If there is one cornerstone that has been supporting the foundations of human civilization for the last five thousand years, I would say it is education. Generally speaking, it can be described as the process of passing on knowledge, experience, and skills from older generations to younger ones, although it comprises much more. Starting perhaps with paleolithic art on cave walls and ending up with today’s highly technological online services, education has always been something more significant than a transfer of knowledge. I believe one could say that education unites and incorporates people around the globe into one community, sharing the same values, history, knowledge, and aspirations.
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This is probably why we tend to see people who refuse to share global values as outcasts and marginals. Indeed, despite all the proclaimed tolerance, we rarely take the representatives of mindsets alternative to the majority seriously. With all due respect to the right of an individual to believe in whatever he or she wants, in schools and colleges students learn that Earth is a globe, and that the Universe is approximately 14 billion years old. They learn that all species living on the planet today evolved from their more primitive relatives, and that this process continues at present. They learn that the sky is neither solid, nor is it inhabited by divine spirits. They learn all this not because one group of people oppresses the right of another one to confess their beliefs, but because some theories are supported by facts and scientific evidence while others are not.
So, one of the reasons why education is important is its ability to include an individual into a system of values and beliefs shared by the community of educated people worldwide. If there is a meeting between two people who belong to completely different cultures, but have the same level of education, they will be able to understand each other—not in terms of language, but in terms of outlook. They will share the same concepts about how the world is organized, and this is one of the fundamentals of communication. In a way, education is a door to the modern world with all of its opportunities.
The second reason why education is important is that it is necessary to get a well-paid job, or at least a job that will let one sustain himself or herself. None of the education systems utilized around the world are perfect. In the case of anything standardized and unified, modern education systems cannot adjust themselves to each particular student with his or her specific needs and requirements. On the contrary, students have to adjust themselves to education systems. Moreover, schools and colleges rarely teach students something that real life comprises: paying taxes, building relationships, making difficult decisions, and so on. So, why is it in demand? Because education helps a person develop his or her outlook, his or her way of thinking. Along with factual knowledge, education provides individuals with certain skills and abilities that will be later required by their future employers. Besides, a degree is proof that a person is capable of learning, developing, and achieving his or her goals: these are the basics any employer wants their candidates to possess.
Claims that education directly affects the quality of life are not made up. Education can do even more: it can save lives. There are surprising statistics for poorer countries that show a correlation between the rates of maternal education and their newborn children’s chances of survival. In particular, it is stated that a child born to a literate mother has a 50% greater chance to live past the age of five years—in particular because such mothers understand the importance of vaccination, hygiene, and medical care. Each additional year of education a mother receives reduces a child’s mortality rate by 2% (List25). In other words, it is only fair to say that education is vital.
We usually think of the merits of education in terms of a career: it is true that educated people are more likely to get well-paid jobs and develop the unique skills necessary for their future employment. However, it is important not just because of that. Education is a bridge between generations, and it is what guarantees cultural and intellectual continuity of any society. Previous generations pass accumulated knowledge onto newer ones. The latter use this as a basis to create new knowledge, and pass it on again. The cycle is endless. Education is about socialization, and adopting rules and laws the modern world lives by. It is, generally speaking, a door to opportunities that every person should open for themselves.
Pegg, David. “25 Compelling Reasons Why Education Is Important.” List25, List25, 29 Nov. 2013, list25.com/25-compelling-reasons-why-education-is-important/1/.
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