ARTICLE ON IMPORTANCE OF EDUCATION IN OUR LIFE
As the importance of light is better understood by experiencing darkness; so is the importance of education can be better understood by dwelling into the lack of it. Perhaps, an illiterate person who has never been to school and who has faced the curse of illiteracy could answer the question- “Why is education so important in our life?” better. He knows the importance of schools and what change could it brings to a person’s life.
The answer to the question lies in the pain that he feels, when he couldn’t recognize neither use the opportunities those presents themselves, the pain in knowing that his aspirations and so his desires are clipped, because he was never educated. He realizes that education could be a key to success and a better life.
The greatest sorrow of illiteracy is dependency. Yes! An illiterate person depends on others for his/her survival. Imagine if you were not educated enough to read this article, what would it have been like? Perhaps, the article would have looked like some alien code to you, impossible to decipher.
Without education any human is like a hawk whose wings have been clipped; educations gives you wings to fly and explore, being confident and opportunistic. Education is like a powerful weapon which one uses to face the adversities of life and overcome poverty, fear, status and achieve success.
How it feels like to be in a race you know you can never win? Wouldn’t it be disappointing and disheartening? Without education life becomes a race, which you can never win despite all your efforts and courage; it is only then you realize that education is the only key to success in life. Education is the ladder we need to climb to reach where we aspire to, to make our dreams a reality; today we walk with pride and strive to achieve the impossible only because we are educated.
Education builds individuals, educated individuals build better societies, and better societies build great nations. From the most under developed third world countries (like Togo and Madagascar) to the world’s superpowers (USA, Russia, China); their only hope to success and development lies in education and providing compulsory education to all.
Below we will go through the importance of education in India as well as other developing countries, understanding its implications as well as importance.
IMPORTANCE OF EDUCATION IN INDIA AND OTHER DEVELOPING COUNTRIES
With a Gross Domestic Product per capita (GDP) of 1963.55 USD (United States Dollar) as recorded in 2017; India is recognized as a developing country. The GDP per capita of a Nation roughly measures the amount of money an individual in that nation makes in a financial year. The GDP per capita of a country is obtained by dividing the Gross Domestic Product (GDP or the amount of money a country makes annually) by its population. Though, there is no fixed criterion to decide on whether a country is under developed, developing or developed; the GDP per capita of a country compared with others can be a reference point.
Apart from the GDP while deciding on the development index of a nation, various other factors are also taken into consideration like- condition of basic public amenities, status of living, poverty, social evils and customs etc. Unfortunately, according to the reports of International Monetary fund (IMF) there are still around 150 plus nations those are still developing; India despite being the world’s fastest growing economy is one of them.
ROLE OF EDUCATION IN NATION BUILDING
For any developing country, including India, to achieve the goals of development it becomes imperative that it eradicates social evils like- malnutrition, crime against women, child labor, illiteracy, corruption, gender inequality, crime rates, poverty, poor health and hygiene etc. Apart from overcoming these hindrances a developing country also needs to make its youths skilled and well educated so that they contribute constructively in the economical growth. Education is undoubtedly the most potent weapon to fight against all the social evils and is imperative for any nation to achieve development.
PRESENT STATE OF EDUCATION IN INDIA AND OTHER DEVELOPING COUNTRIES
Though India has a high enrollment rate at Primary section- 95% according to 2011 census; the dropout rate after the primary education is also alarming with nearly half of those enrolled for primary education, dropping out at the age of 14 and the other half unable to read or write or perform basic mathematical calculations.
The enrollment rate for secondary and tertiary education is 69% and 25% respectively. Girls are a little behind on literacy at 72% than boys at 86%. Despite all its efforts India is still way behind in achieving the goal of ‘compulsory education to all’ and is today home to nearly 287 Million illiterate adults and the numbers add up each year.
Though, with the efforts of respective governments our literacy rate has increased by six folds, post independence; we still have 35% of the world’s illiterate population.
According to a report on global education, nearly 61 Million children don’t get a chance to go to school. A majority of these children are in sub-Saharan Africa -32 Million and 11 Million in south Asia.
