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“Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education”
Martin Luther King Jr.
Knowledge enabled man to live a life better in all aspects from all other living organisms. History shows that improvement in the living conditions of men has come through a long process of evolution. This long process of human’s intellectual development is the result of man’s continuous struggle for seeking knowledge about the world and his surrounding. Knowledge enabled man to live a peaceful and prosperous life in community by adopting some basic moral principles. These principles ensure the existence of communal form of life. Education is thus the need of soul and a peaceful, prosperous and cooperative society can only be achieved through education. In short we can say that it is education that makes us human.
The Oxford English dictionary has defined the term character as the distinctive mental and moral qualities of a person. These are those standards of a person that he keeps while performing a certain function and it distinguished him as well from all other people. Most of these qualities are developed gradually in a person with the passage of time, especially by learning from people surrounding him. This means that these qualities can be molded, either in good way or in bad way, easily by providing the required environment. This process of molding the standards of a person can be called character building.
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Today man considered the exploration of his surrounding and universe as his primary objective and to make efforts for the utilization of every power and resource that present in them to make humans’ life more comfortable is what man regularly works for. But this was not always the case, as we know that in the beginning, when human’s life was in its evolutionary phase, man was not aware of his skills and capabilities. It is knowledge that revealed on him his status in the world and made him capable of new inventions and discoveries and led him to the present day development.
Education develops the character of thorough observation in people. It compelled a person to minutely observe a phenomenon before establishing an opinion about it. It is because of this reason we see that in ancient Greek, only Plato, Socrates and Aristotle were able to develop an opinion about a certain phenomenon without having an advance technology for study and observation such as microscope and telescope.
In the beginning when man was totally at the mercy of nature, he used to call every material thing that possessed some kind of superpower, as god and worshiped it. Water for-example has the power of sinking and destruction, thus it was god and people worshiped it. Similarly fire, sun, moon and every other similar thing were the gods of men in the past. But when man started seeking knowledge and began to control one natural power after another, he realized that all these things cannot be god as they have no value more than this that these things and their power should be utilized for the welfare of mankind. This thinking helped him in the realization of his true, one God. Today, with each passing day, science proves every saying of the Holy Quran which strengthens the faith of human beings in the existence of One, True and Real God, that is Allah Almighty.
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Self-confidence is very important especially for students when they are taking part in a competition. The lack of confidence not only results in failures but it also destroys the personality of the person. Education not only instills the element of confidence in students but it also teaches them how to face challenges bravely and wisely and how to stand stills in troubled situation?
The show of tolerance and patience especially in troubled circumstances, not only shows how emotionally strong the person is but it also enabled the man to handle the situation wisely. The qualities of tolerance and patience can be easily developed in a person by instilling in him the principles of both these characteristics.
Education also develops the element of responsibility in students. People, filled with the sentiment of responsibility are not only considered as an asset for the state but such people could also be very useful especially in influencing other people with their responsible behavior. Education instills in students the element of responsibility by revealing on them the different benefits of responsible behavior.
Truthfulness and trustworthiness are the building blocks of a pious character. For the smooth functioning of the society, it is necessary that the inhabitants of the society should be truthful and trustworthy towards each other especially in the performance of our day-to-day activities. Both these characteristics are also developed in students in schools and colleges.
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Another very useful characteristic that education develops in students is justness. This quality asks for students to always side what is true, right and just. This characteristic enabled students to struggle not only for their own rights but to help others as well in their quest for justice.
To work voluntarily for the development of society and to respect all humans without making any discriminations among them on any basis, are the two other most useful characteristics that education develops in knowledge seekers. As for most scholars, selfishness is the defining character of humans’ nature, the promotion of volunteerism in people especially in students is what, one of the main objectives of educationalists. Similarly respect for all human beings not only removes hatred from the society but it also promotes unanimity in the society.
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Carefulness is another quality that education develops in students. This quality too asks for students that they should not behave selfishly in the fulfillment of their basic needs such as food shelter and clothes. It teaches them that people should also take care of the needs of others especially those who cannot fulfill their needs themselves. Similarly it also demands from students that they should take care of the feelings of others.
The characteristic of the avoidance of the use of vulgar language and immoral habits and the habit of promise keeping are also developed in students in schools and colleges. With the development of the character of responsibility, education also develops the quality of promise keeping in students.
Education also teaches students law-abiding behavior. It not only promotes the sentiment of strictly following the law but also urged students to compel others to become law-abiding. The law abidance character of citizens is very useful for the development of the state as a whole.
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Education also develops the character of extreme patriotism in students. In schools and colleges, students are taught the importance of freedom and various ways through which the independence of the state can be strengthen and protected.
As we know that the characters of a person are largely influenced by his surroundings. If a person has good company of friends and colleagues, it is obvious that good characters will developed in him eventually. As students in educational institutions are surrounded by people with good moral behavior and standards, they adopt those qualities automatically. Similarly in class, children are taught the principles of good character, so it is obvious that students will ultimately adopt good qualities and will develop good characters in themselves.