Importance of Education as a necessary public good

  • Education, for most of us, is a necessary public good central to the task of nation building and, like fresh air, is necessary to make our communities come alive.
  • It should not be driven solely by market demand for certain skills, or be distracted by the admittedly disruptive impact, for instance, of Artificial Intelligence.
  • This form of education should be unshackled from the chains of deprivation, and “affordable” education is vital to ensure access to even the most marginalized sections of our country.
  • Education is a basic fundamental right. If we want to see the world as a fair place where everyone is given equal opportunities, education is what we require. Education should be free to all – both in elementary and secondary stages. It is essential for the development of human personality and moral living. If education is restricted to only a privileged section, it will be a huge injustice to the rest of the society.
  • Education, in essence, must aim to produce sensitive, creative and upright citizens who are willing to take the less-travelled path and whose professional “skills” will endure revolutions in thinking and technology.
  • There is no developed country where the public sector was not in the vanguard of school and higher education expansion, in ensuring its inclusiveness, and in setting standards.
  • Increasing literacy rates, for example, leads to improved health outcomes, broader participation in democratic processes, reduced crime and poverty rates, environmental sustainability and social equality.
  • In a recent report, UNESCO outlined how education performs much more than an economic function, by enabling individuals, especially women, to live and aspire to healthy, meaningful, creative and resilient lives. It strengthens their voices in community, national and global affairs. It opens up new work opportunities and sources of social mobility.
  • Affirmative action is required for quality of opportunity. It is an action that helps the underprivileged people to compete with others with respect and dignity. Reservation in educational institutions is an affirmative action. It helps the backward communities and section of people to come to acquire education and compete with the privileged classes.