Why is Education Important to Individuals and Societies?

Why is Education Important to Individuals and Societies?

Why is Education Important to Individuals and Societies?

Why is school important? More than anything, education is a legal right under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. (UNICEF, n.d.) Besides, the quality of the workforce improves as the populace educates itself, allowing a country to compete in the global market and grow economically. (US Department of Commerce, n.d.) Unfortunately, poverty is a barrier to educational achievement, and there’s now a vicious cycle—education, which could help grow the economy, is hindered by poverty.

Education is a luxury for many. In 2018, out-of-school children and youth totaled 258 million. Sadly, even with more fortunate children having access to education, over 617 million lack basic literacy and numeracy skills. (UNESCO, 2019) The closure of schools worldwide due to the COVID-19 pandemic has only made matters worse, causing learning losses and rising inequality even in the wealthiest nations. (Shmis et al., 2020) There remains a need to strengthen education for individuals and societies alike.

This page delves further into the education importance at the individual and community levels. It will also discuss the rationale behind the different educational levels and throw in several quick facts on education.

Why Education Is Important Table of Contents

  1. What is education?
  2. Types of Education
  3. Why is education important?
  4. Global Education Challenges
  5. Quick Facts About Education Worldwide

What is education?

World Vision (2021) defines education as the process by which people acquire or impart basic knowledge. It is also where people develop vital life skills, understand social norms, develop sound judgment and reasoning, and learn to discern right from wrong. Why is education important to society? Education is important to society because its ultimate goal is to help people navigate life and to contribute to society. (Abulencia, 2021)

Every country has an education system. However, they differ widely. For instance, the resources and money used to support education systems determine how the system is designed. As one might anticipate, a country’s prosperity is closely linked to its education budget. Countries lacking basic facilities like running water are unable to support comprehensive education systems or even formal schooling. (Lumen, n.d.)

Meanwhile, despite there being many types of education, traditional schooling is primarily used to assess student progress. (Abulencia, 2021)

relationship between education and personal earnings in poor countries

Types of Education

Formal, informal, and non-formal education are the three main types of education.

Formal Education

Formal education pertains to the learning of facts and concepts using a formal curriculum and in a classroom environment within an academic institution. Centuries of scholars have studied themes using codified approaches derived from ancient Greek thinkers. Historically, only the wealthy had access to scholarly books and the luxury of spare time to learn. The Industrial Revolution and its societal transformations made education more accessible. Many new middle-class families found new schooling options. (Lumen, n.d.)

Today, most people are expected to receive a minimum education, which usually starts from elementary school. Students undergo a learning process under the tutelage of qualified instructors, and the curricula and tests are geared to ensure they acquire essential facts and concepts.

Percent of people who said they gained technological knowledge from formal education

Designed by https://www.starrealtyma.com/

Source: Dentsu Aegis Digital Society Index 2018

Informal Education

Often, instruction is neither planned nor does it follow a set schedule or curriculum. It is spontaneous and natural. Such is informal education. It takes place outside of an academic institution. This occurs when people gain skills or knowledge from home, libraries, or educational websites via a device. Informal education can also include learning from community elders.

Participation in society is one way to gain informal education. The teachers are usually parents, relatives, and neighbors, and individuals learn basic life skills, from how to dress for various occasions, shop for and prepare food, and keep their bodies clean.

Meanwhile, cultural transmission, while it may happen in a formal setting, would most likely be a part of informal education. It is how people absorb their culture’s values, beliefs, and social standards.

Non-Formal Education

Non-formal education is a hybrid of formal and informal education. It has a set schedule and is systematic, but does not necessarily take place in a school setting. Its schedule and curriculum are flexible, and it usually requires no age limit.

Non-formal education includes community-based classes, vocational training, and short programs led by industry practitioners, who are not necessarily professional educators.

Why is education important?

How important is education? Education is vital for many reasons. Through education, people learn to read, write, talk, and listen. In general, education relates to a person’s life goals and future well-being. People with higher education are deemed more employable and earn more. (Abulencia, 2021) Besides, education alleviates poverty and hunger, allowing individuals to prosper. That’s why parents try to keep their kids in school and governments seek to make education more accessible to both children and adults. (UNESCO, 2011)

Besides, education helps girls and women achieve gender equality. To boot, the rate of teenage pregnancy is reduced by 6%, owing to girls’ extra years of schooling according to the World Bank. UNESCO also found that a child born to a mother who can read has a 50% likelihood of living past the age of five. Thus, education reduces child mortality rate.

