The Importance Of Education

Schooling is not a scam. As defined by E.B Castle ‘education is what happens to us from the day we were born till the day we die’. Education, which schooling is an arm is what kickstarts from cradle to the grave. Education as a tool has shaped and reshaped lives in a different spheres. Not undermining the place of informal education, which is the bedrock of all educational acquiesce. But my dear Nigeria’s educational system, decaying day to day, has re-shaped the youths’ cravings for education, and they see it as nothing but a scam.

Plato’s cave allegory connotes the importance of education. So, the teacher in the allegory of the cave guided the prisoner from the darkness and into the light (light represents truth); education involves seeing the truth. Plato believed that you have to desire to learn new things; if people do not desire to learn what is true, then you cannot force them to learn. These people in the caves watched shadows projected on a blank wall every day. For them, these shadows are real, and they shape their entire reality. Imagine that one of the prisoners leaves the cave and walks outside into the sunshine. He is exposed to sunshine and light for the first time in his life. He can now finally see the “true” forms, shapes, and reality of the shadows he thought were real.

In this Allegory, Socrates asks, what would he think of his companions back in the cave? He’d probably feel sorry for them and their limited reality. Now, if he returned to the cave and told them about what he saw, they’d probably laugh at him and think he was crazy. Plato’s Allegory of the Cave explores the tension between the imagined reality that we think is “real” (shadows) versus the reality that is the “truth” (outside the cave). The best way to learn from Plato’s Allegory of the Cave is to think of the people trapped in the cave as the majority of people in the world. The cave people believed that the shadows they saw were the “truth,” just like the majority of the world who believe in and pursue shadows based on money, education, fame, love, and so on.

These are generally the ideas and social norms that we’ve been told to stick to from childhood because of the majority consensus. The key life lesson from Plato’s Allegory of the Cave is to question every assumption you have about the reality you call “real.” This is a powerful way to develop the skill of thinking for yourself and discovering your own unique solutions to any problem. Plato’s narrative is that Eccentric education developed man’s heart and head. Taking instances from the Spartans, only developing their soldiers. The ludus, which was the gladiator’s school, only groomed soldiers and neglected arithmetic and logic. Thus, they were all trained in the act of war, the arena, and pleasure. Limited, so they became. And from ancient Greek Athens, who majorly developed scholars, starting from Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, and Longinus. This resulted in a lopsided society. The Spartans had more soldiers while Athens had more philosophers and scholars, thereby creating a one-sided imbalanced society.

Education clears the muddy water of illusion and superstitious belief enhancing true liberalism in individuals and resulting in national development. Education shapes the mind of its audience and clears them free from superstitious beliefs. The golden fleece makes the blur vision of a student clearer, shoving off illusions and superstition that could limit their belief system to a particular perspective. Thus, it enhances true liberation, and true liberation enhances rapid national development. Education promotes civility, not amoral behavior. Education celebrates the value and not mediocrity. A man once said, “An uneducated can hijack a train; educate such man, he will steal the train station’’. Education makes a man realize the place of religion, belief, and his will. An educated person won’t define the deed and acts of others by means of his religion. Neither would some see the taking of one’s life as retribution for certain rules and customs.

Importantly, it is necessary we know that going to school does not guarantee being educated. You could attend a school and graduate, yet the seeds of an educated fellow won’t be actualized in you. School is just a platform to get educated. Without forgetting “tabula rasa,” the human mind is viewed as having no innate ideas, especially at birth. We were all born blank; what is planted in it would germinate. Education is a golden fleece that emancipates the captive soul and sets one’s feet on the path to greatness, not undermining the norms and culture. With education, a life investment is guaranteed. 

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