(General Paper essay written during A-Levels)
The raw meaning of the term ‘education’ is to teach both mentally and morally. It is to bring people from different cultures and walks of life under a common platform of mental and moral upliftment.
Instead of uniting, education usually ends up dividing the society. This is especially true in developing nations where there are very few government incentives for a simple middle-class family to send their children to schools. Since most families have many children and just one working parent, the parents cannot afford to send their children for studies as the child is an earning member from a young age. Hence, this creates a difference in the metal caliber of the educated children and the uneducated ones, and thus promotes feelings of hostility and envy.
While education may be available at cheap, affordable rates in various places, the cutthroat competition to be the best and secure the highest grades sometimes does a student more harm than good. While competition may be good for boosting the level of education, such intense competition ends up promoting feelings of disunity amongst the students, since everyone is aiming to be better than the other. This may lead to skirmishes over petty issues and a sense of jealousy over friend’s or foe’s grades. In India, the suicide rate increases by twenty percent during the exam season, indicating that students cannot cope with the pressure of such intense competition. Eventually, this leads to parents finding people such as the teachers and the administration to blame for their child’s death, and thus this starts creating divisions within the society.
When looking for a job, the more educated are always given a higher preference than the slightly lesser educated. Some may argue that the person is at fault himself if he does not strive to achieve enough knowledge via education. What they do not realize is that a person may have a valid reason, such as financial difficulties or family problems, for not being able to attain a proper education. Mostly, since only the rich can afford to get good education and hence secure the better jobs, the poor and lesser educated ones always end up with the less paying jobs. Hence, the rich keep getting richer and the poor keep getting poorer, eventually leading to divisions within the society in terms of income and expenditure of various families. The money spent by the rich circulates amongst the rich only.
The religion of Islam says that acquiring education is a must for every man and woman. But some ‘religious’ families consider it inappropriate to send girls to schools. Moreover, some places lack single sex schools, and hence people with old-fashioned cultural and social norms do not send their daughters to school. This creates divisions within the siblings at home only, and when a home is unstable, how can a society be stable and united?
To conclude, looking at the other points, it can be said that education divides rather than unites, and this will remain a recurring problem in the society if steps are not taken to eradicate these roadblocks to a unified society.