A study discussed a reverse scenario to answer the question: Why is education important for success? In “The Functional Relationship of Education with Economic, Philosophy and Political Philosophy” published in the International Journal of Social and Management Studies, Deak and Tanama (2021) stressed that “Failure to build education will give birth to various crucial problems: unemployment, crime, drug abuse, and for the government, economic progress, in many ways, relies on support from science and technology. ” As such, education is vital both to society and individuals, and more reasons are provided below.

18 Reasons Why Education Is Important to Individuals

Specifically, why is education important for children? If all pupils in low-income countries could read before graduation, entire cultures could transform. UNESCO estimates 171 million people to be helped. However, education isn’t simply about avoiding poverty. It’s about quality of life, career options, and many other advantages.

  • Education is vital during the early childhood development phases, the period for youngsters to develop social and mental abilities that are vital to their future growth and success. Early childhood education allows for self-discovery and the discovery of individual interests.
  • The value of education goes well beyond what kids can learn in a classroom since they also learn how to create artwork and music, and education helps them evaluate what they see and to learn from their mistakes.
  • Children can start setting goals early on by learning to do so. Education gives them the ability to set goals and attain them.
  • Reading, writing, and math skills are basic skills gained from education. These skills enable self-reliance and empowerment. Reading opens the door to a vast world of knowledge and information. Meanwhile, people can start a business when they can budget and calculate expenses at least.
  • Literacy, along with the ability to create opinions, increases self-reliance and confidence.
  • Education saves individuals from being taken advantage of by others.
  • Schooling teaches people how to make sound judgments, thus preparing the youth for adulthood, where daily decisions, big and little, become part of their lives.
  • Income is typically tied to a person’s educational attainment. An excellent education usually leads to a better-paid career and provides the necessary skills.
  • It provides steadiness in life, which no one can take away from you. If we are educated, it is something that belongs to us alone, allowing us to rely on ourselves.
  • Education teaches people how to think critically, logically, and make independent judgments. The challenges of adulthood include paying off student loans, finding work, buying a house, and providing for one’s family. Those who have spent years learning should be able to make sound decisions in these situations.
  • Depending on an individual’s goal, general education, at the very least, helps in realizing dreams.
  • Education extends lives. A study shows that each year of education adds 1.7 years to people’s lives by the age of 35. (Lleras-Muney, 2005)
  • Education is important to people’s personal growth.
  • Education can help people better understand themselves. They can learn about themselves through books, courses, or even professional advice.
  • Education informs people about the world, what’s going on, and who’s around.
  • Educational opportunities can help people become more self-aware of their talents and weaknesses.
  • In an argument, if people are not well-informed and have no straight facts, they are not likely to prevail. If they are concerned about something, being educated can help them rationally analyze a problem and understand all aspects.
  • Knowing the appropriate path for them can help people stay focused and on track.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

10 Reasons Why Education Is Important to Societies

Why is education important in our society? Education is vital to a society’s progress. Educated people can substantially contribute to their families and society, therefore creating a stable and interesting community.

People with one more year of schooling earn 10% more in many developing countries. These earnings, in turn, help to drive national economic growth. No country has ever experienced sustained and rapid growth without attaining an adult literacy rate of at least 40%. (Center for Global Development, n.d.) Sadly, to date, countries, the United States included, are facing educational disparity. (Lumen, n.d.) Here are more benefits and insight into the importance of education in society.

  1. Education dissolves cultural barriers and empowers people all across the world.
  2. Countries with high literacy rates progress more in the development of humans and the economy. Countries with higher literacy rates tend to be wealthier. (Cameron & Cameron, 2005)
  3. Educated people are more welcome in today’s culture. Education is thought to make you a productive member of society and can make you feel like you are contributing.
  4. Educated youngsters can do more for their communities. Many of the youth aspire to be teachers, doctors, or government officials.
  5. While international peace may seem far-fetched, education might bring people closer than they think. With equal access to education, there would be fewer socio-economic divides.
  6. Education is important on both the personal and global level, as it keeps the world secure and peaceful.
  7. In an ideal society, there is no discrimination based on race, gender, religion, socioeconomic class, or literacy. Education can help one form strong beliefs and appreciate the viewpoints of others.
  8. To contribute to modern society, people must learn about culture, history, and other significant topics. People who are educated can quickly distinguish between right and wrong, therefore reducing crime.
  9. Digital education lets people and companies connect globally. Borders are gone. Communication with people from different countries and cultures broadens horizons and helps us understand and appreciate one another.
  10. Education brings respect, a greater social and professional status, financial security, family stability, and much more. Owning a home provides stability and security to children, which helps them succeed.

mother’s reading comprehension vs. her child’s survivability

Why Are the Different Levels of Education Important?

