Enlightenment of Education

Though many people score high marks and have numerous degrees, it doesn’t mean they are educated, our readers opine. Because education is not just about holding a degree but how you implement your learning in your daily life

Being literate and being educated, though sounding similar, have a fine line that separates them. One might say that a person learning the ABC’s of formal education is literate, and would contribute to the literacy rate of the nation. Yes, formal education would have developed a particular set of skills in an individual which s/he can use in practising a profession, earning money, and contributing to the nation’s development. Being educated not only means to know how to read, write, think, or even being able to conjure new ideas, but having a cultured sense of oneself and the surrounding. I have heard so much of the Japanese culture and have had the opportunity of working in a similar environment during my service. The Japanese culture demands, as a trend, to be respectful towards others, one’s own work and time. Although I didn’t learn about all these human virtues from books, they were self-inducted, which I think each and every human, and particularly a Nepali should learn, in order to be educated, and not just literate, because even me, as an engineer having acquired such abundance of knowledge would still be uneducated, whilst being literate if these basic human virtues were unattended to.

— Sandeep Tuladhar


In this generation, education is considered one of the most essential elements. Education gives the light of knowledge. The constitution also guarantees education as a fundamental right of people. In our country, the literacy rate is going up but still most people are unemployed. Why is this so? It is due to lack of practical education and not applying the knowledge in our daily life. Most people of our country, mainly of the city areas, have college degrees, but are they applying the education they received in their daily life? I think the answer is no because we can observe in our surroundings that most people do not cross the roads at zebra crossings even though they have knowledge about it. People are throwing garbage here and there instead of throwing it in the dustbin. Some people still do not know the meaning of education. Education means receiving knowledge and applying it in our daily life, and literacy means able to read and write.

In my opinion, the education we have received has not made much difference in our daily lives. We study social etiquette but why are most people leaving their parents in old age homes? We study that corruption is an evil thing, but still why are we involved in corruption? So I think we are just literate and need to apply our knowledge in our daily life to be called truly educated.

 — Samikshya Gurung


 Literacy and education are taken as the same thing, but literacy has an indirect relation with education. Literacy is about acquiring skills and learning, while education is about applying these skills and learning for benefit of other people, society or country. Literacy mainly revolves around acquiring the ability to read and write, whereas education is about the overall development of a person making one a complete human who not only reads or writes, but also has the ability to think in broader terms and analyse things rationally. Every literate person cannot be called an educated person. Education is a much broader concept than literacy. Literacy cannot make a person wise, but education makes a person wise and provides one with the understanding of distinguishing between right and wrong. The learning received while becoming literate can be forgotten, but education lives when even the learning is forgotten. Literacy might make people feel superior to others, but only educated people are superior who know how to respect elders and pay due importance to their colleagues’ work. The people who can read and write, but use abusive and foul language are literate but definitely not educated. Literate people working in higher positions and misusing their positions and degrading others are the biggest examples of uneducated people.

— Aryan Dwivedy


Each day new education institutions and new ways of learning are being established through which the literacy rate is going up. Education has made difference in the outcome of one’s practical life. It has given people the opportunity to find the difference between right and wrong and to take a wise step in every way of life. Educated person is one who is literate and shows it in his life, whereas the literate is the one who knows about education but it doesn’t reflect in practical life. Being educated is a wise option. Education without reflection is nothing. We should not only be studying for certificates but with the aim of changing ourselves to be a better person.

— Tulip Gyawali, Minbhawan


Mere earning of degrees does not necessarily make a person educated. And one can also become truly educated without completing school education, attending college or pursuing higher education. There exists innumerable ‘educated’ persons in society who are racist, communal and intolerant to the utmost to get engaged in ‘honour’ killings, regard the fairer sex as ‘inferior’ to the menfolk or superstitious. The think-tank of all terrorist organisations consist of ‘educated’ persons possessing respectable degrees from prestigious institutions. In many reputed engineering, medical and management institutions along with the ‘best’ brains who are the ‘future’ of this country, even professors and readers taunt poor students who belong to certain castes or tribes and go all out to humiliate them, indirectly leading them to take the extreme step of committing suicide. On the other hand, many uneducated’ and illiterate are learned enough to regard the whole human race as one by rising above narrow boundaries of race religion, caste or colour, reside at the furthest distance from communalism or pledge to donate their bodies after death for medical cause. That person is truly educated who values human rights, remains humble and courteous, knows the difference between right and wrong and also practices it in daily life. This is the very reason why many degree-holders used to seek the advice of a certain degree-less Ramakrishna Paramahansa or follow the philosophical path of another certificate-less Rabindranath Tagore. Mere earning of university degrees — career-based education hardly serves as the moral fabric of society or enlightens one’s mindset and viewpoint because it can often be earned by merely memorising the answers of the questions as suggested by the professor or tutor and ‘inspires’ the students to become successful professionals so as to make loads of money by hook or by crook. Mere bagging of university degree is neither the path of enlightenment nor the be-all and end-all of life.

