Essence of education

There are various connotations about education. The most common is that education is the key to success. Some say that it is a pre-determining factor for prosperity, a weapon for life; others believe that it is a matter of recognition; still others reveal that education is what makes a person worthy to be emulated; and to students, education is getting a degree from a reputed university and landing on a high paying job.
Whatever is the meaning of education, the most important is that ignorance is far from it. The DepEd Vision states its dream of Filipinos who passionately love their country and whose values and competencies enable them to realize their full potential and contribute meaningfully to building the nation. Thus, it is part of its mission for teachers to facilitate learning and constantly nurture every learner and for the family, community and other stakeholders to be actively engaged and share responsibility for developing life-long learners.
Education is what makes a man – a man of dignity. It is what we acquire from the environment, from formal and informal schooling, from the values we have learned from our ancestors, and mostly from the family we came from. It is what we are. It is the reality of being a man, externally and internally.
As teachers, it is our task to develop people who are self-directed, who are disciplined, who do what they do because they choose to do it basing from their intelligence plus character. Essentially teaching is not merely telling and testing but rather asking the question: How does it work in your life? Education as a part of our life is education forever. We cannot cast it aside, for it is within us. We cannot put it in oblivion, because it is in our mind; nor can we kick it out, for it is not only in memory, but it is within our personality.
Education is nonsense if the person having it does not know how to follow rules and regulations, does not obey laws, does not act in accordance with ethics, does not contribute to the improvement of his community. Education is not just having a degree. Many people who have never sat inside a college classroom are brilliantly educated. They are men and women of wisdom, and they have received and are receiving an education. They may not know everything, but what they know, they live and God is using them as his instruments to accomplish his purpose.
Nelson Mandela says, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” Education gives us the knowledge of the world around us and changes it into something better. It develops in us a positive perspective so that we are prepared to face the challenges in life.
From these different meanings of education, we can now tell ourselves if the education we have acquired and imparting is really the education one must possess. Being a teacher we are in the process of planting seeds, seeds that will germinate, and interestingly enough to bear fruit. When? We never know. If we recall the best teachers in our lives they were probably those who planted seeds and that we’re still reaping the harvest from them. So is it not good if we ask ourselves as we enter our classroom, “What in the world are we trying to do to these people? Are we giving them true education?” Therefore, whatever our answer is, always bear in mind that the most important thing in our life is to exhibit Education in the real sense of it. URSULA R. CHENO, Camp 4 Elementary School, Tuba, Benguet

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