“Only the educated are free”, Epictetus

By Elia Mnonjela, of Morogoro, Tanzania. Elia, 22, is a third year BSc student in Environmental Sciences and Management at the Sokoine University of Agriculture in Tanzania. Please read his article and leave your thoughts and comments below.

Whether it’s formal or informal, education is all about imparting and acquiring theories and practical knowledges through teaching and learning, where freedom is an ability to act freely without being subjected to any restrictions provided laws are not broken. And one thing to remember is that having freedom with limitations signifies development to people with understanding like you. It’s a convincing fact that only the educated are free, although education alone can sometimes be insufficient to liberate someone completely. But all in all education acquiring is a proved worthful weapon and catalyst towards development of any community, provided such education is applied by a right person at a right place and at a right time.

Fig. 1: A chart, describing areas of freedom of an educated person as the key concepts to success and development.

Freedom of association & interaction. Association and interaction create unity and solidarity towards development, since they both bring members together for a particular joint purpose.  A person’s ability to associate and interact will depend on factors such as sex and gender influences, personal habit of associating and interacting, and share of common interest. Education as a learning process acts as a catalyst in promoting someone’s ability to interact and associate by enhancing someone’s confidence, freedom and strength to interact and associate. In contrast, for an uneducated person, his/her ability to interact is always limited, due to low confidence, inferiority habit and self consideration of them being incapable of doing anything. This lowers their conditions to act, interact and associate freely.

Freedom of assembly. It’s obvious seeing people gathered together, normally having legislative decision making powerBeingeducated in one way or another may act as liberty tool to prevent someone’s freedom from being restricted in the use of his/her own right to assembly. In contrast, for a person with little education or having no education at all, knowing assembly as his or her basic human right may still be a dream, hence lowers their participation in development issues. Inferiority consideration of uneducated people toward educated people always creates a barrier for them to interact freely, and this again lowers their participation in various development issues.

Freedom of press, speech and expressions. In any community people must possess freedom to communicate through authorized media and published materials such as newspapers, magazines, radios and television. Being educated may influence someone’s ability to utilize effectively the opportunity of using media and published materials as an important aspect of development where issues relating to social, economical and political get the wide platform to be discussed, for the betterment of people in the community and the country as whole. Most of the time, users of such media and published materials are leaders, educated people and other academicians where they explain to the community matters relating to development. But the fact is this, media are there free, for every person regardless of level of the education. Here is where the need and importance of education to set out someone’s freedom can easily be seen, since education reveals to people knowing what their rights are and how to use them.

Freedom of reasoning & criticizing. Reasoning and criticizing are important aspects for the development in any community, as they allow for a clear understanding of the issues that were not clearly stated by leaders, laws makers, and any other person involved in a similar situation. Moreover, reasoning and criticizing act as a means to reveal weaknesses, mistakes that may hinder the community prosperity rather than catalyzing community development. Education being a learning process, always aims to create awareness to people in knowing basic things around them, create ability to measure correctness or wrongness of things, and seeing possibility of solving them based on available solutions. Ability to reason and criticize things tends to vary from a very ordinary person to a well educated person, depending on level of understanding of the things, evaluating them and judging them accordingly. Therefore, education will still be the most valuable weapon, as it equips the person to make a very positive impact on society.

Freedom of thoughts & feelings. As is well known, every person possesses some kind of thoughts and feelings, regardless of the kind of thoughts and feelings a person has. The thoughts and feelings tend to differ from a person to person, depending on level of education that a person possess, but this level of education does not mean that thoughts and feeling possessed by educated ones must always be good to suggest for development, since the issue of being either good or bad does not only depend on education level, but may also depend on other factors. The major difference between an educated person and non-educated person comes in the ability to be free in giving out thoughts and feelings they have. An educated people are more free to say what they know even if the ideas are wrong or not, and this happens due to much confidence and freedom they have. In contrast, for uneducated people, few of them are confident to deliver what they have, due to fear of their ideas being wrong, hence rejected.

Freedom of privacy. Privacy is a situation in which a person is not observed or being disturbed by the other. Although privacy is often applied in our daily lives, very few numbers of people have recognized it as an important human right to be given to them. There are so many reasons for privacy, one being a human right and the other is for security purpose, for the betterment of the company or government, provided there will be an important reason for doing so. Privacy does not only apply to an individual person, but can be applied to a company, government departments and institutions, especially when certain documents are to be protected for security purposes. As we have seen above, education still remains as a key to reveal to people to be aware of what their rights are and what right procedures to be followed, so as to be in a position of utilizing such rights efficiently and effectively.

Conclusion, we have seen how education influences the development and freedom of an individual person. But what is important to be understood here is that having only education does not provides an assurance of freedom and development of a person. Therefore, don’t be surprised seeing an educated person act opposite from your expectations; this is because development does depend on other factors such as contribution of other people in promoting someone’s development and freedom and the government system, especially in seeing the importance and effectively utilization of education and freedoms in bringing development. But friend, believe this qualified truth that Education is a an oxygen of any success that does exist, therefore struggle to be educated, to have positive hope for your future, your country and for the world.


Featured on Vijana.fm

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to our newsletter!