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Meaning of Education

By Afzal Husain 

Education of children is a subject that interests almost everyone. Start a discussion on the topic and see people of all hues take part in it. You wouldn’t find lack of enthusiasm on this topic among people of all hues, be it man, woman, rich, poor, villager, urbanite, Muslim, non-Muslim or for that matter people belonging to any strata of the society.

If given an opportunity, each of the above will like to put forth her or his point of view on the topic.This common interest is very natural as:• Everyone has kids and without exception people are very concerned about good future of their children. People want to see their kids doing far better than them and try to give them best possible education.• Many people have great hopes and many of their hopes cannot be fulfilled by them. So they want their dreams fulfilled by their children.

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Therefore they are typically eager to find a way to accomplish it.• If they don’t see their children growing according to their expectations, they feel restless and express dissatisfaction.• Nature has provided a long period in the form of childhood and everyone wants to make best use of it.• Nonetheless, if you analyze people’s views on the subject, you will find very diverse and often contradictory vision. Everyone seems to have a very different perspective about education. There will be very few people who may have similar views.

To be true, this is not limited to laymen alone, even academics have very serious differences on the issue. There are reasons for divergent views.Difference of views on way of lifePeople have diametrically different views about life. There are many people who believe this life is an end in itself and are tempted by attractions that this life may provide. On the contrary, there are others who believe in the Hereafter and believe that the success in that life is of paramount importance.

For some, the success means having a huge bank balance and accumulation of wealth by all possible means, while for others it may be getting hold of power. They want to accomplish all of these, by hook or crook. Then, there are some others who are not tempted by the glitter of the world. They become ascetic, while some others want to please God despite living in the midst of the world and fulfilling their responsibilities. This difference of opinion about life plays a major role in differences of opinion on education and upbringing.

The difference of aspirationsPeople have different dreams and aspirations. Some want to see their kids becoming physicians, engineers or political leaders. Someone wants to see his kids take to agriculture, or trade while others may want to see their wards become journalists or government servants. There may be others who want to see their kids grow into respected religious scholars. Therefore it is natural to see differences in vision and perception.
Difference of environmentEvery place has naturally different social environment. To fit in a particular society, people need to have some specific qualities and features that can be created through education and training. This difference in environment may also cause the differences of opinions and visions about education.

Difference due to circumstances and needsEveryone has different needs as far as education is concerned due to particular background or environment. If these differences are not taken into account while educating kids, it creates a sense of restlessness in them.

Intricate and different personalitiesHuman personalities are very intricate. There are different and important aspects of the personality. These include mental, physical, practical and moral aspects. The importance of these aspects varies among different people. Everyone wants to give importance to the aspects he holds important and wants to see it develop perfectly. If he finds some lacunae in it, he fears and works to improve that particular aspect of personality.

Difference in educational schemesEducational experts, after detailed deliberations and long experiences, have come out with different educational schemes. Someone loves a particular scheme, while others like a different scheme.
Difference of system of education Different experts of academia have found distinct system of education useful for them. This is the reason that several syllabuses are in vogue in different parts of the world and people find very diverse system suited to their needs. Nonetheless, what is very clear is the fact that all the meanings of education and every system cannot be correct. There must be one system that will be better than others and most suited to particular needs of a place at a particular time.

Meaning of education
Encarta Dictionary while defining education explains it in the following words “The imparting and acquiring of knowledge through teaching and learning, especially at a school or similar institution”. In his bestselling ‘Dear Me’ Peter Ustinov says, “After all, what is education but a process by which a person begins to learn how to learn?”
In Arabic, taleem (education) is derived from the word ilm. The literal meaning of taleem means informing something to someone and instructing. Some people, erroneously, think it equivalent to tadrees or giving instruction to students in a particular subject, book or teaching students reading and writing. This word has a vast meaning. The word education (taleem) not just includes tadrees, but also creating perfection in one particular subject (tadreeb), teaching discipline (tadeeb) and improvement in overall personality of students (tarbiyat).

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