The Lost Truth Of Literacy
By Talha Masood
Every eighth of September is celebrated as the International Literacy Day. To make our world a place where every person has an equal chance of quality education, where each and every one of us is appreciated as a persevering learner of the truths offered by knowledge, is a dream we all share. The international literacy Day presents us the opportunity to reflect upon how and why we should be educated and ensure the education of our family and friends, our fellow countrymen, and in effect the entire world.
Today our global society is grappling with multiple notions of the concept of education. Notwithstanding the fact that though all these notions are most admirably justified in their respective scenarios, it should be acknowledged that the general prevalence is only of two broadly recognized understandings of education. Firstly, most of us believe that it is only through education that we can even begin to have a semblance of civilization. Secondly, education is often viewed as a means to an end, a tool with which we are to shape our professional careers and subsequent futures in the competitive arena of our modern world. However, while both of these notions are important contributory factors in our education and its impacts, by no means do they describe the difference between an educated and an uneducated person. For one thing, the rising unemployment across the globe is indicative of the reality that the relevance of socio-economic progress to our education is lesser than what we would like to believe. For statistics show that an overwhelming number of degree holders spend at least months, if not years on job hunt and still end up unemployed. Also, civility and mannerisms have little to do with our being educated. For holding a doctorate degree does not necessarily mean that the person would have a cultured and a well-groomed bearing over others. In fact it has been seen that greater the degree of qualification, more proud and arrogant would be the educated person.
Then why exactly are we so concerned to be educated and so desirous of increasing the worldwide literacy rate? If it does not guarantee a courteous character and has a limited role to play in our socio-economic progress, why are we struggling to continue our education even under the stress of the Covid 19 pandemic? The answer dear reader, is perhaps somewhat bitter but simple. It’s merely in hopes that we would realise the forgotten purpose of education and redeem ourselves accordingly that the world still persists in striving to make education as accessible as possible. The true purpose of education is to acquire the virtue of humility by learning how to see the world from different perspectives. It is the only difference between an educated and an uneducated person. The latter has a limited scope of acknowledging this world from multiple perspectives while the former learns grade by grade to understand everything from varying points of views. With such a diverse and dynamic standpoint to perceive life and its happenings, we are to be humbled before the truth of our knowledge.
The overwhelming power and majesty of nature and its ecosystems, the impeccable precision of its mechanisms, the countless tales of trust and treason, of the rise and fall of great nations that history teaches us, the mysteries that surround the hidden depths of the great oceans and their marine life, the vast expanses of the hitherto unexplored heights of the astronomical regions spread throughout the universe, all converged to teach us the humble significance of our tiny being in the greatness of the entire universe. Ironically if years of education fail to humble us, and if the life experiences and exposures of a person who has never stepped in an educational Institute has learnt to be humble, then Who Do You Think is the educated person? and who has lost the truth of his/her literacy?
So let us choose to be humble and educated people and not knowledgeably illiterate!