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  • 1. SINIFICANCE OF EDUCATION IN PRESENT ERA 1. INTRODUCTION: Etymologically, the word "education" is derived from the Latin ēducātiō (“A breeding, a bringing up, a rearing") from ēdūcō (“I educate, I train”) which is related to the homonym ēdūcō (“I lead forth, I take out; I raise up, I erect”) from ē- (“from, out of”) and dūcō (“I lead, I conduct”). The education system in Pakistan is generally divided into five levels: primary (grades one through five); middle (grades six through eight); high(grades nine and ten, leading to the Secondary School Certificate or SSC); intermediate(grades eleven and twelve, leading to a Higher Secondary (School) Certificateor HSC); and university programs leading to undergraduate and graduate degrees. The literacy rate ranges from 87% in Islamabadto 20% in the Kohlu District. Between 2000—2004, Pakistanis in the age group 55–64 had a literacy rate of almost 30%, those aged between 45–54 had a literacy rate of nearly 40%, those between 25–34 had a literacy rate of 50%, and those aged 15–24 had a literacy rate of 60%. Literacy rates vary regionally, particularly by sex. In tribal areas female literacy is 7.5%. Moreover, English is fast spreading in Pakistan, with 18 million Pakistanis (11% of the population) having a command over the English language, which makes it the 9th Largest English Speaking Nation in the world and the 3rd largest in Asia. On top of that, Pakistan produces about 445,000 university graduates and 10,000 computer science graduates per year. Despite these statistics, Pakistan still has one of the highest illiteracy rates in the world. 2. AIM OF EDUCATION: "The relationship between society and the individual is not to be understood simply in the sense that cultural patterns and social institutions 'influence' the individual. The interaction goes much deeper; the whole personality of the average individual is moulded by the way people relate to each other, and it is determined by the socioeconomic and political structure of society to such an extent, that in principle, one can infer from the analysis of one individual the totality of the social structure in which he lives." 3. PURPOSE OF EDUCATION: "To culture the mind of a man so that he can accomplish all his aims in life. Education, to justify itself, should enable a man to use the full potential of his body, mind and spirit. It should also develop in him the ability to make the best use of his personality, surroundings and circumstances so that he may accomplish the maximum in life for himself and for others." (51) The purpose of education would be met if the schools provided educational methods of
  • 2. self-development by which the individual can "gain complete possession of of all his powers." Broadly speakly, education has two goals which are mutually dependent: cultivation and development of the individual and the improvement of society. But it is individuals who make up the society. Therefore the society improves with the improvement of the individuals who make it up". 4. Systems and purpose of schooling: Systems of schooling involve institutionalized teaching and learning in relation to a curriculum, which itself is established according to a predetermined purpose of the schools in the system. Schools systems were also based off of people's religion giving them a different curriculum. Individual’s purposes for pursuing education can vary. However in early age the focus is generally around developing basic Interpersonal communication and literacy skills in order to further ability to learn more complex skills and subjects. After acquiring these basic abilities education is commonly focused towards individuals gaining necessary knowledge and skills to improve ability to create value and a livelihood for themselves. 5. Curriculum: In formal education, a curriculum is the set of courses and their content offered at a school or university. As an idea, curriculum stems from the Latin word for race course, referring to the course of deeds and experiences through which children grow to become mature adults. A curriculum is prescriptive, and is based on a more general syllabus which merely specifies what topics must be understood and to what level to achieve a particular grade or standard. An academic discipline is a branch of knowledge which is formally taught, either at the university– or via some other such method. Each discipline usually has several sub-disciplines or branches, and distinguishing lines are often both arbitrary and ambiguous. Examples of broad areas of academic disciplines include the natural sciences, mathematics, computer science, social sciences, humanities and applied sciences. Educational institutions may incorporate fine arts as part of K-12 grade curriculums or within majors at colleges and universities as electives. The various types of fine arts are music, dance, and theatre. a. Pre-schools: The term preschool refers to a school for children who are not old enough to attend kindergarten. It is a nursery school.
