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STUDENTSí CORNER - 40

This time, we will look into the relationship between Education and GDP. What is true of Health is true of Education also. Higher GDP generally indicates the country with higher GDP will allot more money to Education than a country with lesser GDP can.

Giving education to the young so as to make them ready to face life in general is the obligation of the State and the Central Governments. Of course, it is needless to say that it is the primary duty of the parents.

 The country needs educated persons to run the administration of the country which has innumerable divisions; the industries, the companies, the corporate firms---all need efficient persons to manage their business. Without adequate efficient educated persons, the country will not be able to stay strong in the domestic and international market. Therefore, setting aside huge money for education, to start educational institutions of standard and to arrange to give education to all the children of the country, cannot be avoided.  For the present purpose, we shall not go into details of Higher Education as a domain that comes under the Central and the State governments. We will focus on Education as an indicator of quality of life of an individual.

To begin with, what is the function of education in a society, in the life of an individual? An individual of a family has to learn the culture of his society, the religion of his parents, his community, the social and communal conventions of the society he belongs. That is, the individual must have cultural education.  Then, the individual needs some job to earn his livelihood and for that, he needs education that enables him to do the job efficiently. That is, the individual needs formal academic education to make himself fit for the job.  Of course, the individual also needs another kind of education; that is, religious education, spiritual education.  Here, we are concerned only with that education which brings him employment as employment results in income, a revenue generation of a kind. And basically GDP and economic status of an individual, of a state, of a country are inter-related.

Today, all political leaders of all nations agree that education is the major driver of economic growth besides it being an effective medium of transmission of cultural heritage and traditions to the younger generations. There are plenty of levels in education; that is, there is technical education and non-technical education. Generally, those with degrees in technical education have better opportunities of earlier employment.

Education must lead to employment. It implies too many critical facts and the most significant of them is the individual must acquire knowledge and then be able to apply it in job-situations. In other words, skill is essential for anyone to get employed and to continue on employment.  Highly skilled and competent people get generally good jobs with fat payment; and less skilled and competent people get jobs that do not fetch them high salaries. 

People with high salaries can command greater and sophisticated comforts in life; and, they earn social recognition. Their standard of living will have a better quality of life compared with those who are not in good salaries. The highly salaried people are more economically prosperous. These are all common facts everybody knows. It means ultimately that a socially responsible parent gives good education to his children in such a way that they come off well in their education and find themselves placed in envious jobs.

Higher GDP, therefore, indicates that people better placed in life economically are greater in number in that society. Education has become a major industry, a big business today and people with lesser income find it extremely difficult to give good education to their children in good institutions. This fact takes us into a totally different domain for study with which we are not concerned at present.

We will take up some other factor as an indicator of quality of life in relation to GDP in our next session.

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