Alan Bloom said that education is the movement from darkness to light. It is common to compare ignorance with darkness and knowledge with light, seeing the process of education as the way from dark and obscure state of mind to the enlightment of both mind and soul. Is it so? Does education play such an important role in humans life?
The importance of education cannot be overestimated as it gives many advantages demanding little. To start with, education teaches discipline. Before starting school a children live simple lives, most of his time playing and doing different things they like. Becoming a student makes them change their way of life completely they have to wake up in the morning, get ready and go to school, after which they have some homework to do. Doing these routine things every day requires a lot of patience and discipline and children, who possess these qualities, achieve the greatest success at school and later at the university.
It is commonly known that travel broadens the mind. Repeating this phrase, many people forget that travelling is a kind of education as well, an informal one. Therefore, education broadens the mind as nothing else does as it gives not only knowledge of things, but teaches how to learn. The goal of teaching Mathematics, Physics, Literature or Geography at school is not simply to give students knowledge of physical laws, great writers and the position of the continents and oceans. It is much more than simply giving ready-made ideas. True education aims at teaching students how to learn on their own, how to think both critically and creatively, how to make the whole life an uninterrupted process of learning.
Talking about education, many people simplify this notion to obtaining knowledge of certain subjects and ideas, forgetting about the main concept lifelong self-education. This is what this word actually means and this is what people should aim at. The ability to learn is the main skill, which students have to master while studying at school and at the university. Obtaining this ability opens the door to the world of knowledge, not simply receiving a diploma. Actually, this is one of the main problems of modern education. The amount of schools and universities in some countries is so huge, that it is impossible to find professional teachers, who are able to teach students in an appropriate way. Therefore, despite the growth of educational system, the quality of education is deteriorating significantly. This problem raises the question of what is more important to give education to as many people as possible no matter what the quality is or to hire only highly qualified teachers, which will lead to the decrease in amount of students, who can receive knowledge. Yet, this question remains without a definite answer.
One more drawback of education is that very often it is used as a tool in hands of politicians. History knows many examples of it, but Germany in times of Hitler serves as the brightest illustration of misuse of educational system. In Germany in 1930-s children were taught fake ideas about the world, its reorganization according to Hitlers ideas of superiority of one race over others etc. Hitlerjugend (Hitler Youth) was not a purely educational organization, but its activities included some educational functions. The consequences of such misuse of schooling is commonly known all over the world and does not require extra explanation.
Therefore, without any doubts education is the issue of higher importance nowadays, it attracts much attention and provokes hot debates. The reason of its significance is explained easily education is an issue closely connected with future, as well-educated children and youth today form our tomorrow, form our future. This is why, every child all over the world should become educated, though it is important not to forget that good education integrates knowledge of the world and art of learning, which includes critical thinking and aspiration for constant self-education. Only in this case education accomplishes its main functions and becomes an art, not a craft.
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