Education serves many different purposes. To attain an elevation of social status, there should be fair play in education. In other words, education should be based on merits. Education, agreed by all at wide, is a right entitled to all humans. Yet, due to several political circumstances, some children are not given the chance to be educated. For the fortunate ones who live in countries that provide equal educational opportunities, one will be able to gain a chance in climbing the social ladder, provided that meritocracy is practised as well.
However, i do not agree with the statement that this is the only purpose of education. We may only spend several years of life in schools, receiving education, the intangible aftermath effects of education is boundless. Through education, we learn communication skills, practise moral values and face life with a positive attitude. To start off, addressing the issue in the statement, education enables one to climb the social ladder. With education, 92% of the children in Singapore are literate and hence able to handle simple office work.
Furthermore, with the policy of taking contrasting subjects at secondary and pre-university levels, Singapore students’ perspectives are widened and hence, they will receive a broader scope of knowledge. As such, with education enabling students to be equipped with a wide range of knowledge and content, they will have more options in the working field in the future. For instance, as the student took the subjects Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics and Economics in their pre-university level, they have the choices ranging from being an engineer to an economist.
They can work in both the Science and Technology and Social Science sectors. To add on, as Singapore practises meritocracy, everyone is given a chance to excel in their niche areas. Hence, students not as financially able who are willing to put in the effort can also attain degrees which enable them to obtain a high-paying job, elevating their economic status. Statistics have also shown that students going to the elite secondary schools come from 98. 3% of all primary schools.
This goes to show that the passports for a better economic status, an elevation of social status are not impossible. They can be achieved, as education has been based on one’s merits. As such, education has indeed allowed the climbing of social ladder. Secondly, through education, students learn communication skills that are vital for life. With education, there is a ready-made platform where students interact. In schools, there are project work, co-curricular activities (CCA) and inter-class competitions that foster bonds.
For instance, through CCA, students spend their training sessions together and they went through the thick and thin as one. In time of conflicts, they communicate to air out their grievances. In life, we need to express ourselves so that people understand where our ideas and though processes are coming from. Be it through verbal communication or otherwise, communication is vital for mutual understanding to be reached. In another example, project work and inter-class competitions, had, in a way, forced people to come together to formulate plans or strategies.
The world is made up many people of differing personalities. Through such group work in schools, students can then learn to handle the intangible relationships of people with opposite personalities through communication. Differences are not erased with the passing of time. Instead, it is erased when the people involved put in the effort to communicate and hence, allowed the bridging of the opposing views. Thus, education has a purpose of enabling students to learn communication, and not confined to elevation of social status.
Thirdly, education enables students to practise moral values. In schools, crimes such as theft and bullying are not allowed and are severely dealt with. In Singapore, many schools had these offences to carry the punishment of demerit points and in the worse cases, offenders may even be suspended from school. As such, by following these rules and regulations, students learn what are the actions which they should or should not exhibit, hence attaining a code of moral conduct.
To add on, national education that is made compulsory in all schools educate students moral values through group discussion which guide students the route they should always take and steering clear of any actions that portray the wrong moral values. In essence, such lessons handed them skills of differentiating the good from the bad, the right from the wrong. To show this, my school discipline mistress once made an announcement to the school when a theft had occurred in the school, asking us why such actions were wrong and to reflect on the wrongdoings of the thief.
Furthermore, in lessons, as teachers also discouraged students in copying of assignment answers or homework, we were taught the value of honesty. Not to mention, when Japan had an earthquake on 11th of March, teachers made a PowerPoint slideshow of this incident and suggested relief aids which we can participate in, creating empathy in us. As such, education has also imparted moral values to its students and climbing of social status is definitely not the only function of education. Lastly, education moulds our attitudes towards life.
As students today took many tests and papers, they suffer disappointments as what they have been working hard for did not pay off. The results had not reflected the efforts they have put in for these assessment papers. Thus, as such failures become frequent, unavoidably; students will feel despondent about tests and not have the motivation to carry on. As such, student councillors and teachers made cards for these students, sending out messages of hope, giving them the strength to hang on and get over the feelings of inferiority and failure.
With these emotional barriers in place, it served as obstacles which befall on the students, stretching their limits of perseverance. They only have the options of picking themselves up from the fall or giving it all up. Thus, tests are not a testament of one’s academic ability but a test of their attitude. It forces students to make an option, and portray perseverance and determination. Adding on, with project work ideas rejected by their teachers, rendering their efforts to be zero, they have to find the undying flame of resilience within them which pushes students forwards despite the strong waves of rejection.
This, in itself, is one of the functions of education. Life is not a bed of roses. As students emotions are put to test, they learn to face setbacks positively and move on. Statistics have also shown that 87. 1% of students graduated from junior colleges portrayed a higher level of resilience and are more able to cope with the stress level of their work due to the academic stress they once had had endured. As such, it all goes to show that education has enabled one to acquire positive attitudes towards life, making out the function of climbing of social status to not be the only one.
To sum it up, education is not limited to an elevation of social status. It goes beyond the economic achievements of students, but has intangible functions as that of values, communication skills and positive attitudes. Henceforth, I do not agree with the statement. Education should also be a life-long learning process. It should reach our consensus that it is not to be confined within these years of official and compulsory schooling. After graduation, the learning of values, communication skills and positive attitudes should never end since education never ends.