— Kajal Chatterjee, India


Being literate and educated are not the same thing. In developing and under developed nations, this confusion has been initiated deliberately by several governments to improve their international ratings; to increase so-called literacy rates through inflated and manipulated statistics and to apply for international loans and/or grants for economic development by providing false impression regarding the socio-economic development of a particular nation. Several critical research papers have clearly demonstrated that to inflate the literacy rates several developing countries just include people, who are otherwise illiterate, to sign their own names. That signing of their own name in their own handwriting puts them in the literate category when they actually cannot even write or spell any other words in that language. A person can be considered educated only when he/she can clearly demonstrate without any external help that he/she can listen, read, speak and write a specific language without any difficulty, can translate a small piece or respond to any written questionnaire, fill up an application form or apply for a position following instructions. The ability to sign a name or just reading a particular passage that he/she has been taught is not considered literate. If one is not capable of writing a clear sentence in a specific language without any external help, he/she should be technically considered illiterate. The first important parameter of true literacy is comprehension. If a person who cannot clearly understand, read and write following any specific instruction(s) in a particular language in which he/she is trained is to be considered an illiterate; being educated is a distant goal.

— Saikat Kumar Basu


I opine that educated person are those who possess civic sense, duty towards family and society, serve the country. An educated person ought to have impeccable moral standards and strong social responsibility and great leadership. Ranju Desna, a local election candidate, became the spotlight of the media and beacon of fresh hope for frustrated voters partly due to her public image as a modern educated woman. On the contrary, a literate person is considered mediocre and average. Their capacity is limited to being able to read and write and earn a living. In a nutshell, educated are the leaders, literate are led.

— Nerinav


Yes, it is true that education is the right of every person. Education makes a person smart. The educated person says that a person who is uneducated is foolish, but it is not true. A person who has discipline — he is educated. Without education, a person is narrow-minded and selfish. But we are not educated when we only read, write and stand first in class. We should have discipline — we should not talk in a loud voice with our seniors, teachers and parents, should do what our parents say. We are not educated if we just study; we are educated when we respect our seniors.

— Narendra Kushwaha, Ranighat, Birgunj


Benjamin Franklin once said, “A small investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” For me, education is a lifelong process of gaining knowledge and the ability to act and behave accordingly. Holding a degree does not necessarily mean that we are educated. If we are not able to utilise our education and talent in the proper area, then there is no purpose in getting that degree. I know some of people in my neighbourhood who are just literate. I know a man who lives near my house who doesn’t let us play football and cricket and comes to shout every time if we do so. This is a common problem we children are facing. Moreover, at this age of 13-14, we opt to play sports more. It is unjust actually, to not let children play like this. Is this what education is teaching those people? If people are not able to think, decide and analyse accordingly then, we cannot say they are educated. Their reflection must be felt by society. In my opinion educated person is the one who can understand the feelings of another person and use their ideas in the desired field and not by degree he/she is holding.

— Adhish Aryal, Lazimpat


Yes, I completely agree that education has brought a great difference in human’s day-to-day life. Education is the light for humans that shows them the way for their overall development and success. It is education that has helped in the transformation of life of humans from Stone Age to this age of science and technology and it has been possible because people through all ages have been applying what they have learned in their daily life. Even if we compare our day-to-day life with our ancestors’, we can see a vast difference. It is only because of our educated mind which has encouraged us to apply that education to our practical life. If we were only literate, we would only be able to solve simple arithmetic problems and read and write only some words, but we wouldn’t be able to apply them in our day-to-day life. But in the present context, we are able to read and write along with applying them in our life. For instance, if we read the steps for ‘how to start a computer’ then we practice this process also. I want to say that not only in the sector of applying theoretical knowledge in our daily life, we are educated in the sector of being socialised and civilised improving our character and habits and so on that help us to boost ourselves from one to next, more developed age.

— Kusum Subedi, Pokhara


As per physicist Albert Einstein, ‘Education is not the learning of the facts but the training of the mind to think’. But the education of our country teaches only the facts like ‘hydrogen is the lightest gas’. It doesn’t train our brain to think. It doesn’t train us to develop new ideas. Education is every person’s right but not learning the facts and storing them in brain. Brain is for thinking, not for memorising. An educated person is a person who can think properly. But the education of our country teaches facts and makes them memorise which is 100 per cent useless. I question all educationalist: “Why should I memorise something when I can get them from books whenever I want?” I’ll be thankful if you would reply. As a student of Class X, I say the education that we get is not the proper education. It has not made any difference in our lives and behaviour. This education has just made us literate so that we can write our names. As mentioned before an educated person is a person who can think.

