Higher Education Is An Agent Of Change Essay
‘‘Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world’’
Education plays the role of leadership in a society. The function of the educational institutions is to develop people physically, mentally, psychologically, socially and spiritually. It promotes and improves the social, political, economic and cultural lifestyle of the nation. All over the world universities, which are the center of higher education, are guiding and cooperating with the agricultural and industrial development organizations of their countries and they are developing their agriculture and industry rapidly in a meaningful way. There is a closed link between development and education.
Education, either it is Primary or Higher, cannot be defined or explained in exact words. This is why it has been defined differently by different people. The reason behind these varieties of definition is that it holds different meaning and purpose for different people. For example; for a student, higher education means the acquisition of a degree or a diploma that makes him eligible to get a professional job. Similarly for a college professor, higher education means professional certificate while for an average person, it is the mere continuation of formal learning process after secondary education.
The aim of higher education is to meet the sociocultural and developmental needs of a country. Higher education provides an opportunity for individuals to develop their potential. It fulfills the need for highly skilled manpower in a society. Its objectives include cultural and material development. It provides individuals who are morally more strong, sound and capable of multifarious roles in the society. A country’s social and economic development depends on the nature and level of higher education. This is known from the statements and findings of famous educationalists and policy makers. In developed countries, the role of higher education in the provision of skilled manpower is quite evident.
The capacity of social, political and economic development of a state depends solely on the level of capabilities of its people. Higher education is thus sine-quo-non for the development of a nation on all grounds. In developed countries, universities provides a regular stream of skilled human capital that then play an important role in the development of society.
Higher education brings changes both in the lives of people as well as in the socio-economic, socio-cultural and socio-political system of the society. All these changes have been discussed one-by-one in detail in the following paragraphs.
As education overall teaches how we can be better humans and how to live in a society jointly, it thus effects the society in the following ways.
If living together promotes many positive things such as care for one another and helping one another at the time of need on one hand, it also sometimes leads to the development of many bad feelings for one another such as jealousy, hunger for power over general public and acquisition of more power and wealth even at the cost of others on the other hand. Such negative practices can only be successfully eradicated from the society with the teaching of love and peace, which is possible only with the spread of education in the society.
History shows that whenever education has become common in a society, it has reached the society to the highest level of civilization of that time. Higher education results in the development of new ideas, art and architecture.
The cultural values and practices of the people of a society show the level of their understanding of the world and universe. If the percentage of illiteracy in a society is more, the people of such society will believe in many delusionary ideas and so their cultural values and practices will also be shaped in the same way. Thus we can see that many societies, both in east and west, which were once center of many immoral practices, are now the centers of modernism and humanism, due to the increased level of higher education in the society.
We know that extreme hunger for power and wealth is in human instinct. For the acquisition of both these things, some men even do not hesitate to cut the throat of others and get what they want. Thus the principle of selfishness works behind the every action of men for more power and wealth. Such behavior often results in the destruction of society. Therefore the very existence of a society depends upon higher education, which severely discourages selfishness in the society.
This is one of the most prominent features of most of the societies. The division of masses on the basis of cast, color and creed not only destroy the social fabrics of society but it also results in the promotion of hatred for one another.
Another very useful result of the higher education for a society is the gradual development of tolerance in the people of a society. Today we can see that each society is divided into many groups on the basis of social, political and religious ideas. In such a multi-faction world, regular conflicts between people is an irrepressible thing which can only be reduced by inculcating the principles of tolerance in general public.
By promoting peace, positive cultural values and tolerance and discouraging selfishness and class division, the final outcome that we can get through higher education is the birth of a unanimous society. This characteristic of a society is very useful especially for the integrity and stability of a state.
Not only society and its structure but higher education also affects the political system and political culture of a society. The effects of higher education on the political system of a society have been discussed in the following paragraphs.
A state only prospers if its every citizen behaves as a responsible person. The area of this responsibility ranges from private state of affairs to matters of national level. The sense of such accountability in public can be developed only by imparting them the education of moral obligation to behave correctly which is possible through higher education.
Along with dutifulness, higher education also impart the knowledge of political rights and responsibility to general public which is very essential for the political stability of every state. After knowing their political rights and responsibilities, only then citizens would be in a position to make the right decisions and elect eligible politicians and ask for their rights.
A society can produce competent leaders only if its citizens are inculcated with the strong principles of morality and responsibility and only if the people are well versed in the political ideologies of the time.
The existence and lifespan of a state depends upon the level of patriotism that exists in its people. Patriotism only exists if the society is not divided on the basis of cast, color, creed and no single faction of the society feels any deprivation and suffer any abasement at the hand other faction. We know that after promoting peace, positive cultural values and tolerance and discouraging selfishness and class division, higher education results in the development of unanimity in the society which is an essential element for the existence of patriotism in the people.
After developing many new political ideas and theories and political institutions, higher education also results in the development of many new political cultures.
Corruption is one of the major problems of third world countries and this is because of the high illiteracy rate in these states. Most people in these countries either do not know their political rights or they do not care about the political system of their country. Thus they participate less in the general elections and political system of the country which has made the access to the leadership position for the corrupt people very easy. The sense of responsibility and awareness of the political rights of these people is possible only through education.
A country is political stable only if the state affairs are in the hands of most wise and learned people. Unfortunately we can see that in most of the third world countries, state affairs are run by the illiterate and inexperienced people due to which we often see political instability in these countries.
Higher education also helps in the eradication of terrorism as we know that one of the major reasons behind terrorism is the high illiteracy rate of the people where terrorism is more common.
The economic effects of higher education have been summarized in the following paragraphs.
By keeping political stability and discouraging all sorts of malpractices, higher education also results in the economic development of the society. A society can achieve economic boom only if the society is politically stable, peaceful and provides every opportunity for investment and income earning.
An immediate effect of the higher education on the economic conditions of a society is the availability of an extensive skilled labor market. Overall economic activities of a state depend mostly on its labor force. The term human capital is applied to highly skilled labor force. Today most of the developed states invest in human capital by imparting their labor force technical education.
Technological development of a state is directly linked with the standard of its higher education and the percentage of literate people in its society. Today’s world is the world of technology and in such technological world a state can only prosper if she too progress in the field of technology which is possible for a state only by imparting higher education to its people.
For economic development and prosperity of a state, the existence of a large middle class market is a must. By achieving economic prosperity and technological development, higher education in one way or another way also result in the increase of middle class in the society.
By propagating moral principles in the society, higher education also promote economic competition in the society within the limits of morality and justice.
Higher education also affects the educational system of the state. Some of these changes have been discussed in detail in below paragraphs.
One of the most prominent features of higher education is that it produces scholars in the society. These scholars then affect society through their views and writings. Higher education also affects the way the people behave and thinks.
Higher education also helps in the provision of new ideas and theories in the field of science, technology and social sciences.
The role of higher education in Pakistan is not as fruitful as it should be. The reason behind this educational dilemma is that the higher education system of Pakistan follows an outdated pattern of learning process. Similarly in Pakistan, main focus has always been given to theoretical process of learning instead of practical. Likewise the country often loss its most learned people due to the high rate of brain-drain in the country, thus lead to less or none effects of the higher education in the country.
Higher education brings major changes not only in the social, political and economic conditions of the state but it also affect the private life of individuals in all spheres. History shows that one of the major reasons of men’s unprecedented development in the past few decades is the rise in the trend of seeking higher education.