In our current era, the significance of education is handled responsibly and its powerful impact taken a matter of fact. So much so that private and government initiatives in and support for education are substantial. The federal and state governments of USA, for example, recently budgeted $734.2 billion for the year to support public schools (https://educationdata.org/public-education-spending-statistics). An even higher amount goes to colleges and universities, augmented by the expenditure on contracts and research. In 2018, government and non-government sources funnelled to higher-education institutions $1.068 trillion in form of student aid, grants, and contracts (https://datalab.usaspending.gov/colleges-and-universities). The eminent and solid outcome of education is better future, exposure to opportunities, and enhanced quality of life, among many.
Going back and over the past few centuries, we can see clearly how societies and nations changed with the advent of mass-scale education. “Higher education drives the development of any society.1” We can measure various key performance indicators across time to get a clearer view. Also, we can look into today’s nations with high rate of education and those with a low rate and, again, compare their recent KPIs. Examples of such KPIs are enrollment rate, literacy rate, public expenditure on education, teacher to student ratio, student to population ratio, accessibility, affordability, and dissection across age and personal income. Rolling over a few centuries of history also shows us the influence of education on political systems, geopolitical structures, economic developments, social tolerance, and individual rights, and reveals learning curves and progressions in a multitude of human domains (https://borgenproject.org/effects-education-has-on-society). In economics, return on investment or ROI, for instance, could be an indicative KPI. “A dollar invested in an additional year of schooling, generates earnings and health benefits of $10 in low-income countries and nearly $4 in lower middle-income countries,” (https://report.educationcommission.org/report). Also, “research shows that for every dollar invested in early childhood education, society gains up to $7.30 in economic returns over the long term,” (https://www.ffyf.org/why-it-matters/economic-impact).
We can go on to talk horizontally about the impact of education on the individual, family, community, nation, and the whole globe. We can talk vertically about its impact on awareness, empowerment, safety, health, income, knowledge, well-being, social structure, governance, justice, GDP, GNP, research, innovation, current generations, future generations, the environment, the biosphere, and on and on. In fact, we can see the impact of education on each and every single aspect in our existence. There does not seem to be any factor other than education that is equally overwhelming and encompassing.
Let’s look, for instance, on the influence of education on crime and violence; say, terrorist activities, organized or personal crimes, drug trafficking, and many other acts of violence. We can discuss different pre-emptive, active, or counter-measures that enhance security and reduce crime, along with a load of historical data to weigh its success and effectiveness. Interestingly, though, “there is an overwhelming consensus that post-secondary education is one of the most successful and cost-effective methods of preventing crime,” (https://criminal-justice.iresearchnet.com/crime/education-and-crime). Just think of the ratio of those with education to those without who are involved in crime. Clearly, “schooling significantly reduces” crime rate2. A British study shows that “The percent in prison is massively higher amongst those with no educational qualifications. For example, 2.57 percent of men aged 21-25 with no educational qualifications were in prison in 2001. This compares to 0.30 percent of the same age-gender group with at least some qualifications.3”. Additionally, this percentage drops all the more as the level of education rises. Whichever way you look at it, Edmund Burke’s statement that "education is a nation's cheapest defense" always stands.
At White Mountain Technologies, we try to do our part in contributing to the tremendous education endeavor, if only with a widow’s mite. We are a technology-in-education company, or TechEd for short. As such, and in our capacity, we hope that our software products and services contribute to education and its management, all for the betterment of the person, the society, and Earth.
1- Lazic, Dordevic, and Gazizulina, “Improvement of Quality of Higher Education Institutions as a Basis for Improvement of Quality of Life”.
2- Lochner and Moretti, “The Effect of Education on Crime”, The American Economic Review.
3- Machin, Marie, & Vujiv, “The Crime Reducing Effect of Education”, The Economic Journal.