Around the globe, 750 Million people are unable to read and write, of which women constitute two thirds and all of them reside in the third world countries or the developing countries.
The only hope of a underdeveloped and developing nation lies in educating its children, youth and adults, irrespective of their caste, religion or gender.
What Education can Change in India and other Developing Nations
(Role of Education in India and Other Developing Countries)
Education has the potential to change the course of a nation; a nation whose pupils are educated and skilled is most likely to achieve its targeted economical growth and be known as a developed nation. An educated nation successfully removes any hindrances to its growth, and constantly strives to achieve sustainable development.
Below, we will go through the barriers in the growth of India as well as other developing nations, and how education could be effective in eliminating them. Though they might seem different from one another, but the factors are closely related to each other; with illiteracy at the apex and the prime factor behind all of them.
REASONS WHY EDUCATION IS SO IMPORTANT FOR DEVELOPING COUNTRIES
1) Eradicate Unemployment
The first thing that comes to our mind, as an effect of illiteracy is ‘unemployment’. An illiterate child will grow up to become an illiterate adult who cannot be employed and find it difficult to send his own children to school; let aside providing for other demands of his family. Unemployment is a hindrance to the progress of a nation as it leads to low standards of living and also an increase in the crime rate. Unemployed youths are forced to get involved into petty crimes and other illegal means to fend for the needs of their family; resulting in poor law and order situation.
The situation is more critical in India where 77% families don’t have a regular income and among those who do have regular income, 67% have an annual income of less than 1.2 Lakh per anum. A country which has 58% unemployed graduates cannot take the risk of leaving any child illiterate, as it would push him towards a life of unemployment and misery.
2) Removes Poverty
Poverty is one of the greatest evils of illiteracy. An illiterate youth is unlikely to be employed and is forced to live in poor inhuman condition, living on meager or no supply of resources; having no access to even basic amenities of health and sanitation. Till 2012 India held the distinction of being the home to largest number of poor in the world; it was a distinction which no country would ever want for itself.
Nigeria has overtaken India as a country with largest number of poor, but India is still the second in the list. India’s poverty is a result of illiteracy and one of its major effect- unemployment. In India nearly 70.6 Million people still live in abject poverty while Nigeria has 87 Million. The only hope of getting these people out of the vicious cycle of poverty is, by educating them and their children. More literacy means high employability which means better living conditions and eradication of poverty.
3) Effectiveness of Government Welfare Schemes
The government of developing countries from time to time induces many welfare schemes for its citizens. Schemes like skill development, providing loans for establishing small businesses as well as other employment schemes; can only be availed if the person has the required minimum qualification. Like in India, schemes like ‘Prime Minister Rozgar Yojna’ or ‘Skill Development’ can only be availed if one has passed at least matriculation. Millions are in need but can not avail the benefits of such schemes owing to their illiteracy.
According to a study around 76% of Indian households don’t benefit from schemes like MGNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme), SJSRY (Swarna Jayanti Shahari Rozgar Yojna), PMEGP (Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Program), and SGSY (Swarna Jayanti Gram Swarozgar Yojna) owing to their illiteracy. Ensuring education to the youths will make sure that they avail the benefits of such government schemes and help the nation to tread on the path of development.
4) Better Law and Order
Developing countries have poor law and order situation as compared to developed countries. Illiteracy breeds poverty and poverty leads to crime. The statement is supported by facts which reveal that maximum number of jailed inmates in developing or third world countries are illiterate and are not fit to be gainfully employed in a private or government establishment. Situation is alarming in India where there is an increase witnessed in the number of poor and illiterate children taking to crime.
Education will bring back these misguided youths and adults, back to the main stream and will definitely improve the law and order situation. Be it India or any other developing country, it cannot compromise on its law and order if it wants to achieve development, and only education has a potential to bring a positive change in this regard.
5) Eradicates Casteism
Casteism or caste based discrimination is one of the major hindrances that India faces on the path of sustainable development. A society which discriminates among its peers on the basis of their caste, creed, color or religion can never achieve development and will forever remain entangled in the web of poverty, poor resources and hatred. One of the main factors behind the caste based discrimination and practicing orthodox customs is illiteracy.