— Albert Dahal


My father says: “It is not necessary that all literate persons are educated.” And I think he is right, but in this competitive world we are compelled to be literate before gaining education. Of course education that we have been receiving has helped us make big difference in our lives. To clarify why do I support an educated person over a literate one is because earlier too people were literate and were able to continue their life, but nowadays if we look around, every person goes to school, college or university, but for what? Obviously to get education that helps in broadening their mind and setting up targets, encourages them to fulfil it and encourages creativity. Also the purpose of education is to replace an empty mind with an open one. So I choose educated person because I think they can do a lot more than what a literate person can do.

 — Sashi Lama


People are saying that in the 21st Century, we need education; without it, people can’t live a comfortable life. The government has also already started the campaign on literacy and the rate is going up. But are we really literate? We have got the education, but not effective education. Students are learning new things in school which is a good thing. Unfortunately, no one has been teaching them moral education even in so-called highly recognised schools. In my opinion, education is not only about getting a high score in exams, but it is what you have learned and received after you have finished the entire course and how you have been applying it in your daily life. Learning helps you bring changes in your actions for better, but here it is limited to gathering knowledge only. When I travel on bus, I think if we really were literate, then we need not put up signs for reserved seats. For example, one graduate student is sitting in a seat but an old man is hanging behind, how can we say that graduate is an educated person? In the present context of Nepal, I don’t see any difference among literate and illiterate though parents are enrolling their children in top schools and colleges. I believe that being an educated person, he should have a good personality and respectable communication, honour others’ ideas and treat all people equally.

— Nabin Joshi, Mahendranagar, Kanchanpur

Education is the fundamental right of humans, claims everyone today. The concept of education has been limited to textbooks we read and the degrees we acquire. In my opinion, this is only a miniature of what education actually is. Education, more precisely, is a way of life. It is how we really look at things around us, how we perceive them and respond to them. Modern education, that we are getting from schools and colleges, has certainly made us literate but I doubt we are educated yet. Education is supposed to make difference in our behaviour but we hardly implement the things we study. We are taught to help others but for us, what matters more is self-gain. We do not think about the effects of our deeds, but what matters is our part of the gain. I believe being educated means being rational, being responsible but not a degree holder. Lastly, we should always try to be educated, not literate, if we really want to bring positive changes in everyone’s life.

 — Sanjita Pokharel


Today’s priority is education. We all might be literate but are not educated because we do not apply what we learn in life. Our learning is limited to those pages in books. Rarely, do we find people who have applied their knowledge in their lives. I am not that educated because I haven’t been able to enhance positive learning. I am literate but not educated enough to set an example. Our literacy will make us, but education makes society which  might be the reason I want to be an educated person than a literate one.

— Sneha Baral


Gaining a post-graduation certificate doesn’t have any proof that a person is educated. I don’t think passing any grade is what education means, it’s only gained when you apply what you learn in your behaviour and attitude. Presently, what we can see is a person who has done environmental engineering throwing garbage haphazardly, social science graduate discriminating between his son and daughter… we have limited education to the pages of texts and getting good marks in exams but we shouldn’t only be able to read and write. So, in my view to be educated is not to have a degree in head but the capability to distinguish between right and wrong, truth and justice, norms and values.

— Prayash Paudel


A person who is able to read and write and knows simple calculation can be defined as a literate one. However, in our modern era, this is not enough. Besides, reading, writing and calculation, one needs to know as well as utilise the rights, responsibilities, develop relationships, take active part in various social functions, events and recreational activities. In this way, the world becomes graspable. The literacy rate of our country is 65.9 per cent. Other countries stand with 100 per cent literacy rate. So we the youth, should stand on our own feet and educate the literate ones.

— Nabin Joshi, Kathmandu


Education enlightens us. Being literate simply means to acquire skills whereas being educated means to bring your knowledge into practice. Being a Master’s student, I request literate people to be educated by executing their knowledge in action. We will not be called educated unless we stop throwing garbage on street/river, stop discrimination on the basis of gender, age and religion, stop being judgmental, and should follow traffic rules. One is educated when s/he is kind, generous and gentle to people.

— Shradha Neupane, Boudha, Mahankal


Be it at local or international level, beauty pageants provide a good opportunity for the winners to explore their ambitions, help them grow as human beings, and earn fame. But such winners are also public personalities who people look up to. What would you expect from your Miss Nepal, or Miss World, or any other pageant winner? Why?

­Send your replies in not more than 200 words by Friday, June 9, 2:00 pm to Features, The Himalayan Times, e-mail: features@thehimalayantimes.com