By Abdulai Taylor-Kamara
Education is normally the acquiring of knowledge as well as the skills that are accepted by a given society. On the other hand, nation-building is the implementation of processes that are geared towards recomposing the nation’s institutions so that they can reflect the wishes, needs and aspirations of the wider society.
Since education is the pathway to any nation-building enterprise, it provides the following goodies to nation-building:
Firstly, education creates an enlightened society. This is a crucial prerequisite to nation--building because the more a people become enlightened the more they would refrain from doing practices that will endanger the nation-building efforts. For example, educated elites will always tend to be responsive and responsible citizens. By this I mean, they obey state laws and properties. Without this, no nation-building efforts will be set in earnest.
Secondly, nation-building requires a ‘meritocratic’ bureaucracy in order to make the state’s institutions effective. Therefore, with education, the country will have the best human resources that are competent enough to carry the day-to-day affairs of the state. Most states collapse as a result of a low level of education because the human resource is so weak that it is incapable of filling state institutions. But with education, this problem is averted.
Thirdly, nation-building requires a democratic society that allows the contribution of all, rich or poor. With education, there will always be an increase in democratic participation. This participation will in turn enhance nation-building initiative because the participation of all the citizens is counted in nation-building.
Fourthly, education is very crucial in the formation of cross-cutting cleavages
that embrace diversity. Accepting differences therefore is very important to nation building because until we accept our differences and come together to build the nation, progress will never be made. With education, this fear is allayed.
Fifthly, education creates a large middle-class (professionals, teachers, doctors, technicians etc).This class is very important to nation-building because they provide the necessary expertise that is needed to building a nation. This is the more reason why emphasis has been laid on education because an educated society is always a strong society, and a society that is set for development.
Overall therefore, education correlates with nation-build. Both of them complement each other. A nation cannot be built without education. With education, professionals are nurtured that will enhance nation-building. In the same way, education leads to efficient usage of a nation’s resources which in turn is very crucial to nation-building because without efficient usage of a nation’s resources, nation-building will not be successful. This is evident in the developed nations. To continue to build their nations, they educate their citizens, because education shapes the attitudes and behaviors and values of citizens. These are qualities that are needed for nation-building and it is only education that will bring those mechanics.