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The Importance Of Education In Nation-Building

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Education is normally the acquiring of knowledge as well as the skills that are accepted by a given society. On the other hand, nation-building is the implementation of processes that are geared towards recomposing the nation’s institutions so that they can reflect the wishes, needs and aspirations of the wider society. 

Since education is the pathway to any nation-building enterprise, it provides the following goodies to nation-building:

Firstly, education creates an enlightened society. This is a crucial prerequisite to nation–building because the more a people become enlightened the more they would refrain from doing practices that will endanger the nation-building efforts. For example, educated elites will always tend to be responsive and responsible citizens. By this I mean, they obey state laws and properties. Without this, no nation-building efforts will be set in earnest.

Secondly, nation-building requires a ‘meritocratic’ bureaucracy in order to make the state’s institutions effective. Therefore, with education, the country will have the best human resources that are competent enough to carry the day-to-day affairs of the state. Most states collapse as a result of a low level of education because the human resource is so weak that it is incapable of filling state institutions. But with education, this problem is averted.

Thirdly, nation-building requires a democratic society that allows the contribution of all, rich or poor. With education, there will always be an increase in democratic participation. This participation will in turn enhance nation-building initiative because the participation of all the citizens is counted in nation-building.

Fourthly, education is very crucial in the formation of cross-cutting cleavages 
that embrace diversity. Accepting differences therefore is very important to nation building because until we accept our differences and come together to build the nation, progress will never be made. With education, this fear is allayed.

Fifthly, education creates a large middle-class (professionals, teachers, doctors, technicians etc).This class is very important to nation-building because they provide the necessary expertise that is needed to building a nation. This is the more reason why emphasis has been laid on education because an educated society is always a strong society, and a society that is set for development.

Overall therefore, education correlates with nation-build. Both of them complement each other. A nation cannot be built without education. With education, professionals are nurtured that will enhance nation-building. In the same way, education leads to efficient usage of a nation’s resources which in turn is very crucial to nation-building because without efficient usage of a nation’s resources, nation-building will not be successful. This is evident in the developed nations. To continue to build their nations, they educate their citizens, because education shapes the attitudes and behaviors and values of citizens. These are qualities that are needed for nation-building and it is only education that will bring those mechanics.

An integral approach to education automatically supports ongoing growth of learners and teachers over the entire span of development. Every parent is firstly a teacher, so character education essentially begins at home. According to Mahatma Gandhi, “Knowledge without character is a powerful evil.” Character is based on human values. It’s a powerful tool that influences society. Integral parenting addresses the body, mind, soul and spirit of every child and moulds the child’s character for long-term growth and development. Character building is further enhanced from knowledge gained from Schools, Colleges, Universities and other centres of learning like Polytechnics, Teachers Training Institutes and other Private Educational Providers.

Let us view Education in a larger perspective as integral for growth and development.
Education is the best development tool for socio-economic growth. That is why the old Chinese proverb “Teach someone how to fish”. In economics they call it “merit good”. It means not only to educate people; its benefit goes beyond that – crime reduction, unemployment reduction, more revenue, higher GDP and many other benefits.

Today, we are living in the world which encompasses knowledge. Education is crucial – it is not machines, land, capital but human brain which is the most important asset to any family, community and nation. We have to safeguard it and develop it for socioeconomic development. The quality of education meant growth and development of intellectual, emotional, spiritual, and social. Research and creativity and innovation are very important for the future development. Are we achieving these through our Education?

The government, Education providers and the parents are responsible for this
socio-economic development and growth. We are called to equip our children not for jobs but for life. The family and educational institutions should be the Resource Centre as continued school for life for our children.

Some of the points of Father General of Jesuits who are known globally for Higher Education are: “We need to understand who are our students, what they will become, how will they live, what will they contribute, how will they construct a humane and sustainable world, how will they respond to the world of the poor, the broken world of suffering. University should become a social project.”

Schools/Colleges run like businesses?

Do the heads of the educational Institutions consider themselves to be CEOs to run their schools/ colleges/ universities business with great efficiency with the flair of a sound business run profitably satisfying all the statutory compliances, rules and regulations? Or do they realise that they are put there for a more serious business – that is to inculcate serious values which effect human existence along with the required standard.

We all know that achieving high standard sets a benchmark – however, there is more to life than achieving benchmarks.

These are places where students are taught to respond to their calling in life: be it
mother, wife, husband, father or even to single life. They learn how to always stand tall, uphold strong value systems and strengthen their character.

Educational institutions should be places where students are taught to care for one another in normal and challenging environments. They should learn what it takes to succeed in life and lose with grace if they must. Core values and attitudes must be the focus and centre of our Educational Planning Board.
The duty of any responsible government is to provide the resources and support for achieving this objective. The government should not be a stumbling block in interfering in the guise of exercising their power. Educational policies of the governments may be laudable but the implementation, review and accountability are the key and critical factors. The greatest disservice any government can do to its people is unnecessary interference and control when yeoman service is being done by the education providers to prepare the children to meet the challenges of life.

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I’m a proactive and smart problem solver. An accountant by profession,
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at the corner where technology meets social impact | Akintunde Oyedokun
is a Staff Reporter at TopNaija.ng

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