This article was written by Swati Mujumdar pursuing a Diploma in Business English Communication for International Professionals and Remote Workers course from Skill Arbitrage and edited by Koushik Chittella.

This article has been publishes by Shashwat Kaushik.


Knowledge is a treasure, and education is its manifestation, which brings perfection to an individual. Gaining knowledge and acquiring new skills is a continuous process. Every individual, knowingly or unknowingly, keeps updating knowledge by gathering new information and learning new things from one’s surroundings. This way, he or she is trying to remain updated with the current world.

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Education and learning are two sides of one coin. As per the Govt. of India Education Policy of 2020, there will not only be cognitive development but also building character and creating holistic and well-rounded individuals equipped with the key 21st century skills.” According to John Dewey, “education is the process of giving a person the skills necessary to take charge of their world and fulfil their obligations”. 


While imparting education, emphasis should be placed on developing cognitive capacities and foundational capacities. Apart from cognitive capacities like critical thinking and problem-solving it should also develop non-cognitive skills like self-control, intellectual curiosity, ethical values, and emotional security. Education brings economic and social mobility. It also brings inclusion and equality to society. The main purpose of education is to develop a good society capable of rational thinking, creativity, and having high ethical values. Education should further instill compassion, empathy, courage, resilience, and a scientific approach in society. One of the aspects of education is to help acquire a variety of skills and earn a livelihood.

Types of education

Broadly, education can be classified into two parts.

  1. Formal Education
  2. Informal Education

In ancient times, knowledge was shared through word of mouth from generations to generations. The most common way was practical training. This can be called informal education. Formal education started only with the formation of society. Initially, education was not available for the masses. It was accessible only to a few privileged classes in society. With the invention of the printing press, books brought revolutionary changes. Education became available to most of the members of society.

In modern days, the education system is more structured. The syllabus is designed with high quality standards. The curriculum is usually set in such a way that education becomes holistic, integrated, enjoyable, and engaging. To achieve the desired results, teachers should be trained and highly skilled. Most of the time, the medium used is classroom training. Sometimes, it might differ from regular classroom studies (i.e., education through e-learning, distance learning, etc.).

Stages of education

Early childhood education mostly takes place within the family. The mother plays a very important role. Skills like communication, good food habits, cleanliness, and basic moral values are taught by families. They have a lifelong impact on the personality of an individual. Due to the nuclear family system, in modern days, kindergarten schools help children socialise with their peer group as well as with teachers and other members of society.

  • Primary education: The aim of primary education is to emphasise group activities, light textbooks, and interactive learning in the classroom. Reading, writing, and subjects like language, physical education, science, and mathematics are introduced at this stage.
  • Middle School: In middle school education, apart from the subjects mentioned above, arts, social sciences, and humanities are also taught. Techniques such as experiential learning and group discussions are also used for a better understanding of the subjects during this stage of education.
  • Secondary School: In secondary school education, subjects are taught in more depth, with an interdisciplinary understanding of various subjects. More attention is given to the subjects of interest and life aspirations of the students.

Benefits of education

Education helps an individual pursue one’s area of interest and gain more specific knowledge and skills. It helps to adapt to an ever-changing world. Thus, by imparting formal education, the person becomes a productive member of society. The chances of employability are greater when a person is educated. Education is an important investment in human capital for economic growth. The economic growth of any nation is directly related to the productivity of people via education and continuous upgrading of their skills. Educated people can bring more positive reforms to society. Education helps build nations by fostering equal opportunities for all. It also brings stability and growth to society. Thus, the nation progresses.

Lifelong learning

Learning is not just a formal education. It is a further enhancement of one’s life skills. Every day brings an opportunity to learn new things from daily activities and various life experiences. The term “lifelong learning” means that education varies according to individuals’ needs and is accessible all over their lives. Lifelong learning is a joyful experience where one finds satisfaction in expanding knowledge. Lifelong learning brings versatility in skills and creates new avenues in life. It helps individuals grow personally and professionally. Lifelong learning is an endless experience that opens our hearts and sharpens our minds. On-going learning and persistent efforts take us close to self-realisation.