  • 3. Preschool education is important because it can give a child the edge in a competitive world and education climate. While children who do not receive the fundamentals during their preschool years will be taught the alphabet, counting, shapes and colors and designs when they begin their formal education they will be behind the children who already possess that knowledge. b. Primary schools: Primary (or elementary) education consists of the first 5–7 years of formal, structured education. In general, primary education consists of six or eight years of schooling starting at the age of five or six, although this varies between, and sometimes within, countries. Globally, around 89% of primary-age children are enrolled in primary education, and this proportion is rising. Under the ‘Education for All’ programs driven by UNESCO, most countries have committed to achieving universal enrollment in primary education by 2015, and in many countries, it is compulsory for children to receive primary education. The division between primary and secondary education is somewhat arbitrary, but it generally occurs at about eleven or twelve years of age. Schools that provide primary education are mostly referred to as primary schools. Primary schools in these countries are often subdivided into infant schools and junior school. c. Secondary schools: In most contemporary educational systems of the world, secondary education comprises the formal education that occurs during adolescence. It is characterized by transition from the typically compulsory, comprehensive primary education for minors, to the optional, selective tertiary, "post-secondary", or "higher" education (e.g. university, vocational school) for adults. The exact boundary between primary and secondary education also varies from country to country and even within them, but is generally around the seventh to the tenth year of schooling. Secondary education occurs mainly during the teenage years. The purpose of secondary education can be to give common knowledge, to prepare for higher education or to train directly in a profession. In Europe, the grammar school or academy existed from as early as the 16th century; public schools or fee-
  • 4. paying schools, or charitable educational foundations have an even longer history. d. Vocational education: Vocational education is a form of education focused on direct and practical training for a specific trade or craft. Vocational education may come in the form of an apprenticeship or internship as well as institutions teaching courses such as carpentry, agriculture, engineering, medicine, architecture & arts. e. Alternative education: Alternative education, also known as non- traditional education or educational alternative, is a broad term that may be used to refer to all forms of education outside of traditional education (for all age groups and levels of education). This may include not only forms of education designed for students with special needs (ranging from teenage pregnancy to intellectual disability), but also forms of education designed for a general audience and employing alternative educational philosophies and methods. These alternatives, which include charter schools, alternative schools, independent schools, homeschooling and auto didacticism vary, but often emphasize the value of small class size, close relationships between students and teachers, and a sense of community. Alternative education may also allow for independent learning and engaging class activities. f. Special Education: In the past, those who were disabled were often not eligible for public education. Children with disabilities were often educated by physicians or special tutors. These early physicians (people like Itard, Seguin, Howe, and Gallaudet) set the foundation for special education today. They focused on individualized instruction and functional skills. Special education was only provided to people with severe disabilities in its early years, but more recently it has been opened to anyone who has experienced difficulty learning. g. Systems of higher education: Higher education, also called tertiary, third stage, or post secondary education, is the non-compulsory educational level that follows the completion of a school providing a secondary education,
  • 5. such as a high school or secondary school. Tertiary education is normally taken to include undergraduate and postgraduate education, as well as vocational education and training. Colleges and universities are the main institutions that provide tertiary education. Collectively, these are sometimes known as tertiary institutions. Tertiary education generally results in the receipt of certificates, diplomas, or academic degrees. Higher education generally involves work towards a degree-level or foundation degree qualification. In most developed countries a high proportion of the population (up to 50%) now enter higher education at some time in their lives. Higher education is therefore very important to national economies, both as a significant industry in its own right, and as a source of trained and educated personnel for the rest of the economy. h. University systems: University education includes teaching, research and social services activities, and it includes both the undergraduate level (sometimes referred to as tertiary education) and the graduate (or postgraduate) level (sometimes referred to as graduate school). Universities are generally composed of several colleges. Universities can be private and independent, like Hamdard University, they can be public and State governed, like the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, or they can be independent but State funded, like the University Of Karachi. j. Open Education: Higher education in particular is currently undergoing a transition towards open education; e-learning alone is currently growing at 14x the rate of traditional learning. Open education is fast growing to become the dominant form of education, for many reasons such as its superior efficiency and results compared to traditionalist methods.[13] Cost of education has been an issue throughout history, and it a major political issue in most countries today. Open education is generally significantly cheaper than traditional campus based learning and in many cases even free. It has been called the biggest change in the way we learn since the printing press. Many people despite favourable studies on effectiveness may still desire to choose traditional campus education for social and cultural reasons. There has been a culture forming around distance learning for people who are
