You’re probably familiar with the following questions:
- How many planets are there in the Solar System?
- How many islands is the Philippines comprised of?
- Find the meaning of the given words using your English dictionary.
You’ve had your fair share of them, back in the wondrous, fruitful, and dramatic years of grade school. No doubt you also knew how to answer these as well.
However, something feels curious. By any chance, have your answers to these questions changed somehow now? Has something happened in the world since, which then changed the facts behind these questions?
Your answer, most likely, is yes.
First, let’s look back to where it all started- grade school, in the midst of our everyday lessons. In our Science class, we learned that there were nine planets in the Solar System. Our Araling Panlipunan class would teach us that the Philippines comprises over 7,107 islands. Our English class would provide us with new and exquisite words to our vocabulary, like quintessence, hypothalamus, and prismatic.
Let’s fast forward to our current times- we’re in our own workplaces, looking to earn that paycheck, or perhaps we’re in our certain colleges, striving to earn that degree. Now, we are informed that there are actually eight planets in the Solar System. Pluto couldn’t meet the criteria, set by the International Astronomical Union (IAU), on what makes a full-sized planet, and was thus downgraded to a dwarf planet instead. Recently, the National Mapping and Resource Information Authority (NAMRIA) proclaimed that there are actually 7,641 islands in the Philippines, after using an advanced high-resolution radar system. The Oxford English Dictionary itself is also constantly expanding. It has now added new terms into its distinguished pages, like adulting, binge-watch, stan, social distance, and even Jedi. These inclusions might seem funny and ridiculous, but alas, they’re true. Strange, but all of these are true.
What happened? How have these facts we’ve been told before, changed so much in the past years? Were we taught wrong? Has our education been a sham all along?
In truth, no. Our education was never a sham, nor has it ever been wrong. The facts were different because they really were just so, at the time. It was what we understood then to be true.
Here’s another example: before, in the earliest times of our history, our ancestors believed that eclipses were a sign of impending doom; a calamity that shall strike the world. Presently, we see eclipses as less of an apocalyptic warning, and more as a rare yet natural occurrence; the moon simply either blocking the sun, or orbiting behind the Earth’s shadow.
Our perception of eclipses, and all the other facts mentioned above, were changed because of the advent of modern science and technology. As technology evolves, so does our knowledge of the world and the universe. With every update comes change; a change in the way we comprehend things, and in turn, the way we think and make decisions.
And herein lies the case on the importance of education, or specifically, lifelong education. It not only gives us a chance to completely understand the universe we live in, but it is also a platform with which we can continue to grow; to become fully-fledged citizens of the world, and as the whole unique individuals that we can be. The more we learn, the more we know, and from there, the more we can help and provide for others too.
Let’s educate others properly, and let’s also appreciate being properly educated as well. We all update; we all grow.