation if not in a multidimensional manner is not effective. Gone are the days where we live on the narrative of, ‘ I go to school to get money’. So we will therefore delve into the four aspects that education is supposed to achieve.
Physically, we learn how to take care of the physical. The physical involves our bodies and the environment. We demonstrate that our education has been effective when we have been able to take good care of our bodies and the environment. It is expected that an educated person shall not harm their physical body through taking in that which is harmful or engaging in activities that are harmful to their body. An educated person shall not be involved in pollution of the environment, deforestation and poor waste management.
Mentally. The mind should be diligently guarded. However as knowledge has increased, it has also led to the increase of many mental health issues. With the increase in social media sites, the mind has received a lot of corruption and confusion. The mind gives what it has retained over time. The reason for creativity decline in these days unlike the past, is because of a lot of passivity. In the past, people learnt so much by practicing, by listening and doing. Nowadays people sit down so much to watch without practice. The sitting down and watching decreases creativity as the mind is dulled. There is also a love to watch what is entertaining than what is educating. Most of the time the growth of the intellect is compromised. This explains poor judgement and reasoning that is most common in this current generation.
Socially, education should make someone a person worth living with in the society. Education is expected to produce responsible people who can interact well with their neighbors. People who can influence the society with ideas for good. Education is expected to successfully eradicate biasness in all spheres; tribalism, nepotism, gender, persons with disability. Education teaches that we are all people of equal opportunity by virtue of being alive. There should be no discrimination of any sort because people are educated.
Economically education is expected to produce people who can sustain their needs. Education does not necessarily mean we are supposed to be employed in our field of study, but it means that by virtue of having knowledge of whichever kind, we are able to appropriate that knowledge and earn a living. Economically, we are also expected to have mastered the art of using the least means to earn more.
Having considered above what education is supposed to achieve, we pose one question to ourselves, is our society full of schooled people or educated people? There are many people who have attended various systems of education. There are many graduates in the current society that in the past. We expect this society to be better. But the opposite is true. There are many unemployed graduates. They say they have no one to employ them. But is it true that employment is the only way to earn a living? With this unemployment claims, crime has increased with violence too. The cases of suicide are on the rise day and night. Physical illnesses are on the rise. We expected that an increase in education will improve the society but things are not getting any better. Where did we go wrong? The answer is one, objectivity. Education was introduced with an honest aim of bettering the society but competition became the objective. This has made people to go through education with an aim of getting good results, finishing the particular course but not able to appropriate what they have learnt into their actual life. There is a call on those in charge of various sectors in education to echo the need of accountability in education and not just schooling. A good question to ask ourselves is are we educated or schooled?
By Grace Bakasa,