  • 6. looking to enjoy the shared social aspects that many people value in traditional on campus education that is not often directly offered from open education. Examples of this are people in open education forming study groups, meet ups and movements. 6. Technology: One of the most substantial uses in education is the use of technology. Computers and mobile phones are used in developed countries both to complement established education practices and develop new ways of learning such as online education (a type of distance education). This gives students the opportunity to choose what they are interested in learning. Technology offers powerful learning tools that demand new skills and understandings of students, including Multimedia, and provides new ways to engage students, such as Virtual learning environments. Virtual manipulative are dynamic visual/ pictorial, which have long been used to demonstrate and teach various mathematical concepts. Virtual manipulative can be easily accessed on the Internet as stand-alone applets, allowing for easy access and use in a variety of educational settings. The use of technologies such as PowerPoint and interactive whiteboard is capturing the attention of students in the classroom. The use of computers and the Internet is in its infancy in developing countries, if these are used at all, due to limited infrastructure and the attendant high costs of access. Usually, various technologies are used in combination rather than as the sole delivery mechanism. The Open University of the United Kingdom (UKOU), established in 1969 as the first educational institution in the world wholly dedicated to open and distance learning, still relies heavily on printbased materials supplemented by radio, television and, in recent years, online programming. Similarly, the Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) in Pakistan combines the use of print, recorded audio and video, broadcast radio and television, and audio conferencing technologies. 7. Adult education: Adult learning, or adult education, is the practice of training and developing skills in adults. It is also sometimes referred to as andragogy (the art and science of helping adults learn). Adult education has become common in many countries. It takes on many forms, ranging from formal class-based learning to self-directed learning and e-learning. A number of career specific courses such as veterinary assisting, medical billing and coding, real estate license, bookkeeping and
  • 7. many more are now available to students through the Internet. With the boom of information from availability of knowledge through means of internet and other modern low cost information exchange mechanisms people are beginning to take an attitude of Lifelong learning. To make knowledge and self improvement a life long focus as opposed to the more traditional view that knowledge and in particular value creating trade skills are to be learned just exclusively in youth. 8. Learning modalities: There has been work on learning styles over the last two decades. Howard Gardner identified individual talents or aptitudes in his Multiple Intelligences theories. Based on the works of Jung, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and Keirsey Temperament Sorter[30] focused on understanding how people's personality affects the way they interact personally, and how this affects the way individuals respond to each other within the learning environment. The work of David Kolb follows a similar but more simplified approach. It is currently fashionable to divide education into different learning "modes". The learning modalities are probably the most common: Visual: learning based on observation and seeing what is being learned. Auditory: learning based on listening to instructions/information. Kinesthetic: learning based on hands-on work and engaging in activities. A consequence of this theory is that effective teaching should present a variety of teaching methods which cover all three learning modalities so that different students have equal opportunities to learn in a way that is effective for them. 9. Instruction: Instruction is the facilitation of another's learning. Instructors in primary and secondary institutions are often called teachers, and they direct the education of students and might draw on many subjects like reading, writing, mathematics, science and history. Instructors in post-secondary institutions might be called teachers, instructors, or professors, depending on the type of institution; and they primarily teach only their specific discipline. The quality of teachers is the single most important factor affecting student performance, and that countries which score highly on international tests have multiple policies in place to ensure that the teachers they employ are as effective as possible. With the passing of NCLB in the