An illiterate person is unlikely to think rationally and is likely to concede to false practices and orthodox customs. On the contrary, education can change a person’s perspective on caste discrimination and make him more likely caste neutral and having a progressive mind set; willing to contribute productively to the nation. Therefore, casteism can be effectively eradicated by education; the more people are educated the more the nation becomes caste neutral.
6) Gender Equality
Education infuses gender equality which is very important for a nation’s progress. Any nation cannot achieve progress if it leaves a particular gender behind. Nearly 531 Million women in India are illiterate and to make the situation worst; 53% of girl child in India are illiterate. The girl child who never completes education is unlikely to educate her children, continuing the vicious cycle of illiteracy.
Making every girl child and every woman a literate will successfully reduce the gender based discrimination, resulting in a more balanced and progressive society. If we want to achieve development we must educate our youth especially girls and women, so that they overcome the shackles of gender discrimination and constructively contribute to the progress of the nation.
7) Reducing Crime against Women
According to the National Crime Records Bureau of India, every five minutes a crime against a woman is committed in India, which includes dowry deaths, honor killing, sexual offences, insult to modesty and forced trafficking or prostitution. Illiteracy may not be the driving force behind all of such criminal offences; but is somehow related to a majority of them. An uneducated family is more likely to resort to violence if their demand for dowry is not met, and an uneducated woman is also most likely to concede to such illegal demands.
While it can be said that a well educated person can also resort to violence against women, but he is more unlikely to do so as compared to an illiterate person. Moreover, an educated woman knows her rights and can very well defend herself as well as her family against any threats as compared an illiterate woman. Therefore, it is established beyond doubt that India needs to use education as a weapon to fight back crimes against women, if it wants to achieve development in true sense.
8) Economical Development and Stability
Economical growth and stability is only possible through education. Any developing nation has a pool of talent, which regularly gets wasted due to lack of education and the absence of required educational infrastructure. Nearly twenty million youths graduate annually in India, in various disciplines and set out to aid to the economical development of nation. If only we were able to educate all of those who lagged behind, what a tremendous change it would have brought to our economy.
Educating our youth and adults is like tapping a hidden potential, which would ultimately only lead our nation to the path of development. Moreover we are the world’s fastest growing economy and so we need new and brighter minds that are aware of technological and scientific advancements around the world and are eager to implement the same.
9) Better Health and Hygiene
Countries with high rate of illiteracy have poor health and hygienic conditions. People live in life threatening environment and are also not aware of the threats, resulting in high mortality rate. In the gone decades India was losing millions of lives annually due to diseases like diarrhea and protein deficiency; resulting from poor sanitation and absence of health facilities.
Though, the situation is improving due to the initiatives like ‘Swachh Bharat Mission’, Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram’ etc, still a lot of people need to come safely under fold. A literate person is more aware of the threats to his life and is conscious about the issues regarding health and hygiene. He is also aware of the schemes of government regarding health and sanitation and knows how to benefit from them. A nation cannot be developed until its people reside in non healthy condition, and for that they need to be educated.
10) Lower Child/Mother Mortality Rate
Greater mortality rates of mothers and newborns reflect the poor health amenities of a nation and are a huge obstruction to a nation’s growth. Moreover, developing countries like India should immediately take necessary steps to reduce child – mother mortality as it can never achieve development if its children and mothers are dying due to lack of basic health facilities.
On the other hand a literate mother is more likely to seek the help from a registered medical practitioner rather than going to an illegal practitioner. She is also more aware of the nutritional needs of her new born; thereby, resulting in a decrease in infant mortality.
A nation is nothing but an amalgamation of different societies. The behavior and growth of the individual societies reflects the behavior and growth of the nation. An educated, well cultured and progressive society; therefore, represents a progressive nation whose pupils are happy and content. A society can be happy and progressive only when it overcomes the shackles of poverty, unemployment, inequality, corruption, gender inequality, economical disparity etc, by making all of its citizens literate and by ensuring compulsory education for all.
Today, India is the world’s fastest growing economy and is about to surpass China; and looking forward to achieve sustainable development by the year 2030 with rest of the world. A feat only possible through education and literacy.