Every year or level of education builds up knowledge and skills that people have. While the higher level of education could give people better career outlooks and allow them to contribute more to society, such a level could not be reached without going through the basics. Every level of education is vital.


A kindergarten—also called a preschool or nursery school is where kids learn by playing and singing. This level is where kids are introduced to a new culture where they can meet new friends and socialize. Children are taught how to live a morally decent life. Ultimately, they are prepared for primary school.

Primary School

This level is where kids learn reading, writing, and mathematics. Pupils are evaluated through homework, classwork, and exams to check if they grasped a topic or the entire course and may move on to the next level. This period, while preparatory for secondary school, is vital to all levels of higher education since this is where fundamentals of studying and learning start to develop.

Secondary School

At this level, students learn basic skills needed for various jobs. It is sometimes split into two parts, middle and high school. Secondary school exposes students to a wider range of disciplines to enlighten them on issues that touch their daily lives. Success in this level is determined by whether students understand concepts and ideas, preparing them for the more complex knowledge provided in tertiary education. Students at this level are also prepared for employment.

Tertiary School

At this level, students are mature enough to tell good from bad without being instructed. Building from their general education, they are exposed to various career paths to let them gather knowledge and skills on how to handle employment. The outcome of this stage will determine an individual’s readiness to enter the workforce.

Post-Graduate School

Some students pursue further education after completion of a college degree. Those who wish to enhance their professional knowledge and skills may opt for a master’s degree. Meanwhile, those who are looking into a career that emphasizes research, analytical, and writing skills to fill industrial knowledge gaps may pursue a doctorate degree. Of course, those who reach these levels of education tend to have better career prospects.

Global Education Challenges

UNESCO and the World Bank are challenging education systems to address key issues of education and break the learning crisis for a brighter future for humanity.

In the report, “Reimagining Our Futures Together: a New Social Contract for Education,” UNESCO (2021) points out climate change, democratic backsliding, growing social inequality, and growing social fragmentation as the four key issues on which all countries must center their education systems.

Fernando Reimers, director of Harvard University’s Global Education Innovation Initiative and a member of UNESCO’s commission on the Futures of Education, as quoted in CNBC, said that the future of humanity is jeopardized unless educational institutions deliberately align what they do with these four key challenges.

Meanwhile, the World Bank (2019) stressed that being in school is not the same as learning. The ability to calculate change from a transaction, read a doctor’s instructions, or comprehend a bus schedule are basic skills that hundreds of millions of children lack.

Why is education so important? Human capital is built through education. A World Bank Group (2018) research suggests 56% of children born today worldwide could lose over half their potential lifetime earnings since their governments are not investing effectively to ensure their health, education, and resilience for the future workplace.

According to the World Bank (2019), the learning crisis persists because many education institutions in poor countries lack data on who is learning and who is not. As such, they cannot do anything about it. Since future employment requirements are unknown, the challenge is for schools and teachers to equip children with more than the fundamentals of reading and writing. Students must be able to analyze data, form opinions, be creative, communicate effectively, collaborate, and be resilient.

Dealing with these key issues and making sure the learning crisis is addressed is imperative to the future of societies. The World Bank (2019) stressed that change starts with great teachers, and when schools and education systems are well-managed, learning takes place. Besides, educators should take advantage of the new possibilities that technology brings to learning.

Quick Facts About Education Worldwide

Here are some interesting facts about education worldwide

88% of girls and 91% of boys obtained primary education, and more females earned a higher tertiary education than males. (World Economic Forum, 2019)

In 2020, the primary school completion rate worldwide was 90.14%. (UNESCO, 2021e)

In the same year, the lower secondary completion rate was around 77%. (UNESCO, 2021d)

Meanwhile, the literacy rate of adults aged 15 and above was 86.7%. (UNESCO, 2021c)

The literacy rate of adult females aged 15 and above was 83.3% while that of males was 90%. (UNESCO, 2021a; UNESCO, 2021b)

The Times Higher Education recognized Oxford as the best institution in the world for the academic year 2021/2022. The California Institute of Technology, Harvard, Stanford, and MIT rounded out the top five universities that year. (THE, 2021)

The Time for Education Reformation Is Now

Investing in education pays off in the long run, which is why it takes time. It will take a generation to reap the rewards of excellent teachers, effective technology use, and better education system administration. However, history demonstrates that countries with rapid growth and prosperity all took education seriously and spent it wisely. (The World Bank, 2019)

Ultimately, the dropout rate is decreasing but issues with income persist. The youth needs to continue learning to adapt to changing circumstances and prosper in an increasingly competitive global economy and constantly changing world of employment. As such, the time to reform education is now if society is to reap the benefits of education to an individual and our society soon.


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