Is Education A Necessity?

Tue, 18 Oct 2011 Source: Mensah, Richard Obeng

“Education is not the key to success. Don’t’ misunderstand me. I believe in education…However, if education were the key to success, then everyone who has a Ph.D. should be financially secured and happy” – Dr Myles Munroe, The Principles and Power of Vision.

One Saturday in September, 2011, I visited two of my loyal friends, Stephen Essel and Michael Maupioga, at Ayigya, Kumasi, Ghana. Stephen and Michael are also my proud communication designers. While in their room, I saw a book on Michael’s bed. It was Oswald J. Smith’s The Man God Uses. I borrowed the book to read it. While reading it, I stumbled on a striking statement at page 184 – “Education is not a necessity”. The statement sets me thinking for several days. I later resolved to research further into its truthfulness. Is education a necessity?

It has been observed that many people who have made their mark in the world of ideas and who have been acknowledged leaders and innovators have held formal education and educational institutions in low regard. Ralph Waldo Emerson, US essayist and poet, once remarked, “We are shut up in schools and college recitation rooms for ten or fifteen years, and come out at last with a bellyful of words and do not know a thing.” For Theodore Roosevelt, ex US president, “A man who has never gone to school may steal from a freight car; but if he has a university education he may steal the whole railboard”. This means that education may make a person intelligent to carry out some positive or negative activities. Something is necessary if it is indispensable. Education has been variously been defined as the process of teaching or learning. It has been said that the gift of learning is the primary purpose of every human being, and teaching is our primary responsibility. One needs to be taught before that person can teach. Learning may be formal or informal. It has been observed that only few people achieve success despite their education, or even without it. Self-education is good but it may be dangerous. A student must have a master. Education is not just schooling. “I have never let my schooling,” so says Mark Twain, “interfere with my education”. For Ralph Waldo Emerson, “The things taught in colleges and schools are not an education, but the means of education”. Education is not just passing exams. It is more than obtaining a First Class degree. It is even more than being the over-all best graduating student. Real education is gifts and talents development. Dr Myles Munroe wrote, “If you are intelligent but are not exercising your gift, you’re probably going to be poor. If you’re educated but have not developed your talent, you’re likely to be depressed, frustrated, and tired; you will hate going to work on Monday mornings…Education, in itself, doesn’t guarantee anything; it is your gift that is the key to your success”.

The Bible says “A man’s gift maketh room for him, and bringeth him before great men”. Thus, your gift is a door-opener and an opportunity creator. It attracts great men. Real gifts and talents are God-given. They help us to pursue our God-given visions. You must allow God to be your Master so that you can rightly know and develop your gifts and talents through education. Education is only necessary if it helps you to know and pursue your God-given vision. While success without God is suicidal, education outside your God-given vision is catastrophic.

Richard Obeng Mensah, author of right your writing. borncapy@yahoo.com/ www.richard-obeng-mensah.blogspot.com

Columnist: Mensah, Richard Obeng