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Education is the act of gaining knowledge or skills from one person to another; it brings prosperity to an individual and to a country as a whole because it has a crucial and formative effect on one's mind, character and behavior. It is a continuous process in life, which is passed from one generation to another through reading, writing and oral skills (Michael &Stephen, 2009). Michael and Stephen (2009) view education as an important aspect of development in any country because it brings evolution in technology as new discoveries emerge through scientific research carried over years through formal and informal education. Knowledge and skills acquired through education are used by professionals in a given country to spearhead the country's development; hence countries whose citizens embrace education are advanced in knowledge and skills that put them forward in terms of technology and industrialization (Michael &Stephen, 2009).
Horce Mann, an education reformer and a Member of Massachusetts Senate suggests education as the only key to behavior change, a suggestion that is highly backed by modernizers and education historians (Paul, 2008). According to Paul (2008), the education reformer, Horce Mann pointed out six aspects to be observed in order to embrace education as a way of life that brings country's development. He argued that public should remain informed, education should be managed by concerned public, schools should invite students from all backgrounds and that education should be administered by motivated and well trained professional teachers (Paul, 2008).
Paul (2008) observes that in countries where education is embraced, it brings children from different backgrounds together to gain common experiences and knowledge, leading to development of cognitive and social skills as children socialize and work together for a common good of everyone. This empowers children from poor backgrounds as well as rich backgrounds to develop a sense of identity and self worth as they feel that they are part and parcel of the community, hence skills and knowledge gained are channeled to community development and as such, development and advancement of the country as a whole is achieved (Paul, 2008).
Paul (2008) identifies education as an important factor that influences economic development of a country. Education improves self-understanding thereby upgrading people's living standards and the society as a whole (Paul, 2008). Furthermore, education leads to improved innovation, creativity and technological factors, which are important in economic and social advancements of a country (Michael &Stephen, 2009). Research has shown that a literate and skilled society has an opportunity to change the economy of a country in that; people can easily gain formal employment and raise their living standards, this leads to poverty reduction and improvement in country's industrialization due to technology advancement which provides employment for skilled work force (Michael &Stephen, 2009).
Mary (2004) argues that education raises literacy levels of citizens, which then increases capital income of the citizens, consequently leading to improved economy of the country. Furthermore, competent and viable economists are produced if only sound systems of education are in place. This is in agreement with the opinion of Michael &Stephen (2009) who highlight that well-educated people became professionals like doctors, engineers, pilots and entrepreneurs among others, who then work to improve health, technology and economy of the country. Educated people play a better role in development of their country because a country's development highly depends on quality of education offered (Mary, 2004).
Studies have shown that qualified professionals can only be produced if a country has developed reliable and viable education system. A country needs competent professionals who are well trained and equipped with right skills to execute their tasks and positively contribute to country's development (Mary, 2004). Mary (2004) concurs with Paul (2008), who argues that poor education systems lead to production of incompetent professionals who do not successfully contribute to country's development. This has been observed in cases of incompetent doctors who only end up increasing country's mortality rates; incompetent pilots who bring about disasters of plane crush and subsequent deaths of people and incompetent engineers among others, who largely contribute to accidents in factories, poor country's infrastructure and production of poor quality products that do not serve their desired purpose . Moreover, research has proved that educational incompetence largely contributes to migration of students from poor and developing countries to developed counties in search for quality education that would equip them with right knowledge to become competent professionals whose skills are accepted worldwide (Mary, 2004). Unfortunately, majority of these student do not return to their countries upon completion of their studies, making their countries to continue lagging behind in education and technology; hence the name "third world countries".
Education assists in conscience building and empowers people to realize the negative aspects of social vices like nepotism, corruption and jobbery. Paul (2008) highlights that educated citizens have the basic understanding that a country can only develop effectively when social vices are eliminated. In addition, educated people clearly understand their rights; thereby eliminating the aspect of lawlessness in society, as knowledgeable people reject oppression which is the root cause of corruption and other vices in society. Furthermore, unlighted societies ensure that oppressors are not free; hence this explains why most cases of corruption, poverty and poor development have been linked to third world countries that are characterized by poor education systems and high levels of illiteracy. Furthermore, such countries lack proper justice systems because they do not have competent professionals, thus corrupt leaders get away with their illegal acts. Mary (2004) further observes that corrupt countries scare away both internal and external investors, who would otherwise contribute to country's educational and economic development as they feel insecure to invest in countries where they will not get good returns. This explains why most corrupt countries like Zimbabwe are characterized by poverty, high mortality rates, poor infrastructure and high levels of illiteracy as oppression remains the order of the day.
According to Mary (2004), manufacturing industries play an essential role in country's development because economy growth rate is directly proportional to number of industries in a country. Availability of industries means that goods and services to serve the nation are produced locally and surplus products are exported to earn foreign exchange. Ability of a country to start industries depends on competence o f engineers and technicians generated from schools as they assist in development of infrastructure which plays an important role in development (Mary, 2004).
In conclusion, a country can only get out of vicious economic cycle of poverty if its citizens are hard working and innovative. Developing countries have often been referred to as third world countries because they lack good education systems to steer -head technological, social and economic reforms for development to be achieved. Such countries are characterized by poverty, poor infrastructure, high rates of unemployment, corruption, high mortality rates and high levels of illiteracy. On the other hand, developed countries embrace education as a way of life and their citizens acquire relevant skills and technical knowledge through education, which make such countries to remain far much ahead in socio-economic and technological development. With the introduction of modern technology, online education is on the rise; hence third world countries could embrace online education to acquire knowledge and skills that are relevant to development of their countries. This will, without any doubt, get out most of developing countries from where they are stuck in the fight to catch up with the first world. Furthermore, education is the pillar of national development, without which many developing countries languish in to poverty and debts as they depend on donations and debts from developed countries and revenue collected by the government is not adequate to pay for these debts, leading to huge increase in interests. Government should therefore ensure that schools are enough and modernized to help children from marginalized areas to acquire skills that will be beneficial to their career lives. Moreover, well-trained teachers should be deployed to pass knowledge and skills to the children and to crown it all, teachers and students should be provided with conducive learning environment for better understanding.