A man without education is considered to be an animal. But hundreds and thousands of men and women in developing and under developed countries are still illiterate. They are also living, eating, sleeping, and leading their normal lives. Then, "Why education?"Is the question.
To know the answer for the question, one should know the meaning of "Education". The word education is derived from the Latin word "Educare" which means 'to bring up' or 'to bring out'. Every man is born with certain inherent talent. These talents are to be brought out and made use of. Then only they shine. Education leads a man from darkness to light – ignorance to knowledge.
There are two kinds of activities which a man performs. The first one is to satisfy the instincts like hunger, thirst etc. there are certain other activities which a man performs to satisfy the mental desire and social needs. They are to develop reason, imagination, curiosity, creativity, adjustment ability, friendship, leadership, working skills, social and moral behavior, spiritual quest and finally salvation. The second kind is developed through education. We can observe this difference between an educated and an uneducated person. The one who is educated is social, knowledgeable, skillful and full of confidence. In one way it can be said that he has an integrated personality.
Education does not mean only reading, writing and arithmetic. It has different aims to be achieved. The most important among these are:
1. Economic: A man who is educated should be able to earn hi s living and should be economically self-sufficient.
2. Vocational: The second aim is to develop the skills to do a professional job.
3. Knowledge: Education helps a man to develop a scientific outlook and to learn many things from nature. To be rational in outlook and not to be led away by superstitious and blind beliefs scientific thinking is must.
4. Social: Man cannot live in isolation. Living in a family and a society, is necessary for him. But also to live peacefully in the society he has to observe certain laws of society. This is possible only through education.
5. Moral and Spiritual aims: Man does not live for worldly comforts only. He has certain spiritual and religious needs. He can only fulfill these by living in a society.
India is a democracy, which means that it is ruled by the people. It is based on the consent by the people. The majority opinion should be based on scientific reasoning, political maturity and the welfare of all; if not it will lead to chaos. Education hence helps the individual to understand the importance of his vote but also makes him realize his responsibilities and duties.
Though India is a democratic country, still there exist almost 49% illiterate. One can also say that, we are not enjoying all the blessings and benefits of a true democracy. Many evils of our democracy may be attributed to illiteracy of our voter. Hence education of every citizen is an inevitable need in democracy.
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