For a long time and in many societies, education for all has been a debate for the progress and the development of society. Education is what helps an individual to be more aware of what is happening around the world; it is about the attainment of knowledge and being able to understand the difference between right and wrong.
In a society like Pakistan’s which is still developing and progressing, education is a key. Not only within Pakistan does education demarcate those who are wealthy and those who are poor, but it is also a factor which distinguishes the educated from the illiterate. It would not be wrong to state that an individual’s image and reputation is dependent upon the level of education he/she has attained. Society is now shifting towards giving more importance to a person’s educational qualifications rather than focusing on trivial factors.
There are certain things which only the attainment of education allows us to achieve. Not only does one understand the difference between right and wrong, education helps stimulate a person’s mind and to make him think as far the potential allows. It makes one believe in himself/herself and find his/her own strengths. For a developing society like Pakistan, we need people who can think for themselves and who know what their passion is. They need is to be given the tool of education, to stand up for what they believe in and not go with the stride as this never leads to change.
Lack of education does not make it very easy for an individual to become independent and to begin his life. Instead, he/she is always dependent upon someone else and paying back favors for the rest of life. In Pakistan, due to the lack of education, a number of people are prone to living such lives. Due to not having been able to achieve a satisfactory level of education, they are unable to get jobs or not paid well enough for them to support their families. This either leads them to take up loans from banks or from well wishers or to spend the rest of their lives in hardship. Borrowing causes another burden and the constant struggle to owe someone back a sum of money. Eventually, people either tend to commit crimes because of this situation or live in poverty, waiting for a miracle.
Education allows an individual to think for himself/herself. There is no guarantee that being educated will not cause financial worries, however, it does guarantee that it will allow an individual to have a mindset of his own and to not follow in the steps of his ancestors, which is found very often in Pakistan. People are unable to make choices and decisions for themselves and often rely on traditional methods, which were followed by ancestors, irrespective of these methods not applicable to today’s society. In today’s world where progress, development and knowledge dominate, one must be able to think for selves and to broaden their outlook towards life if he/she wishes to succeed. Being able to do so can begin with gaining education.
Education is in particular important for the girls and women of Pakistan. It allows them to be able to freely make decisions about their lives. Data released by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization says Pakistani women have good literacy skills and can earn 95 percent more than those who do not.
By educating the women, poverty can be alleviated as well by them securing benefits for health and productivity. They would also be able to be a part of democratic participation and gain empowerment. In Pakistan, where many of the people in rural areas believe girls and women to be a burden on them, education can help solve such problems. Educating the girls would not only allow them to contribute towards the income of the household by gaining employment, they would also have the chance of becoming financially independent and to achieve a change in lifestyle if they were to wish for one.
Education is also a tool which can allow the girls of Pakistani society to not be bound by social limits. Constantly being told what they can and cannot do, girls and women could use education as a positive tool and resist these limits set on them by society. While remaining within the cultural and traditional context, achieving greatness would still be possible.
Apart from person benefits, education also contributes towards the development of society and helps boost economic growth. If every child, regardless of the background they come from or their gender had equal access to education, economic growth could be achieved through productivity gains.
A team working on the report titled ‘Education for All Global Monitoring Report’ revealed in their analysis that if individuals in a country would be having access to equal educational opportunities, the per capita income of that country would increase by 23 percent in comparison to one which would be offering unequal educational opportunities.
Furthermore, evidence also suggested that girls who are educated would also have a high chance of protecting themselves as well as other children from diseases against which precaution is easy. They would also be able to avoid malnutrition during their early years, something which is quite common amongst children in the country.
It was also stated that people who have attained education and even those who continue to pursue higher levels of education are also less likely to high amounts of water and energy. They would indulge in recycling products and waste and would make use of resources in a more efficient manner. The data showed that across 29 of the most developed countries, 25 percent of people who had less than secondary education expressed some kind of concern for their environment; 37 percent having secondary education had concern whereas 46 percent of those who had received tertiary education showed concern. This suggests that higher the level of education, the more a person is involved and concerned about the environment around him, which is definitely something Pakistan could benefit from. With more people worried about the kinds of lives they live and being concerned about their contribution to the environment, Pakistan could become a greener and cleaner country.