Being educated is not only about passing through a formal classroom. Education is more than that. But unfortunately (though fortunately for some people), education is attributed to literacy. So when you hear many people say they are educated, they actually mean they can read and write or that they passed through formal schools (usually higher institutions). In other words, once you are a literate, you are (or you are supposed to be) educated. Of course, this belief is a supposition because it is not always true. In fact, it is rarely true. This is why we have a lot of uneducated intelligent literates in every corner of the world.
Literacy is just one of the aspects of education. It is one of the things an educated person is expected to possess. Of course, before the invention of writing, man was educated. But nowadays, literacy is one of the yardsticks for measuring people’s level of education. All I am trying to say here is that being a literate is a sign that someone passed through formal education. Nevertheless, an illiterate cannot be said to be uneducated. It is possible that he had another type of education, which had nothing to do with learning the symbols that represent sounds in his language. So, the desirable qualities of education mentioned in this essay is not reserved for only those that can read and write but for every human, who has received trainings and passed through experiences that have formed and reformed him.
One of the qualities of an educated person is healthy self-esteem. He is never self-conceited. Even with his abundant ideas and knowledge, he is never arrogant or wishes to be worshiped. He acknowledges that he has the knowledge but he understands that others have higher knowledge. The good thing about this person is he rarely feels he’s being looked down because his submission is challenged (he understands that everyone won’t agree with him). He allows the opinion of others and never undermines them. The way he respects himself is the way he does to others. This quality is actually rare these days because people that have a little knowledge seek for fans and worshipers; pity.
- Desire to Grow
Training and experiences teach an educated person that knowledge is unlimited: he can never know it all. This person appreciates the fact that he is a learner even in the grave. This quality makes people like this seek for more knowledge – the more he learns, the more he finds out there are so many things he didn’t know. It is this quality that causes them to listen, learn, unlearn, relearn, assimilate and analyse. This quality makes them realise that two different persons may not view a phenomenon from the same angle. This is actually the quality that turns them into experts. Of course, the opposite is always the case with an uneducated person, be he a literate or not.
- Analytical Abilities
Unless a person understands the true nature of unbiased research, he will fail to solve existing problems. The good thing about educated people is that by describing what is happening around them, they predict solutions to existing problems. They are never quick to judge or conclude and they don’t believe in surface value. Somehow, they understand the complexities of human nature and apply them to situations. And they are never wrong. This quality is why Plato, Aristotle, Socrates and the rest are still cited today and their submissions still applied to the study of present day predicaments. These people developed their analytical skills through education; a quality many literates lack.
- Desirable Characters
You must have noticed there are some characters that when people exhibit, they will be called uneducated (or illiterate). A person’s poise, or lack of, tells a lot about his level of education. Usually, when people are passing through some forms of training, their characters are also formed. In schools, teachers do not condone lateness, noise, lies, laziness, haughtiness, rudeness, and what have you. They chastise students that exhibit these characters so that they drop them as time goes by. To a large extent, the positive characters people picked up from school follow them all through life unless they chose to drop them along the way.
Education is a continuous process; it doesn’t end. When you realise there is something you are not doing well, instead of continuing with it, you drop it. That is also education. So as you gather knowledge in your field and acquire several professional skills for your place of work, remember to reform yourself. That is what education is all about.