The Role of Education in Society

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It is usually presumed that the purpose of education is to give instruction: communication of information and transmission of particular skills including the typical three R’s namely: ‘ritin’, ‘rithmetic’, and ‘readin’. Instruction forms the slightest section of education. Most information related to education is accessible through the internet, journals and books. The basic numeracy and literacy gained from education is used in daily lives by adults at their jobs or during normal interactions. The major goal of education in every society is to impart authoritative political, cultural and ethical conducts from one generation to the other. The key goals of education are referred to as the four I’s: Initiation, Indoctrination, Inculcation and Instruction (Marples 2010, p.36).

Initiation is the first goal of education that all members of society must pass through. At this stage, people are educated about their myths and customs that will form important basis of their future lives. For instance, culture is vital in determining the way people relate to one another in businesses and professional workplace. Inculcation of manners and morals is the second basic goal of education. In most instances, families and parents have a duty of imparting morals to family members. But schools are the institutions where people spend most of their time during early lives. For this reason, schools have a responsibility of socializing and teaching people in the standards of excellent conduct. The third goal is Indoctrination that aims at providing civic education to people such as political education and national regulations. Instruction is the last and least goal that incorporates different techniques to help students learn various areas of specialization (Marples 2010, p.39). An education that could not achieve the above four objectives would be considered a catastrophic failure.

From the above description, it is clear that education involves both formal and informal methods of gaining knowledge. On the other hand, schooling is the initial stage of education in many countries considered for those in primary and other lower levels. Education involves schooling together with other institutional ranks such as graduate school and university among others. Schooling on the other hand applies informal system having a pre-scheduled content and lacking a systematic administration structure like that of education.

Autonomy in education is a condition whereby the learner is fully accountable for all choices related to his/her learning and the execution of those choices. It ensures that the right of an individual learner in school is recognized. It also involves the extent to which the experts, teachers and professors can make personal decisions concerning what they can teach learners. Schools can contribute to autonomy either through school autonomy or teacher autonomy. Students are more likely to excel in school that have effective personnel decisions and autonomy process. The privately operated school have more autonomy when it comes to making decisions than public-operated schools. The compliance regulations of schools vary from one country to the other depending on the type laws enacted by their governments.

Autonomy has led to general improvement of schools especially those that are administered privately. Some governmental schools tend to implement their own decisions in order to provide the most demanded standards and requirements in the school system; Government-operated schools might enact policies that force learners to take various compulsory subjects and as a result depriving them a freedom to enjoy school autonomy. To avoid low performance in schools, some institutions have adopted to follow the private route system whereby they offer learners an opportunity to make teaching-related decisions. Schools contribute to autonomy by increasing the competition for excellence against each other. This situation occurs when institutions are actively fighting in the market to acquire more students. Schools contribute to autonomy by granting learners a properly analyzed education system aimed at improving their overall performance.

Faith schools in the United Kingdom are schools that educate learners the normal education curriculum integrated with a given religion. Faith school have strong links with religious organizations and they teach learners the normal curriculum integrated with specific religious practices. Faith schools can be governmental or non-governmental depending on the extent of control by the religion. Most faith schools in the United Kingdom are usually associated with excellent performance hence they are heavily attended by a large number of students. Faith schools in the United Kingdom include: Jewish schools, Church of England schools, Sikh schools, Roman Catholic schools and Muslim schools Brighouse (2006, p.54). Additionally, there is large number of public and independent schools that incorporate religious ethics in their teachings.

Faith schools are autonomy restricting because they deny a learners an opportunity to make decision related to his/her religion. For this reason, the learner will not be accountable for the outcome of his/her decisions because faith schools tend to enact curriculum based on religious ethics for their education system. Most Faith schools are actively competing academically with government and independent institutions; they tend to set teaching approaches that regulate teaching autonomy. Even though these schools are obligated to follow the standard national curriculum, they ensure that they teach their own religion and faiths without providing options for learners who want to pursue other religions. 

Faith school restrict both parent and student autonomy. These schools ignore the concept of student voice in contributing; ambitions, choices, passions and interests. According to (Kazepedis 1989), students should participate in formulating learning experiences, a move that will motivate them to learn and assume massive responsibility of their future after education. Faith schools restrict student engagement and student-centred learning. They also restrict parent autonomy because they limit the ideas and decisions of the parents. For example, during admission, these schools consider special requirements such as certificate of baptism or a letter from a religious leader confirming the religion. This restricts the autonomy of parents to choose certain schools based on overall score and performance because such schools are religious-centred (Hirst 1974).  

I think we should not have faith schools because they entitle parents to educate children at a specific lane of customs and traditions. These schools separate students in the state along with primary stripes of differences that might eventually cause cultural, religious and socio-economic discrimination. Other faith schools tend to eliminate students and teachers who do not share faith with rest of the institution. The learners and parents should be given autonomy to make decisions related to education and ensure that learners will be responsible for the outcome of their education.

Marples, R. (2010) ‘What is Education For?’ in Bailey, R. (ed.) The Philosophy of Education: An Introduction. London: Continuum, pp. 35-47

Brighouse, H. (2006) On Education, London: Routledge, pp. 27-62

De Carlo, G. (1969) How/Why to Build School Buildings, Havard Educational Review, 39 (4), pp. 12-35

Hirst, P. (1974) Knowledge and the Curriculum, London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.

Kazepedis. T. (1989) On Educational Aims, Curriculum Objectives and the Preparation of Teachers, The Journal of Philosophy of Education, 23 (1), pp. 51-59

Marples, R. (ed.) (1999( The Aims of Education, London: Routledge.

August 14, 2023

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