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An investment in knowledge pays the best interest
Education for life?
Generations of children have been told by their parents and teachers, ‘If you work as hard as you can while you’re at school, you’ll be able to get a good job when you leave.’ But should education be about fitting people for jobs? Opinion is sharply divided on the answer to that question.
We work to live?
People who believe that education should be something more than mere training for the world of work claim that the emphasis on work qualifications distorts learning. They point out that, for example, thousands of students each year achieve good grades in English Literature
and history exams, because employers demand good grades; but few of those thousands ever look at another work of literature, or take any further interest in history, for the rest of their lives. At the same time, subjects that do not lead directly to exam results – like drama – are regarded as ‘frills’. We do not live only to work, the argument goes on, and so education should prepare people for all aspects of their lives: coping with relation-ships as well as with math, with finding a home as well as French. This seems even more important at a time when it looks as if work is going to be central to the lives of fewer people.
Work comes first?
Critics of the education system say that the trouble is that it does not do enough to prepare students for the working world. Too much of what goes on in school is irrelevant to the real world. Sometimes, they go on, education even seems anti-work, discouraging able students
from going into industry, for example. This point of view sees education as a tool of the national economy rather than a matter of personal growth and fulfillment.
Who’s afraid of education?
Underlying at some attitudes to education is something approaching fear of it. In early Victorian times, the three Rs’ –reading, writing and arithmetic – were taught because they were useful working skills, but many fears were expressed that if education went too
far people might start to be a nuisance. Some of those fears may still survive. An even greater fear among some people, since the education of most students is paid for out of public funds, is that education might be ‘wasted’. ‘Wasted’ education, according to this view, is education that does not result eventually in an immediate return to the economy. A woman teacher or a nurse who gives up her career to bring up her own children is counted in government statistics under the, heading ‘Wastage’. It can be argued that the use of terms like this reveals the true attitude of governments towards education.
"He who opens a school door, closes a prison"
"Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today"
"learning is not the product of teaching.Learning is the product of the activity of learners."
"Education is the ability to meet life's situations."
Dr. John G Hibbon
"Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all."