Of purposeful education
PURPOSE defines the worth of a system. The education system has its unique purpose too, which makes it priceless.
Education, for many, is to attain mastery in a subject – that too for doing well in the job market. Most people usually seek education only to improve the quality of their lifestyle by securing a good job.
Our policymakers have misconceived the most valuable goal of education. The personal development of people, which is a prime focus of developed civilizations, is the core objective of education.
Having the most critical role in shaping societies, the weightiest feature of education is to mould the people into humble, tolerant, sagacious and confident beings, making them capable enough to bring social and economic change.
Education gives us the capacity to become an asset to society, and there are multifarious dimensions in which education crafts the mindset of a nation.
First, education is a road towards self-enlightenment that allows one to overcome one’s ego, which is the enemy of progress and prosperity, by generating moral and spiritual strength and providing courage to man to accept conflicting opinions.
Second, education is the ability to digest what is usually hard to listen to without becoming infuriated. Indeed, it is the characteristic displayed by the most successful leaders in the world.
Third, education manifests itself in its best form by enhancing the intellectual ability of individuals in a society which is mandatory for economic and social sustainability.
Fourth, education is the ability to display patience in the face of blistering opposition because patience is the true face of education, and the person who fails to absorb the real meaning of education seriously lags in possessing this essential trait.
Fifth, education is the ability to behave well by staying calm and composed while encountering situations involving intense debate, that too against one’s set of beliefs.
It fits well if we talk about societies where conflicting tendencies are widespread. Inadequate education is the root cause of schism in many radical societies.
Sixth, life is full of adversities, and education is the ability to control immediate reactionary responses by showing wisdom, resolve and character while dealing with adversity.
Many people fail to deal with real-life issues because they lack in capacity to handle such critical situations.
Seventh, without a doubt, discussion and dialogue are the beauty of life; only education can inculcate this ability in one’s mindset that the purpose of discussions and dialogue is not to defeat others but to attain progress.
Eighth, education inculcates the ability in societies to accept the presence of other groups, having different ideological basis, in their neighborhood by tolerating their customs, values, and beliefs, which is essential for the peaceful survival of humanity.
Additionally, education builds self-esteem by infusing self-belief in individuals to stay confident whenever they encounter unsurmountable challenges in life. Moreover, education provides a breeding ground for peaceful tendencies in societies.
It soothes one’s mind by displaying positivity in all situations. Education is the ability that wipes away the scum of negativity from the social strata.
Education gives one the treasure of praising everyone who gains success in life, and it shuts the doors for people to draw comparisons, a curse that gives birth to envy among fellow beings.
Education is the ability to recognize the right and wrong path by setting aside the prevalence of negative tendencies within oneself.
It guides a person to find heaven on earth. Education brings calm to life by giving the gift of peace of mind to us, inviting a breeze of joy and happiness.
Most importantly, education feeds souls, transforming a human into a fountain of wisdom that gives benefits to everyone irrespective of caste, creed, and religion. Education never allows the element of greed to overpower the good within an individual.
Compassion, which makes people feel the pain and agony of others, always remains an integral part of the personalities of the most educated people who play a part to make this world a livable place for others.
The example of Abdul Sattar Edhi speaks volumes in this regard. Sadly, our schools and universities teach students skills to buy survival in life, but the most cardinal goal of investing in the personal upbringing of students has largely remained missing in the curriculum of schools and universities.
Our education system produces a mindset that focuses on fulfilling unholy and unrealistic materialistic desires using education to climb the ladder of a successful career – even at the cost of harming others. Education is the practical manifestation of our actions and deeds.
What most educated people miss in their life is the ability to develop the traits that can make them contribute to the well-being of society. Today, our society has fallen into the trap of moral, ethical, cultural, and economic downfall.
Growing intolerance, increasing intensity of violence against women and children, and diminishing level of compassion in our society are because of nothing else but the outcome of our flawed system of education that has failed to restrict the spread of these vices.
The elements of a progressive society, such as honest behavior, faithfulness, kindness, compassion, and the ability to sacrifice, are almost missing from our social edifice.
Therefore, working on the structural foundations of the education system to make it efficient and fruitful enough for infusing the much-needed traits of personal development in the character of young people is the need of the hour.
The most progressive and peaceful nations in the world have won glory by investing in their education.
Verily, we have failed to educate our pupils, and only a purposeful education can save the day for us. Without it, the much-cherished goal of achieving human development will remain a far cry.
—The writer is CSS Officer, based in Lahore.