Education is a very dynamic concept that has been conceptualized differently by different people for different purposes and intentions behind their understanding. However, Schofeild (1982) asserts that from its Latin origin, education means to “form” or “train”. While in other hands, Ducasse (1958) still from Latin root discussed education to mean to “lead out” or to “bring out”. From the above definition, I can deduce that education for me Education is a systematic process of disciplining our habits through the acquisition of knowledge, virtues, skills, and values towards becoming a better person through instruction and personal inquiries of asking questions to understand and improve the quality of human life that cause personal and societal transformation.
In view of UNESCO International Standard Classification of Education (1995) education entails organized and sustained communication designed to bring about learning. I may not agree wholesomely to this definition but to some extent, it can stand. Why it is because most of the so-called educated people today in African setting are more of names in quotes “I am Educated”. The worst thing that can happen to a student is forgetting the concept or a definition of a course he claimed to have studied.
Our view of educated person ends up in schooling. What is schooling then? Schooling is the process of receiving training or instruction from an organized institution and acquiring grades through assessment within a speculated period. In African, an educated person to most people Uganda to be precise is having a lot of academic qualifications. But does this stand to be an educated person?
At the beginning of this semester, I was able to capture what education aims at. Our philosophy of education should be unlimited because philosophy itself is not limited to a certain field of study. Aesthetically, for example, philosophy of education is not limited to the science of art and beauty with it ethical principles rather it is the totality of what affects man, seeking to solve each problem as it evolves, and create new ideas for the betterment of persons physically, morally, socially, spiritual and worthwhile. So limiting philosophy of education to stagnate point of view and impedes it from being a transformative tool.
So seeing an educated personas acquisition of papers makes educated person unworthy of those definitions above. There are a lot of challenges in our contemporary society to where we try to strike a balance and to reach an equilibrium on managing and sustaining the quality of life. Being educated should be the number one aspect that breaks the chain in our caves. The allegory of the cave in our term work by Plato portrays what we shall seek as the truth. Seeing the light through education should give us the freedom to develop as individuals and as well going beyond our self-interest to what affects us as human, providing solutions and sustaining it through leading others to the same light.
Surprisingly, all these are acquired by those who transcend beyond the physical appearance to seek intellectual understanding through philosophy, synthesizing and coming up with a concrete way of doing things. Some have been proven through formal education setting whereas others have been through informal learning which is out of organized structures this alone makes learning a lifelong process which metaphysically should be an unending search and thirst for ways of sustaining human lives and it’s surroundings in a better way.
Our subject matter or curriculum should not be so rigid like the perennalist and essentialist view but flexible as progressivist and reconstructionist whose aim is to progressively use education as an agent of change and brings societal transformation and those designing the curriculum as accentuated by Allan and Francis (1998) should integrate all the aspect not using one paradigm to determine what teaching and learning should follow.
The nature of our education should aim at creative and logical thinking, production of individuals who are aware and have understood the world they are going to face not just teaching that they have to be taught. My view as a class teacher in Uganda is that some teachers no longer prime the surface to absorb the content but using a corrupt means to get someone to his destination. This moral decadence will continue to wallow in our system if we do not seek understanding of what education and a educated person should be.
Those whom we think did not attain any form of formal education are the ones we employ with their technical skills and talent which should be helped to develop but because of lack of financial support and sponsors some wander lost in the village and becomes a problem to the society instead of serving as resources.
Where have our aims and goals of education gone to? Our society is doomed by the relativism of the highest order. An educated person is not the closeness of someone to you and nature or status which the person has. Rather it should be a person of morals, skilled, mentally capable of creativity, inventions, and renovation according to the changing situation and is flexible to learn. Not just learning but learning that seeks understanding not half baked individuals who are incompetent in all works of life, occupying a position because he was given a chance and leading in an immoral way with ignorant followers who are unaware of where they are heading to.
As Rocha Sam noted in a primer for philosophy and education if we do not prime well the surface cannot absorb the content. The educators and curriculum expertise should be aware of how to teach and what to teach with a different method of teaching bearing in mind that they are handling different individual with different learning interests and ability. As we have known from the beginning that education not only takes place at school, we should also appreciate that it is a gradual process. That for one to reach a particular stage there must be something done on him which is impactful.
Regrettably, most youth today have gain education through buying certificates just for the sake of getting into higher positions or to replace the position of their families, relatives without having first let himself or herself to be primed.
Distinctions has made itself revealed when it come to the presentation of matters. You can be able to identify who is educated and uneducated person. Experts have lived an experience they acquired and they are able to figure out personnel who have really being educate and are capable of making the necessary changes that education and an educated person should make. An educated person should be known for his or her deeds in society. An educated person should be a role model not a narrator but a pragmatist who not only acquire wisdom but transform the knowledge into something tangible for the betterment of thyself and for the common good of other.
With the above, I exclude those whose educational process has misled. From the etymological context, education should not have been a vice rather a virtue. If a person becomes educated to create who destroys the society and as well themselves then it is not been educated. Some have been educated but all they learned from their advancement is how to hack into people’s system, steal from them, corrupt the legal system, participate in vandalizing public property, participate in academic theft, produce bombs, fight always for power just to mention but a few. These are not agents of change we talk about. An educated person should strive to live to the utmost standard that futures and present who you are and what you have become.
If education did not transform a person to be a good and patriotic fellow who is productive then he or she is not educated. Then, our education and social progress should be intertwined because we are not living in isolation. Whatever we do should be seen in a reality that indeed we have been educated and the fruit should be for all. Liberating us and showing the light should not be a source of turning away from the truth rather bringing others closer to the light too.
Allow me to conclude this paper with this analogy of two brothers. A man had two sons who are sent to school to study engineering and medicine. They all gained admission into the university to study. Their parents were so much hope that after investing in them, they can be of better supporters to the family and the community around them. To their surprise, one person graduated with a first class degree and the other was who ventured into engineering chased from the institution for been a cultist who never want to study but to force the lecturers to give him the marks he never worked for. He ended up been expelled whereas his brother graduated and made a good impact in their community by establishing a health center with a good health care facilities that contribute to the social and healthy growth of the community.
So our interests and desires should always be for the purpose and not for the selfish interest. Being educated is not a title but a vocation that demands commitments, love, development and sustainability of individuals as well as the entire world.