Is Education Important? Discuss
‘Without education, you are not going anywhere in this world’ -Malcolm X
At first sight, the latter would agree that education is essential in today’s world and without it, one would be nothing, useless, and filth to the society, especially in knowledge-based countries like Singapore. However, when the word education is defined, is it that important anymore?
For starters, by definition, education can be described as a process where information, values, skills are passed down from one generation to another. And in today’s ever globalising world, many would believe that education is pivotal to an individual’s survival, especially in knowledge-based economies in many first world countries. Hence, it is to no surprise or alien in Singapore to see parents trying to get their children to the best, most reputable schools, Raffles’ Girls Primary School, Nanyang Primary School to name a few off hand. And they often go through great lengths to do so, for instance, moving to places nearer to the school, be a school volunteer and the list goes on. They do so in hope that their child can receive the best form of education possible.
With a sight like this so ubiquitous, it is hard for one not to wonder whether or not this is necessary? Proponents would like to agree and argue that it is these top schools that house the best elite teachers, the best the country could ofer. However, the other school of thought, would not believe so. The opponents justify their belief with concrete proof on how the recent few years, in the Primary School Leaving Examinations (PSLE) or even the GCE ‘O’ levels the top scholar often come from normal, neighbourhood schools. And if ‘top schools’ are really that great, why are they not producing the smartest student in the major examinations?
On a personal level, I would agree with the opponents, as I believe that going through so much trouble is absolutely superfluous. As much as education is important, it is really learning that sets people apart. The main reason why parents even send their child to school is for them to hopefully learn. That is why it is not pragmatic to go through all that just to ensure their child gets into an elite school. An old saying goes like this ‘Teachers only does 20% and as for the remaining 80%, is up to the student.’ Basically, what this implies is that there is no point in education if the individual does not learn. One may be sent to the best school, having the most expensive tutors and even having the most conducive environment to study in, if he has no intention to learn, all is useless.
At the end of the day, education will come to an end, learning doesn’t. Learning is a lifelong process, as John Dewey once said ‘Education isn’t preparation for life; Education is life itself.’ Bottom line is clear, yes, education is important, if the individual learns, without learning, education is worthless as it is a waste of time and money.