  • 8. United States (No Child Left Behind), teachers must be highly qualified. A popular way to gauge teaching performance is to use student evaluations of teachers (SETS), but these evaluations have been criticized for being counterproductive to learning and inaccurate due to student bias. 10. Modern times: Nowadays some kind of education is compulsory to all people in most countries. Due to population growth and the proliferation of compulsory education, UNESCO has calculated that in the next 30 years more people will receive formal education than in all of human history thus far. a. Philosophy: As an academic field, philosophy of education is "the philosophical study of education and its problems...its central subject matter is education, and its methods are those of philosophy" .For example, it might study what constitutes upbringing and education, the values and norms revealed through upbringing and educational practices, the limits & legitimization of education as an academic discipline, & the relation between education theory & practice. b. Psychology: Educational psychology is the study of how humans learn in educational settings, the effectiveness of educational interventions, the psychology of teaching, and the social psychology of schools as organizations. Educational psychology is concerned with the processes of educational attainment in the general population and in sub-populations such as gifted children and those with specific disabilities. Educational psychology in turn informs a wide range of specialities within educational studies, including instructional design, educational technology, curriculum development, organizational learning, special education and classroom management. Educational psychology both draws from and contributes to cognitive science and the learning sciences. c. Sociology: The sociology of education is the study of how social institutions and forces affect educational processes and outcomes, and vice versa. By many, education is understood to be a means of overcoming handicaps, achieving greater equality and acquiring wealth and status for all
  • 9. (Sargent 1994). Learners may be motivated by aspirations for progress and betterment. Education is perceived as a place where children can develop according to their unique needs and potentialities. The purpose of education can be to develop every individual to their full potential. 11. Education in impoverished areas: Technology has a role in allowing access to education to people living in impoverished areas. There are charities which work for getting internet access and laptops with pre-loaded information to these areas. One example is the one laptop per child program that, as of 2011, has distributed over 2.4 million laptops to people seeking better education. Along with access to hardware, online universities are being used, in Africa & Pakistan. 12. Female Education: There was a time when very few women received proper education. But now girls are receiving the highest education. Some people insist on having educated girl as their wives. Others are strongly against this. Let us here consider, in brief, the advantages and disadvantages of having an educated wife. There are many advantages also of having an educated wife. Being educated, she can manage her home more efficiently. She can look after the work of the servants. She can maintain accounts. Thus, by keeping the family budget, she helps the family in making the best of its income. She keeps her kitchen in hygienic condition. In short, she is of definite help as a successful manager of the household. An-educated girl understands her duties well. She proves a source of great comfort to her husband in times of trouble. She can amuse and entertain her husband in different ways. Thus she can keep his away from various vices. Besides this, as a mother also an educated wife is very useful. She can teach many things to her children. She can give them elementary education. She can keep them neat clean, they become healthy. Thus, both the husband and the children are benefited. Ups and downs come in life. If the husband is out of employment, his educated wife can be a great help to him. The husband may be ill or he may meet with some accident. In such emergencies an educated wife can get some job for herself. An unfortunate
  • 10. widow, if she is educated, need not remain at the mercy of others. She can stand on her legs. She can support herself and her children. 13. Internationalization: Education is becoming increasingly international. The most represented case is the spread of mass schooling. Mass schooling has implanted the fundamental concepts that everyone has a right to be educated regardless of his/her cultural background and gender differences. The global campus online, led by American universities, allows free access to class materials and lecture files recorded during the actual classes. This facilitates the globalization of education 14. SUMMARY: Education is essential for diverse purposes. First, why is education important? It is the fundamental base which helps us understand our rights, opportunities, and responsibilities in life. Education does not only gives us more opportunities to get better jobs but also helps in developing ourselves as better human beings. The government does not see educating our children as a priority. On the contrary, the state is firing teachers that have dedicated their lives in giving their best effort to providing their students with the best education possible. There have been several budget cuts in education without taking into account that if we do not provide our youth with resources they may not be as successful in the near future. If these cuts in education continue, this country will go from being a world leader to a country without leadership role in the world. From my experience, I have learned that we must value education and must stay on top of it. References: a. http://www.holisticeducator.com/aimofeducation.htm b. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Education c. http://www.publishyourarticles.net/knowledge-hub/essay/an-essay-on-femaleeducation.html By: Shahid Ali Bangash