Is education a waste of time?

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Education a waste of time

The Cambridge online dictionary defines education as “the process of receiving or giving systematic instruction, especially at a school or university.” (Cambridge Dictionary, 2020) Education, therefore, plays a critical role in society and allows knowledge, skills, experiences, values, and attitudes to be passed down through generations. Many people have attended school in their lifetime, but not many people succeed in life after attending these schools. It begs the question, therefore, is education a waste of time? This paper will analyze this question by delving into the role of education in society by illuminating the abilities of people with formal education while simultaneously comparing them to people who have not obtained formal education, with the intention of either approving or disproving the question of whether education is a waste of time.

            Education enables people to shape a sustainable future. Human beings are always tasked with the development of their habitat while ensuring that it remains sustainable for future generations. Sustainable consumption of resources, increasing awareness of green energy, climate change, and disaster risk reduction are among the many issues that continue to matter to the modern human being. Education offers people the skills, and knowledge to develop mechanisms of utilizing resources in a sustainable way (Smith et al., 2017). Without formal education, it would be impossible to perform most of the human actions in a sustainable way. People without formal education would not have the scientific knowledge necessary to exploit greener sources of energy. Therefore, education enables the sustainable development of societies.

            Education offers people a platform to prosper and to interact in a civilized manner. It acts as a knowledge vehicle that ensures that people learn ways to conduct themselves socially to avoid conflicts. Education also enables people to learn, from a young age, the importance of having values and discipline in society (Bhardwaj, 2016). For human beings to survive and to live harmoniously, they need a system of living. The only way to have a system of conduct is through education, formal or informal. Additionally, with smooth interactions between people based on an acceptable system, people can work together to develop their societies and to improve their personal lives. A society without education cannot agree on a set of values to govern their society and chaos would reign supreme eventually leading to death and destruction of lives (Bhardwaj, 2016). Therefore, education is a foundation for success in society.

            Education is the most effective solution to prevent disasters and reduction of its dire effects. With disasters increasing all over the world, education has enabled people to prepare for disasters and also to handle them if and when they happen (Torani et al., 2019). Research suggests that many past deaths in cases of disasters could have been avoided with proper disaster preparedness and essential survival skills. This kind of knowledge is imparted to people through formal education. Disaster education is increasingly becoming important and this knowledge is imparted to both old and young people to prepare them in case of disasters (Torani et al., 2019). Analyzing past events when there was little knowledge among humans regarding disasters and comparing them to recent periods when more people are aware courtesy of disaster preparedness knowledge, it is proof enough that education has the potential to save and preserve human life.

            The integral role of education and knowledge in society is unquestionable. Education enables people to use their resources sustainably, gives them a platform to succeed and to act appropriately in society, and ultimately provides the most effective way to survive disasters by imparting disaster preparedness knowledge. Therefore, education is not a waste of time. It offers numerous advantages to people in society and there is little to suggest that the alternative is better.


Bhardwaj, A. (2016). Importance of education in human life: A holistic approach. International Journal of Science and Consciousness2(2), 23-28.

Cambridge Dictionary | English Dictionary, Translations & Thesaurus. (2020). Retrieved 1 July 2020, from

Smith, W. C., Fraser, P., Chykina, V., Ikoma, S., Levitan, J., Liu, J., & Mahfouz, J. (2017). Global citizenship and the importance of education in a globally integrated world. Globalization, Societies, and Education15(5), 648-665.

Torani, S., Majd, P. M., Maroufi, S. S., Dowlati, M., & Sheikhi, R. A. (2019). The importance of education on disasters and emergencies: A review article. Journal of education and health promotion8.