Obviously, it is a great question like, what is the main purpose of education? Education is a very vast field and we cannot define it in a few words because it covers various aspects of life. Sometimes, we talk about religious education, sometimes we keep discussing social education. Some day we remain busy in explaining scientific education.
Each type of of education has its own importance. If we miss one type of education, then our life may be deemed as incomplete. One school of thought still believes “Religion” comes first so religious education must be mandatory.
Example No. 1
The main purpose is to learn religion. It has much weight because all religions almost preach to be a good human being first. We should not give harm to anybody or even we should not do anything bad for ourselves. We should be humble, kind, sincere with other fellow beings. These are some common teachings of religious education.
And if we consider carefully, a formal education system also teaches us to be a good citizen or human being. Now, if we say, any branch of education which contradicts with religious values then either it will affect the human beings badly or it will be abolished soon. Therefore, formal education is dependent on religious education to be considered as beneficial for humanity.
So, in a nutshell, knowing yourself is the best purpose of education. Because if you get success in knowing yourself then you know your Lord, your creator, your God. And the one who knows God is the most respected and powerful person of the world.
Similarly, there is another school of thought who believes in world’s or social education system. According to this thinking, education’s main purpose is how to get economic stability?
If we look at our schooling system, or if we check our college or university education system then we will come to know each of the students seem running all the time for getting good marks. Why do we all need good marks? Because we will get success in our degree and then we will have good stable job as we leave college or university.
So, these 16-18 years’ education tells us, how to compete with others? How to get better marks than our other class fellows? How to pass the exam? How to get the highest education to enjoy white-collar jobs? How to cover the syllabus in time? So, these are some common objectives behind the classical school of thought regarding education.
But here we should note that if we assume that getting economic prosperity is really the most important objective of education then several factors will come under discussion. For example, economic prosperity is also a clear purpose in religious education. Because religious teachings ask us to be fair in our business transactions. It teaches us to remain away from interest because it affects the poor traders.
But when we see in 2nd type of concept, then there is no stop word, or break when you are running to get economic goals. Whether you need to hurt someone or there is a requirement to snatch the rights of small businessmen, it is absolutely allowed. Do not feel any hesitation if you need to throw someone out of the market just because you need to be No. 1, in that particular market. No norms, no moral values will stop you because you are a great businessman and only your interests matter.
It is sometimes treated as selfish approach. While on other hand if we know, who are we? Why should we take care of our neighbors? Why should we have a collective approach? Why should we need to promote economic prosperity through a collective trade system instead of an interest-based system?
After understanding these facts, we are in a position to accept one reality. The main purpose of education is to “know yourself” because if you know yourself then you will also know what are the rights of other people? What are our responsibilities in society? You will also come to know, how to treat your fellow human beings? How to spend your money and life?
Things remain the same only direction gets changed. When we have right direction then everything becomes possible. Whether is it economic prosperity or scientific discovery or character purification, each goal will kiss your feet if you have a positive and can-do attitude. And that’s the main purpose of education which we must consider with complete devotion and accountability.