Education is, and always has been, a very important factor with a big social impact, and a vital element contributing towards social change and social innovation. Significant transformations throughout history and across communities have been initiated and encouraged by groups motivated enough to want a better tomorrow, but additionally, educated and knowledgeable enough to know the right manner to assemble whole communities towards their cause of action.
Our global and local communities are ever changing, and each era has brought different, complex issues for the people to face and overcome. This is where the human’s ability to innovate new solutions to new obstacles is very important. But in order for one’s ideas to be innovative, smart, efficient and in line with the societal needs and requirements, the individuals should be educated, and with that, empowered to act by the knowledge they possess.
As societies change and advance, education is supposed to adapt alongside them. The programs need to be regularly updated and in line with the current scene. Otherwise, the education is not efficient enough and it is not giving its students the tools to reach their full potential in their community. Additionally, education should promote universally good values among the students from a young age in order for them to further develop into compassionate adults. On the other hand, it is very important for education not to impose beliefs, ideas and thoughts on to the students, but to teach them how to think critically and form their own stances on the happenings around them, all of this while always subconsciously holding the good values and principles, connecting their personal skills and development with their moral responsibility to leave the world a better place then how they found it.
Societal changes are usually motivated and encouraged by groups or individuals who can notice the faults in their current surroundings and communities, who can acknowledge that the status quo can be improved and who can mobilize a mass of people towards their cause, in order for the group to be more powerful and able to make a significant change where needed.
It is undeniable that all of the abovementioned efforts are going to be more possible, and definitely more thorough and thought out, if the individuals seeking change are knowledgeable. This is where the educational system is a crucial factor.
If the people, the community members, are educated, chances are that they will be more aware and more critical of the happenings around them, both on a local and global level. They will most likely be more conscious and able to identify injustices and abuses of power, and even though sometimes being able to identify these things is not enough to change them, acknowledging them is definitely the first step of the process towards a better future.
With the proper education, the subjects of that education, that is, the members of the society, first and foremost become aware of their rights and their duties as citizens. They come to realize that they are not and should not be just passive observers in their communities, that they have a say in everything that is happening around them and in everything that affects them, be it directly or indirectly.
Sadly, when people aren’t educated enough, they tend to be more ignorant and vulnerable to outside influences, which can many times be malicious, and they tend to take their surroundings as given, not realizing their potential to do a change as citizens and as individuals.
Education provides the opportunity for everyone, starting from a young age, to get to know the world, to develop critical thinking, to be able to differentiate universally good values, to be gradually introduced to the various issues the society is facing at a certain time, to learn and to be inspired from the past, in order to get motivation to change the present and work towards a better future. For this reason, every community has to make efforts to make education available to everyone. That should be one of the main aims of each state and each government. Education is the means for each individual to advance, to reach, and even surpass their potentials. It has allowed hard-working people to educate themselves and get out of poverty, advance through the social strata, and overall change the course of their life, which wouldn’t have improved, had they not gotten educated.
Considering all of the above, it is safe to assume that the education process is one of the core elements influencing behavioral patterns in the society. As such, it should be promoted, invested in, and regularly updated, in order to shape the best future leaders, community members, and just overall, people.