Is Literacy another name of Education?

“There are two types of education… One should teach us how to make a living, and the other how to live.”
                                                                                      -John Adams

Is literacy another name of education? Which is more important- to read and write or to develop a higher state of intellect which opens your mind to a parallel world?


There is a fine line which separates literacy with education.  Literacy is about acquiring skills and learning, while education is more about applying these skills and learning for benefit of other people, society or country. Literacy mainly revolves around acquiring the ability to read and write, whereas education is about the overall development of a person making one a complete human who not only reads or writes, but also has the ability to think in broader terms and analyse things rationally. Literacy might make one feel superior to another person but education is not only respecting what you learn but also helping other people  from the knowledge that you have received.


 Mahatma Gandhi wrote – “Literacy in itself is not education. ”. Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.


Mahatma Gandhi wrote – “Literacy in itself is not education. ” By education I mean an all-round drawing out of the best in child and man-body, mind and spirit. If you only encourage a child to get good grades in life my memorising every fact like a parrot, he or she will grow up with a stunted thinking capability. Let a child breathe !Earning a lot of degrees in life cannot make you educated.  Many so called ‘educated’ people in our country who are supposed to be the ‘future’ of our country are delusional. They have their own set of ideals which makes them think that they are superior and are brainwashed by the so called ‘norms’ of our narrow minded society which supports racism, honor killings and other such atrocities. A person can only be called educated when he or she is truly humble and pays respect to the basic human rights. Many ‘uneducated’ and illiterate are learned enough to regard the whole human race as one by rising above narrow boundaries of race religion, caste or colour, reside at the furthest distance from communal-ism . That girl with whom you didn’t let your child mix with because she has torn clothes and poor parents has the equal amount of potential as that of your kid, but only with less amenities. 



Rabindranath Tagore was never a good student. He never received formal education yet he was a man who has given so much for his country. He even gave up his knighthood after the Jallianwala Bagh massacre without even thinking twice as he was a selfless man and a true patriot. On the other hand we have Rabri Devi wife of former CM of Bihar, Lalu Prasad Yadav, who wants a ‘ sanskari girl who doesn’t visit the mall’ for her sons who have several molestation charges against them.” Mall-going women are out the running”, she said.


Mere bagging of a degree can get you a job at an MNC but while you are slogging behind your desk for a 9- 5 job, it won’t help you to be happy. Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.


Leave a Reply