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The Role of Education in Human Development

Aug 12th 2018

A famous saying attributed to Paul Wellstone, the former US Senator is “Education and Democracy have the same goal; the fullest possible development of human capabilities”. That quote rings true on a fundamental level if you think about it. Education has proven so important to human development that it has often been included as the fourth basic need of a human being, after food, shelter, and clothing. It is a right for every individual in most constituencies and it is hardly disputed that a wholesome education provides an individual with the roadmap by which they can brighten their future. Education can make a person and the lack of it can break them. It helps them build everything from ideologies and values to a complete belief system.

With education, an individual learns the value of reasoning their thoughts out. They learn to chase after their dreams and to live as a valuable and respectable member of society. It gives the individual a clearly defined path they can follow, complete with a set of principles to guide every decision and a sense of freedom that allows them to express themselves fully. Education frees an individual's mind from social prejudices and motivates them to involve logic in their arguments. It is as essential to human development as water is to the growth and development of a plant. The literacy rate of a country can directly influence its economic prosperity.

To put it simply, there are numerous benefits to education. To lay them all out in full would fill a thousand books. However, we can do our best to seek a few here and there that prove to benefit worth the promotion of education. At the very least, the benefits of education to human development can be divided into 3: social, economic, and personal. Perhaps, for the more spiritual among us, we can add spiritual benefits to the fray and make it a wholesome 4.

Education allows you to overcome social Prejudices

It is well known that there are many beliefs and prejudices that can and have held back societies in the past. These are superstitions and caste systems that lead to the discrimination of certain members of society by stigmatizing and vilifying them. It is only with the help of education that the yoke of such prejudices can be broken.

The power of education in dissolving social prejudices lies in its reliance on logical reasoning to present arguments. Once one masters the principles of reason and effectively applies them to every thought and suggestion that comes to them, they will be better able to sift through them and choose only the ones that make sense. The ones that don't will quickly be dismissed as invalid and discarded as a result.

Another quality of education that gives it the power to change society is how enlightenment spreads. When you educate and enlighten one mind so that it shirks unreasonable beliefs that hold it back, you have lit a candle that is capable of lighting others and bringing more light to the society. The educated mind will seek to educate other minds, which will seek to educate others, and so on, in a beautiful chain reaction and resulting explosion of education.

Education can end racism, discrimination, superstition, crime, and a lot of other social evils that come about as a result of ignorance. All it takes is the courage to educate the first few and then watch the network effects work their magic.

Education nurtures Talent and encourages the Individual to pursue their Dreams

How many people do you know that have never realized what their talents are simply because they never even knew the breadth of talents out there? Education has a way of opening your mind up to the possibilities. It shows you not only what is, but also what could be and encourages you to explore yourself and figure out what it is that you can do better than most people and add value to the world with. When you live in a closed-minded society, you are likely to be just as closed-minded, especially if you haven't been educated. As a result, you will tend to praise and exalt the same things as the rest of the society and dismiss as useless the very same things that they do. You might, therefore, feel a little useless if you do not have the abilities that they find useful. On the other hand, with the power of education, an individual is likely to be able to see lots of things from different perspectives and see how they fit into the grand scheme of things. They are likely to discover talents that they never knew they had and find ways to add true value to society with those values.

Another benefit of education is that it encourages you to pursue your dreams. Often, people hold back from the pursuit of what sets their soul on fire because they have been programmed by society to learn that it is not right, or proper, or even fruitful in the long run. They, therefore, hold back and live out the rest of their lives in misery. Education, however, teaches you that anything is possible, so long as you put your mind to it and stay determined. It gives you the courage to explore the frontier of what is possible and, in the process, you push the boundaries of what humans can achieve.

Education enhances Imagination and Creativity

Education encourages the individual to explore ideas. A good education system will not only teach the individual established systems and schemas of thought but will encourage them to think deeper and explore the roots of things so that they can perhaps grow a different tree altogether. Education encourages the individual to ask questions and seek their answers. It encourages them to try different modes of thought and follow them through to their natural conclusions. In the process, your imagination and creativity will be deeply engaged and you will gain a deep sense of satisfaction from the whole process.

Education contributes to the wider Growth of the Society

Human development isn't just about the individual, but also the society as a whole. When an individual is well educated, their economic situation is likely to improve. When this happens, some of that economic development is likely to spill over to his brothers and sisters. A nation that values education will encourage and fund research into medicine, technology, the hard sciences, and so on. Innovation will be encouraged and the resulting improvements to the industry will benefit the country as a whole. Education advances every sector of the economy.

Education brings about Exposure

Show me a man who has traveled and I will show you a man who has gained a lot of wisdom. Education is a way for our minds to travel and explore new kinds of information, ideas, and perspectives. We invent new things and figure out ways to improve our surroundings. We learn about those who have come before us and what their mistakes and achievements were. In the process, we gain knowledge and wisdom, standing on the shoulders of giants and empowered to drive the human race forward to greatness.

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