goals of education
this is a tough question.
the goal of education is accepted by our scriptures in the phrase 'sa vidya ya vimuktye'. education is that which liberates.
immediately the question arises – liberate from what.
at the spiritual level, the answer would be 'from the cycle of birth and death'.
at a more mundane level, the answer will be ' liberation from anxiety'.
anxiety can be about pure physical needs. to get a good job, to earn enough to meet one's basic necessities both of self and the family, the family being nuclear or extended.
getting a job is not the only way to earn a living. the cultivator, the artisan et al have also avenues for earning a decent return to their labour. their anxiety is about exploitation and they would wish to be liberated from that.
anxiety can be about comfortable life. this goes beyond physical needs. comforts may be about the possession of worldly goods – a good house, a good car, leisure to enjoy,
so far we have talked about why parents want their children to be educated. but there is another angle to consider. why does a person want to educate himself. here we are on a different wavelength altogether. having got the basic education, enough, let us say, to get him on in the world. but some persons like to have more. why?
beyond the satisfaction of physical needs and the routine comforts of life, there is another purpose of life. to my mind, it is the satisfaction of the inner self (and i am not talking of spiritual quest).
some people have urge to help others to achieve their goals. whether it is through charitable institutions or by actively involving oneself in social service is another choice that can be made. (i may mention that politics is also a form of social service – relieving others from want - though in india most of the politicians are there because they consider it as another profession, more paying and more comfortable than others.)
self fulfillment is another goal for some persons. it can take various forms. there was a person who has done post graduation in twelve different subjects. a friend of mine did post graduation in ancient history after retirement, did his m. phil and is now awarded ph.d. another friend, a medical doctor, has now retired and finds satisfaction in painting and teaching others about painting. generation of ideas for those in active service is essential for some of the senior citizens and, for that one has to constantly educate oneself.