The journey of mankind, among other things, is also the journey of development of journey. Man has accrued this knowledge through thousands of years, bit by bit. Man was no more than an animal in the beginning. Gradually, man elevated his position and this was possible only when he gained knowledge. Power of knowledge diminished the supremacy of physical might in the animal world. Rules of the jungle changed. The balance instantly tilted in favor of humans and they became the masters of the planet, second only to the forces of nature.
Earlier the expansion of knowledge was gradual, but as the time passed it increased in leaps and bounds. Knowledge base of the humans increased exponentially. In this journey, one thing was very crucial and this was the transfer of the knowledge. Knowledge needs to be preserved and passed on accurately to the next generation. Here starts the importance of education. When a child is born, he or she has to start from scratch. It is a very interesting play of nature. Unlike most of the newborn in the animal world, human infant is the most vulnerable and ignorant. He needs to be protected and nurtured for a very long time, and as he grows older he must be educated.
It is a miracle that through education the child acquires so much knowledge and information in just a few years which took hundreds and possibly thousands of years for the mankind. Through education, knowledge becomes readily available to a child. He has this head start of thousands of years already with him. Isn’t it very interesting?
It is said that the chain is no stronger than its weakest link. It is therefore essential that each generation gives its best in nurturing and enriching the knowledge it has acquired from their forefathers. It is only through education that we get connected to the past and present and make way for future.
That I am able to write and communicate to you about the importance of education which is a manifestation of education itself. That I am able to read, comprehend, disseminate and acquire information and process it into meaningful knowledge or I am able to use knowledge to create or misuse it to destroy, are all manifestations of the power of education.
Education is a continuous process, which started in prehistoric times. We, human beings, were gifted by the supernatural forces, with a power called intelligence. We used this intelligence to educate ourselves and others to understand the forces of nature, tame them and harness them for our good, or accept some of them as beyond our control.
We also used education for good – food, water, shelter, clothing, communication, and science for inventions, and for bad – wars, killings, and the like.
Present world stands divided more than ever before. One of the ironies of this civilized world is that it has created a gap between man and nature. The mad race of competition for a glorious career is killing the goodness in man. It is making man more self-centered.
What drives using education for good or bad? It is education itself. A newborn child who is educated to differentiate between good and evil will use his education for good.
Good and evil are perceived abstracts and the perceptions are also distorted in this era of hunger for power and recognition leading to various types of terrorism, violence, hatred etc.
Thus we need to educate a child about the true perception of good and evil, rather than clichéd, historical values.
It is said that twenty first century is the century of knowledge and information. In today’s time there is an information explosion. Last few decades have seen a tremendous change in the world with internet and smart gadgets reaching every household. Earlier the information was scattered. Today it is all compiled and available on internet. Access to information is not a challenge anymore. As far as knowledge is concerned we cannot say the same. Knowledge is different from information. What comes from outside is information and what comes from within is knowledge. One needs good education to become knowledgeable.
Therefore, we must not look at education in a myopic way. A good education is not just a career orientation program. It must not stop by just making students good in academics. Realm of education must go beyond that. It must make the students good human beings by instilling in them feelings of love and compassion for fellow beings. The basic purpose of education and acquiring knowledge is to uplift quality of life and harmonize with the existence. The onus to instill this goodness in man lies on education. There is no definition of a perfect scenario or utopian world. Even the idea of perfection is evolutionary. What is perfect today becomes imperfect tomorrow. Therefore, the idea of right education must also keep pace with this dynamic world. It is only then that we can make the world a better place to live in.