1. Education gives a new identity
Education is the process of shifting one’s identity from the physical
plane to the mental plane. A person who can truly say “Cognito, ergo
sum” – “I think. So I am” – is an educated person. An educated person
looks at himself and others as mental entities and not as merely
physical entities. Man, Manushya, Maanava – the very word indicates
a “thinking being”. It is education that makes man out of an animal.
The purpose of education is this shifting of identity. When this identity
shift happens, so do the values. An educated person will consider sensual
pleasures and material possessions as dust compared to knowledge, skill,
art and wisdom. Morality will be a natual outcome of such an education.
2. Education gives an inheritance
We inherit our biological heritage through our genes. Right from the
single celled protozoa, upto the Homo Sapiens that we are, each generation
has added a few good genes, removed a few unwanted, changed some by mutation
and here we are. Similarly, over thousands of generations, our ancestors have
learnt several things from their previous generation, added something more
and passed on to the next generation. This vast heritage of thoughts, ideas,
arts, values, science, technology, etc are all inherited through education.
Education is the process of inheriting the vast experiences and achievements
of generations of mankind.
Just as the embryo quickly goes through the entire evolution cycle from a
single celled living thing to an invertebrate to an aquatic vertebrate to
finally become a human child, the education system takes the child through
a complete summary of human knowledge and mental evolution. By the time the
child gets out of school, he is a modern man, fully evolved in mind. Thus
the biological process that began in the single cell living thing continues
in school at the mental level to become the complete human being.
3. Education continues beyond school
Sri Ramakrishna said, “As long as I live, so long do I learn”. The process
of education does not stop with school. It continues till the last breath
to make the person a better and better human being. Swami Vivekananda said,
“The real purpose of life is not enjoyment, but wisdom.” Pondering over the
experiences in life, hearing about different ways to look at things and
correcting the thought patterns, the rough edges of the personality are
rounded properly. Thus by continous education man evolves towards perfection.