Education must liberate society from poverty

By Victor Angula |

Just a month ago Namibia was in a frenzy, with thousands of young people (and those not so young) graduating from institutions of higher learning.

These are educated people of Namibia, just what the country needs. Or it is?

While there may be various definitions of the word “education” all definitions must point to that intangible thing which shapes societies.

In other words, society is shaped by education. Whether it is a modern society or traditional society, the education of the society is the tool which shapes that society.

A good society, a functional society, a society moving forward, is made possible by or through education. That is to say, the more people are getting educated, the faster the society moves ahead in the right direction.

That is the direction of political progress, social order, and economic wellbeing.

But, now, in Namibia, the steady rise in educated people in our society is not leading to tangible social or economic development. More people are graduating every year, but we are also seeing more shacks and rising poverty across Namibia.

Therefore one can say that this education of ours is not liberating Namibia from poverty and suffering.

Since Independence, Namibia has produced hundreds of thousands of people with degrees, and even thousands of people with doctorates. So what are these educated people contributing to the betterment of the lives of the people of Namibia?

Education is not to learn the skills and acquire the knowledge that can make you liberate yourself from poverty. No. That’s not education. Education is to learn skills and acquire knowledge which makes you to contribute to the general welfare of your society.

It was Martin Luther King, Jr. who said that “The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically.”

It is to think critically and analytically about society’s problems – and address them.

One can say that if our education is making us to think intensively and critically, then our education will be able to deal with Namibia’s social and economic challenges so that by taking small bites at a time, soon enough these challenges will be decreasing and become a thing of the past in due course.

Otherwise, if this education is not making us to think for the society and the future of this nation, then such education will only be a means to our own survival by making us earning a constant salary every month.

And therefore, that education, an education that does not liberate society, is a fake education.

  • Victor Angula is the editor of Omutumwa News Online.