Skip main navigation

£199.99 £139.99 for one year of Unlimited learning. Offer ends on 28 February 2023 at 23:59 (UTC). T&Cs apply

Find out more

The importance of education

What is the role of education in tackling inequality? We are told going to school is important, but why? Watch this video led by Rachel to learn more.
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world,” as Nelson Mandela said. Education as we are taught from an early age is important. Education is the process of facilitating learning, or the acquisition of knowledge, skills, values, morals, beliefs, and habits. Educational methods include teaching, training, storytelling, discussion and directed research. Education can take place in formal or informal settings and any experience that has a formative effect on the way one thinks, feels, or acts may be considered educational. School is the primary focus when it comes to thinking of education; in England compulsory education takes place from the ages of 4 or 5 depending on your date of birth and 18.
The 1870 Education Act stands as the very first piece of legislation to deal specifically with the provision of education in Britain. Most importantly, it demonstrated a commitment to provision on a national scale. When considering the importance of education it is key to recognise that education is more than just thinking about sitting in the classroom and consuming knowledge. School provides its pupils with not only the opportunity to learn about a variety of subjects but also does so much more than give those who attend knowledge. It is the place where students learn to socialise, to interact with others and develop skills that cannot necessarily be taught within a classroom but around it. Education is very important for an individual’s success in life.
Education is generally seen as the foundation of society which brings economic wealth, social prosperity and political stability. Economic and social status depends on education obtained by an individual since education contributes to individual capability in managing quality of life. As education develops a country’s economy and society, a right to education has been recognized by some governments and the United Nations. Indeed the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child to which the UK is a signatory, states parties should recognize the right of the child to education, and with a view to achieving this right progressively and on the basis of equal opportunity.
The commitment to education has been at the heart of the successive government reforms with a drive to improve educational outcomes being at the heart of many policy reforms. Education has an intrinsic value as the hallmark of a civilised society and forms the foundation of our culture here in the UK. Think back to your school years, what did school mean to you? Did you enjoy it? What were the highs and what were the lows? Everyone experiences education differently but it is fundamental to the development of ourselves, don’t you think?

Education is seen as a key tool in tackling inequality, but why is this?

Is education really the ‘silver bullet’?

What do you think is the role of education in tackling inequality?

This article is from the free online

Understanding and Solving Poverty and Inequality

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Our purpose is to transform access to education.

We offer a diverse selection of courses from leading universities and cultural institutions from around the world. These are delivered one step at a time, and are accessible on mobile, tablet and desktop, so you can fit learning around your life.

We believe learning should be an enjoyable, social experience, so our courses offer the opportunity to discuss what you’re learning with others as you go, helping you make fresh discoveries and form new ideas.
You can unlock new opportunities with unlimited access to hundreds of online short courses for a year by subscribing to our Unlimited package. Build your knowledge with top universities and organisations.

Learn more about how FutureLearn is transforming access to education