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The Main Purpose of Schooling

Update on 2024-04-15

The Main Purpose of Schooling - Concept, and Functions

What is This Thing About Education and Why is it so Important?

Education can be defined as a process that facilitates and encourages learning, acquiring knowledge, skills, values, belief systems, good habits, etc. Education includes teaching, training students or “learners” to attain the goals mentioned above. In some countries, education is compulsory up to a certain age. Education also means helping people to learn how to do things, develop their thinking process, attitudes and encouraging the learners to have an open mind.

Through education, the knowledge of society, country, and the world’s history, which is passed on from generation to generation. In short, education is the one tool that can help them live better lives, increase their place in society and help them better understand the world and cultures around them. According to, The ASCD Committee on Platforms of Beliefs, Educational Leadership, “The main purpose of the American schooling system is to provide for the fullest possible development of each learner for living their lives in a moral, creative and productive way in a democratic society.”

Apart from these philosophical definitions, there is the basic definition of education, which states that the purpose of schooling is to make a person ready for a job, or ready for a career the student or learner is interested in. 

A brief list of The Main Purpose of Schooling:

  • Finding Purpose: By providing a brief study on various subjects until a certain class level, schooling provides a student with the ideas of the job fields and helps them find a purpose and their ideal job role. 
  • Learning: Despite the case against education being “rote-learning” in nature nowadays, there are some schooling systems that focus on the “learning” of the students rather than “teaching” them. 
  • Role of Schools: The schools play a very major role in the main purpose of schooling. They are “houses” that provide the uninterrupted flow of education and learning. They provide a platform for learned individuals, mostly teachers, to be able to give education and focus on learning to the learners, mostly students. 

The Main Purpose of Schooling: Concept

Schools emerged as a fulfilment of the demand for education by parents and countries alike. It is an institution that is designed as a platform for providing learning. It is also considered as learning spaces and learning environments for the teaching to be provided without any disturbance. 

Many countries have systems of formal education that are compulsory, as mentioned before, in some countries. The schooling system in some countries is divided into different categories. The categories are usually primary school for small and young children, middle school for students in their pre-teens and senior secondary schools for young adults. This is then followed by higher education institutes that provide Goal and career-oriented education. In addition to these Core-Schools (primary, middle, senior secondary), there are also certain special schools that the students can attend before they start with their primary education. These are called Kindergarten or Pre-schools. 

These are specifically designed to equip very young children in the art of the basics, such as sitting, eating, etc. These schools aim to ready these young kids for the formal schooling they will start receiving in a few years. The schools in a country usually belong to one of the two categories. There are a private school system and public schools. Private schools are usually owned by private individuals. They are present in a country where government-aided education is not up to the mark or updated. The public schools are mostly owned and run by government departments and come under the State government or the Ministry of Education. 

The development in a country is gauged by the number of public schools a country has as compared to private schools. For example, one of the most developed countries, the United States has a major number of public schools as compared to private schools. The private schools are usually recipients of celebrity children or the like. 

A country that stands on the opposite end in terms of education, India, has more private schools than public schools. Sadly, despite having a low number of public schools, the state of these schools is famous throughout the country, with basic amenities and teachers missing. 

The Main Purpose of Schooling: Functions

There are many functions which come under the main purpose of schooling. There are Latent functions and Manifest functions. Manifest functions are the “obvious” functions of schooling. Some of the examples include, in elementary school (primary) school, parents expect their kids to learn, study and also get along with the other kids. They expect that schools will teach their young ones, how society works. Socialization and Cultural Transmission are, hence, the two main ‘Manifest Functions’. 

Latent functions are the functions of school that does not come to mind right away, they are functions that people are not generally aware of since they are not intended. For example, the mechanism to sort out students belonging to a higher academic calibre and a lower academic calibre makes the students with the highest achieving marks “ideal” whereas, the “rest” is the “rest”.   

Apart from that, one of the other less convenient examples of latent functions of schools is, the: putting together” of same-age kids with their peers. This may also result in students finding themselves romantic partners.

The Main Purpose of Schooling:

There can be no “main purpose of schooling”, as a school is an institution that is active on various levels. It has functions (as mentioned above) and other responsibilities that it must conduct to serve the purpose it stands for. 

Apart from the very obvious purpose of schooling: Providing education, there are many other purposes and they are listed below:

  • Conservation and Promotion of Culture:

The various students sit together in a classroom and actively participate in the process of learning. The coming together of various students belonging to different cultures, in a disciplined and controlled environment, leads to the acceptability and spreading of different cultures. This helps in conserving and promoting cultures in the generation of school-going kids. 

  • All-round Focus on Development:

The school also focuses on the All-Round development of students by not only providing education in the literal sense through different subjects but also, by developing the other aspects of their personalities. Sports, Drama, Art and Music, are but a few examples. 

  • Adjustability in Society:

The schools have a wide range of age groups and students belonging to different backgrounds, work and study together in a controlled environment. This not only ensures a variety among the school kids. It ensures that the students learn how to adjust to society and respect the different cultures and backgrounds  

  • Vocational Training:

Schools today have also started imparting vocational training to their students. They have seen the rise of the demand in the employment sector for skills and hence have started taking an active role in forming the students for tomorrow. It prepares the students for the challenges they may face in the future. The schools are now being called the “hub” of learning due to the important role they play, in not only forming the futures of their students but in turn improving the future of the country at large. 

The main purpose of schooling is hard to define in today’s era. Since just like everything else, the schools have also changed and adapted themselves to be better able to provide for the current demands and needs of the student generation. There are, however, many “main purposes of schooling” and the best school is the one that is at the top of its game: the game being, ‘Building A Stronger Nation Through Kids’.

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