Society and education are two inseparable elements in our world. It has always been in talks how education influences the society. The things we are taught and what we learn through our schooling affects the kind of person we are and consequently influences the society as a whole. But seldom do we tackle on society’s influence on education.
In definition, society is an extended social group having a distinctive cultural and economic organization. The building blocks of society are we human beings. How people interact creates the pattern of relationships between individuals and thus characterizes the society according to the systems of customs, values, and laws.
Education, understanding it from a general perspective, is any learning that we obtain from different media. Education does not start on our first day of formal schooling. Nor is it bound by the four walls of the room where an educator imparts his knowledge. It starts from the first forms of interaction as human being. It continues even as we leave the classrooms. We learn from anything we do, hear, see—that is, we gain knowledge from our surroundings.
With this in mind, how the society is greatly affects the education of its constituents. If the society believes in a set of norms and values, it is but natural for these individuals to inculcate to others their principles. What a society upholds will be reflected in the way the people interact with others. And these interactions provide learning to both parties. This is what is called non-formal education from the society.
Society plays a significant role in education. It can influence it both ways, positively and negatively. The values, morals, and principles of a society will create an education system that upholds the same values, morals, and principles. A social group that believes in righteous acts and decent interactions will hone its individuals to teach the same to other people.
However, there are certain inequalities in the society that creates a negative effect on education. There are societies that deny women’s right to education. There are discrimination against the women wanting to enter certain fields of study. Conversely, men are also discriminated against penetrating certain fields of study that women dominate.
Moreover, there are societies that force children to work denying them of the formal education. This exposes them to an unhealthy environment that halts their growth and development. What they are learning while working at such a young age is not the expected learning had they been allowed to study and exposed to healthy surroundings.
The social status also dictates the kind of education people can obtain. The cost of education can be correlated with the social system—that is, as you go up the social classes, so is your capability to get education. In gist, you can get the best education if you can afford it.
Conquering these inequalities is a challenge to everyone. There is no question regarding society’s influence on education but it is up to us if we will allow society to have a negative impact not just on the education system alone but also on the overall development of an individual. We have to be mindful and vigilant in correcting unlawful and unjust ways so we can slowly mold the society into becoming a good effect on education.