The inter-linkages between society and education work both ways. While we all know of the impact of education on society, let’s also examine the impact of society on education. Education is influenced greatly by various societal factors including norms, culture, development, traditions and beliefs.
Education is not only the mode of learning facts and figures. Most of our learning actually happens when we observe and learn from those around us. In this aspect, the society and the people who belong to it play a major role. Society includes our family, friends, relatives and the people who live in our community, county or even our country. Take for instance the case of people in impoverished societies. In these poor societies, the lack of resources greatly impacts and impedes education. Often the children of such societies cannot afford costly books, computers, laboratories or practical work and may have to eke out a living themselves. In such societies, bare literacy is sometimes all that the people can afford.
Societal values also greatly impact education. In many underdeveloped countries where female emancipation and freedom is lacking, almost half the population (females) has severely curbed or curtailed education. This is due to the ignorance and prevalence of age-old customs and traditions. On the other hand, in USA and many European countries, gender based differences in education are not present. This illustrates how the customs and traditions prevalent in some specific societies influence education.
In developing countries like India, the caste system in society defines education levels in various sections of the population. It is usually seen that the so called ‘higher’ castes are educationally progressive, whereas the backward castes and classes lack education as the emphasis is on earning a living through menial jobs in the case of the latter.
So, it goes without saying that the society has a tremendous impact on education.
Author is a consultant for student councils [http://www.myschoolcouncil.com/] He has worked with several international schools Bangalore USA, UK and Canada.
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