Only The Educated Are Free

By Kingi Kigongo, of Morogoro, Tanzania. Kingi, 27, studies at the Sokoine University of Agriculture in Tanzania. Please read and leave your thoughts and comments below.

Education is delivered from the Latin word ‘Educatum’ which meant the process of teaching. Also it was originated from the words ‘educare’ which meant rising up and the word ‘educere’ which meant drawing out. The combination of these two words came into the word ‘educa’ which meant drawing from within. According to the meaning of those words the term education can be defined as the process of raising abilities and talents of a person to the highest potential so that he or she can be a useful member of a society. In a broad term, education is the process of acquiring knowledge skills altitudes and experiences. There are three forms of education which are formal education, non formal education and informal education. Formal education is the kind of education which is acquired in a formal organized education system. For example in Tanzania the system is 2:7:4-6:3-5. Two years for nursery, seven years for primary, four to six years for secondary level and three to five years for university level education. Non formal education is the kind of education which is acquired outside the formal organized education system. Examples of non formal education are secondary school evening classes, vocational training, seminars and workshops. Informal education is the kind of education which is acquired unconsciously from parents and environment through imitation and adaptation. This kind of education acquired throughout the life of a person.

It is true that only the educated are free. The Oxford Dictionary For Advanced Learners defines a free person as a person who is not restricted or controlled by anyone else, able to do or say what he or she wants. Also to be free is a state of not being a prisoner or slave. In the context of education, education should make a person free in all spheres of life. Paul Freire, a Brazilian philosopher, introduced education for liberation. He said that “…a true education is the one which makes a person to be truly liberated and this liberation comes through conscientization…” According to Paul Freire he explained conscientization as a situation where a person knows his or her rights and how to work on them. It is through conscientization that a person knows his or her identity as human being and his or her responsibilities in surrounding society.

In fact the aim of education is to make a person free in all spheres of life that’s economically politically and socially. Through conscientization a person is able to open his or her mind and develop his or her plans and hence make his economic to be well organized, and also to participate well as far as political and social issues are concerned.

In economic sphere, there are many economic activities which people used to engage. Among of those activities are agriculture, mining and commerce. All of these activities need people who are well educated so as to progress smoothly.

Let’s start with agricultural sector; people who are educated can practice productive agriculture by introducing mechanization, application of fertilizers and the use of insecticides so as to increase quantity and quality of crops. By doing so educated people are free to sell all over the world their crops since they have high quality crops compared to those which have been produced by uneducated people.

Mining sector also is dominated by an educated people. People who have been employed in mining industry are well educated in their respective fields. Examples of those specialists are mechanical engineers, civil engineers, electrical engineers, geologists and environmentalists. It is impossible to employ uneducated person in this important sector.

Also in commerce the educated people are able to progress faster than uneducated ones since they are able to use modern technology so as to advertise their products by using computer technology through internet services. For that case the educated people are free to dominate all markets in the World.

Now, let’s move to political affairs; in this sphere there are National Leaders, International Leaders and Citizens. All of these are supposed to be educated.

In leadership, both National and International leadership posts are held by an educated people. All over the World, not even a single country which has a president who is not educated. Therefore educated people are free to dominate in National and International politics.

Also for citizens who are well educated, they know their rights and hence they are able to ask what is going on in their government and hence to make leaders to be accountable and the government to be transparent.

Let’s move to social affairs; there are health issues, poor family planning, female genital mutilation (FGM), and inheritance of widows that have great effects in any society. Those factors affect a society which has people who are not educated as follows:

As far as health issues are concerned, people who are not educated are not aware of eating balanced diet, drinking clean and safe water and hence their health status are in danger of being affected by diseases. Also they are not aware of sending their children to clinic and therefore infant mortality rate is high to the uneducated people compared to the areas of educated people.

Also pool family planning is highly observed in families of uneducated people compared to those who are educated. As a result families with pool family planning, due to having a large number of children, are not able to provide important social services such as education, health, shelter and clothing. Therefore uneducated people live in poor life condition and hence they are not free to compete with those who are educated in all spheres of life.

Some uneducated societies practice female genital mutilation (FGM). This habit is not good since it causes many physiological and psychological disorders to females and hence undermines women. In those societies, women are not able to say anything or contribute to any decision making pertaining to development of the society. Therefore they are not able to generate any creative idea compared to women from educated societies.

Also there still a tendency of inheriting widows in some uneducated societies. This is the kind of dehumanization to women which makes them to feel inferior to participate in decision making and hence they are not able to compete with those women from educated societies. Also inheriting widows causes diseases such as sexually transmitted diseases and AIDS.

Generally, only the educated are free since they are aware of their rights and responsibilities in all spheres of life such as economic, political and social aspects. It is to deny ourselves to say that we are free while the majority of people are uneducated. Plato, the great thinker, said that “…in order to build a strong and just society, there must be strong political and Educational system which can prepare citizens to be useful member of the society…” By knowing that, J.K. Nyerere, the Tanzanian philosopher and the first president of Tanzania, introduced the policy of “Education for all” to insist on the provision of education to all Tanzanian citizen since he knew that it is through education people might be set free.


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