The purpose of education is for people to learn what they need to know in order to be successful in life. Not teach them what to think, but how to think and how to learn so they can make the best out of all available important information out there. Which is what any democracy needs to be successful. People being able to learn and think for themselves, especially in a liberal democracy where information is more critical (I would argue) because we have more freedom to make our own decisions. instead of living in a social-democracy where more is expected from the central government to do for us.
Which is why educators shouldn’t be judged and compensated by how well they teach or how long they’ve taught. But how well their students are learning. (To paraphrase U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan) And what they are learning. Which is also why students shouldn’t be promoted based on how long they’ve been in school or how old they are. But by what they’ve learned. You can’t have a free society without an educated society. People will never have the freedom to live their own lives if they don’t have the job that draws the income that gives that freedom. But even with money the individual still has to decide what to think, where to work, where to live, who to associate with, how to live their private lives, etc. And that all starts with a good education.
The opposite of an educated free society is a developing country. Where there simply not enough quality schools and educators to go around. And as a result you don’t have the educated workforce and consumer class needed to make your county a good in investment. And as a result investors stay out of your country. Or an authoritarian state where the central government decides for everyone who lives there what people should know and what they should think. And for anyone who goes against that they are subjected to government sanctions. But a developed free society is an educated society. A society where people choose to live and stay, because it has the freedom and economic opportunity that people want and need to live well. And that starts first with parenting and then quality education.
LWF: Noam Chomsky- The Purpose of Education