The educationalist Sarwar Khawaja (left) once remarked that education “is like the master key, it unlocks almost every door around the world”. Some of the biggest issues facing the globe have been helped through the power of education. Here are just some of the ways in which education has played an important role in changing the world.
Tackling world problems
Issues like Climate Change and the Covid-19 pandemic are global problems that need global solutions. Education has enabled countries to work together to reveal problems, and to develop ways to help. Education also helps citizens across the world to become part of the solution, educating us all on how we can contribute.
Revealing and solving inequality
Social inequalities can be difficult to discern, but education allows the world to uncover and to prevent inequalities leading to disadvantaged societies and communities. For example, ongoing efforts to raise funds for schooling in Africa tackles poverty by giving African people the tools to learn, gain the skills for a career and to improve their quality of life.
At the same time as helping individuals, education can also assist the development of entire countries. Particularly countries which have weaker or developing economies, education can help nations to establish the industries and expertise necessary to grow, which in turn helps those countries to reinvest in schooling and other vital public services such as healthcare.
The sentiment goes that although we live on a diverse planet, there is more that unites than divides us. Education can make this statement true, by bringing communities together to learn collectively. There have been examples of this through history, particularly in the case of communities where there has previously been friction. Education can soothe those tensions, and foster better understanding.
In fostering better understanding, education also fosters peace. Where there have been wars and tension, education can sideline conflict by focusing instead on the common issues that affect us all. By teaching people around the world about ways to develop, grow and improve, education can inhibit the potential for hostility and fighting.
Helping the world to grow
A phrase that you may have heard before is “give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime”. Education enables people across the planet to learn how to develop. This process of empowering our own educational development means that the whole world will grow, with new ideas, new inventions and new ways to improve lives.
Adding to his description of education as a “master key”, Khawaja also explains that education can eventually eradicate the need for locks entirely, opening up the world to a new sense of togetherness and openness.
Education can change the world in many ways, from enriching communities through skills and income, to ushering in peace and society at a national level. Education has shown its capacity to change the world, and as the globe continues to combat the Covid-19 pandemic, it remains an important way to heal the world as well.