Globalisation has brought the world closer. As technologies advance, acquiring new skills becomes necessary. Routine jobs are being automated. Upgrading the skills of employees is a challenging task as life expectancy increases. Due to rapid developments in technology and communication, it has become necessary to sharpen existing skills and acquire new ones. Lifelong learning helps improve productivity. One must recognise the importance of continuous learning and acquiring skills throughout one’s life. 

Benefits of lifelong learning

There are various benefits to lifelong learning. They are:

  • Personal benefit: Learning enhances personal and professional development. It improves problem-solving abilities. Lifelong learning keeps an individual updated with the current world. It improves the financial growth of a person. Lifelong learning brings a sense of purpose to life. It helps to overcome monotony in the job and, thus, helps to get job satisfaction.
  • Professional benefits: It has become imperative to upgrade existing skills and acquire new skills with modern technologies and new developments in all fields. Career prospects are better when the latest, in-demand skills are acquired. Constantly upgrading with the latest skills is the key to getting the right opportunities in an ever-changing world.
  • Economic growth: A country becomes self-sufficient and economically sustainable only when it has a knowledgeable, skilled and productive workforce. A country that constantly inspires its citizens to learn advanced skills and innovation remains ahead of time.
  • Psychological benefits: Lifelong learning keeps the individual mentally engaged. A person becomes adaptive to the changes in their surroundings. It builds confidence and induces a general feeling of wellbeing.
  • Social aspect: Due to advanced medical treatment and social and economic development, ageing populations pose great challenges to the world. Longevity is a great human achievement. It is a matter of time before the older generation remains updated with the constantly evolving world, which will reduce their social isolation. Technology helps older people remain engaged and updated with the current world. Technology-enabled devices will affect the lives of the elderly population positively. Continuous learning plays an important role in ageing societies as it can help to address many of the related challenges and opportunities. Present-day’s aged population is more active, financially independent, and will have more purchasing power. According to Dr. Ramakrishnan, “Unless business and industry are proactive, they will miss the opportunity to tap the considerable value of ageing workers, resulting in a decline in workplace productivity and a negative impact on economic growth. They need to institute training policies and accommodations to ensure maximum workforce productivity. By working together, we can ensure that lifelong learning makes a full contribution across a range of interrelated agendas, including social justice, sustainable development, and global citizenship.”

UNESCO and lifelong learning

Five essential elements have been defined by UNESCO about lifelong learning. It must encompass.

  • Different age groups.
  • All levels of education.
  • Various learning modalities.
  • Different learning spheres and spaces.
  • Variety of purposes.

Promoting lifelong learning means creating systems that realise the right to education for people of all ages and providing opportunities to unlock their potential for their personal development and for the sustainable economic, social, cultural, and environmental development of society. This is what UNESCO supports through its  research, capacity development, policy advice, publications, and knowledge management activities. Education and lifelong learning are interlinked with each other. Their aim is to gain knowledge. Both satisfy the quest of gaining knowledge by acquiring new skills. Despite their similarities, there are key differences between lifelong learning and education.

The aim of education is to prepare individuals for their future careers and social status. On the other hand, lifelong learning helps them to continue growing throughout their lives by learning the latest skills. The motivation behind pursuing education is driven by external factors. like seeking an academic degree or getting a job. Lifelong learning is pursued with a desire to remain updated with the latest skills and overall personality development. The focus of education is on imparting knowledge that is relevant to respective fields. The aim of lifelong learning is to further upgrade skills and pursue personal and professional aspirations.


Education and lifelong learning go hand in hand. Lifelong learning is a progression of education. Quick adaptability to learning new skills in an ever-changing world will help us survive. Education and lifelong learning help to make the right decisions and keep individuals updated with the current world personally and professionally.


  2. Ramachandran, Ramakrishnan, Information, Technology and its Impact on Aging Society (October 28, 2011). 4th APRU Research Symposium Gerontology, Shanghai, China, October 28-29, 2011, [Available at SSRN:].


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