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Education – Reading for Soul

“It is through Education that a daughter of a peasant can become a doctor, that the son of a mine worker can become the head of the mine that the child of a farm worker can become the president of a great nation. It is what we make out of what we have, not what we are given, that separates one person from another”. Nelson Mandela

The competence and efficacy that education bestows carves out a unique stand out identity which would have been unattainable if one would be left deprived of it. Exposure to amplitude of diverse opinions, ideas, books, people and the immense quantity of knowledge opens up a new horizon of things unseen and unheard of. It is such a beautiful bridge that it harmonizes the mindset and outlook of folks living poles apart.

I write this while the picture above keeps hovering in my mind pushing me to think even harder on it. It’s a very simple but a mind boggling one. The more you stare at it, the more you derive new meaning from it. An old myth of the ignorant people is broken; that the highly educated well read people consider themselves too arrogant and big in stature. This picture defends the latter; the learned people engrossed in their world of mammoth interest in books are actually very small in their very own eyes.

Aristotle has made it even easier for me to explain, “Educating the mind while not educating the heart is no education at all.” Education empowers you to think beyond yourself, the more you read the more you consider yourself small for not knowing inaudible towering facts. That is exactly the kind of feeling any avid reader goes through whenever he reads something, it makes him humble and graceful. I am actually writing about those whose hearts and minds keep pondering about things they have gone through, making them yearn to know more.

The race that every country today is striving in is to outclass one another in building a strong and robust economic industry; which indeed is the demand of current era. Committed and shrewd brains are actually the seeds to pull the economic trees that would provide greener environment and frosty shade. And here arises the argument, where would those intelligent minds get derived from? A very simple solution to it is to invest in education, the more a state invests in empowering its young generation, it doubles the chances of developing and remodeling its productive graph.

Societies have improved their living standards, enhanced their health facilities, cut down their poverty and unemployment rates just by introducing better quality education programs. What is necessary to understand is that quality education, on equity level for both the boys and girls is highly essential. No compromise should be accepted on the quality of material being delivered, it polarizes the young minds forcing them to think radically and behave likewise then. The known example is the apartheid even in the field of education in South Africa for which Mandela fought for, the black children were taught only for three hours a day with poor quality syllabus compared to the white children who were schooled for the complete day with excellent syllabus and qualified teachers.

The condition in our country is not somewhat so pleasing, we also have a three tier system of education, the Urdu medium for the poor class, the English medium for the elite class and the Madrassahs for people who can’t even afford the Urdu medium or do not approve in seeking education at all. Eventually we are on a downward spiral of ignorance and illiteracy with UNESCO ranking Pakistan 113 out of 120 in the Education Development Index. The bottom-line of the entire complication is there has always been meager investment in the uplifting and boosting of the education sector as well as incompetent people ruling the roost.

Parents as well as teachers should frequently inoculate the habit of reading in their children, this is one way they can be immortal to their generation cleansing them of cynicism; making them highly successful and respectable human beings. People who constantly read diverse quality are very rich in information and intelligence building their poise to be confident and determined. Each one of us should make it a habit to read at least few intriguing knowledgeable facts that would dignify us in our own eyes as well as passing it on to our youthful brethren to magnify and illuminate their world.

An Irish writer Sir Richard Steel has put it elegantly across, “Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body”. Food for thought.

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