Education and Community Development

Aristotle defines education as the process of
training man to fulfil his aim by exercising all the faculties to the fullest
extent as a member of society. Education can also be defined as a learning
process for the individual to attain knowledge and understanding of the higher
specific objects. An educated person usually develops a pattern of thought and
behavior in accordance with the education gained.

So what is community development? Community
development is a process where community members come together to take
collective action and generate solutions to common problems. Community
development ranges from small initiatives within a small group to large
initiatives that involve the broader community.

There exists a relationship between education and
community development such that the former is a huge determinant of the latter.
I believe education is very essential to the development of any community. The
operational definition of community development in this write up refers to
being able to generate solutions to common problems. If communities are not
educated or enlightened, they would not be able to do much as regards problem
solving in their society and that is a vital part of community.  While some communities recognize the need for
development but are incapable of carrying out or even thinking of ways to bring
about these developments, some others are totally oblivious of this need.

In most societies especially underdeveloped ones,
the government is responsible for developing the communities, however that is
not the case due to negligence of duty by the government. However, NYSC was put
in place to carry out minimal development through sensitization on issues that
affect the communities via CDS (community development service), carried out by
corp members. They go to communities, educate them and enlighten these
communities about various issues relating to them like health, security,
welfare and a number of important aspects related to their development.

Without education, community development is an absolute
zero. Even with infrastructure and amenities made available by the government
the community members might not be able to utilize and maintain these
infrastructures due to illiteracy. Some might even have an aversion to these
developments due to attachment to outdated beliefs. Education broadens peoples’
minds and help them see things differently and also recognize their rights.
Most of these uneducated communities are usually laid back not knowing how to
go about issues that affect them.

Education is the major difference between a
developed and an underdeveloped community. With a little education,
improvements can be observed. Most undeveloped communities in Nigeria if not
all, possess little or no education at all and this is quite evident. We all travel
round the country and see villages and you just wonder why there are no signs
of development in sight even though these communities are not too far away from
developed cities. “I had to pass through a community around Ikire in Osun
State when the bus made a detour due to road blockage, it was evident that
these people were uneducated judging from how the community was organised”.
With education & infrastructure such a community will develop in no time.

To conclude, education is a major determinant of
development in any community and the government should ensure that all
communities in their territorial boundaries are enlightened. This can be done
through the construction of functional educational institutes in various
underdeveloped communities around the country.

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