Relation of education and economy discussed

Published March 2, 2019
DR Naazir Mahmood speaks at Irtiqa on Friday.—White Star
DR Naazir Mahmood speaks at Irtiqa on Friday.—White Star

KARACHI: Columnist, educationist and writer Dr Naazir Mahmood’s talk at PMA House on Friday delved into the convoluted world of education and world economy, and how the concept of education has evolved over centuries.

Organised by Irtiqa Institute of Social Sciences, the talk analysed the definition of education and how it tends to vary from era to era, and from person to person. It is the pursuit of knowledge, he said, that is imperative. However, he questioned if what is being classified as education in today’s era is even worthy of being called thus.

Epistemology, that examines the nature of knowledge, the ways in which we acquire knowledge, was discussed by Dr Mahmood.

In the world today there are several contradictory types of knowledge, which one or the other does not accept. For instance, he said, take the example of those who preach dogma or religious belief systems; to what extent do we classify or treat them as teaching knowledge? They may be imparting information but can they really be classified as scholars?

How does education, then, closely weave together with economy, he questioned. Look at those who impart dogmatic knowledge and education, he answered. They certainly seem to have done very well for themselves in financial terms at least. That’s why they are always surrounded by disciples.

Economy, he explained, is an extension of the pursuit of sustenance and livelihood. “History shows us that to spend a quality life, and to earn a livelihood, knowledge has been an essential requirement. It was at one time a necessity to know how to kill an animal and procure its meat for consumption. Then it became important to know how to grow crops. All of this was knowledge but none of it was related to books and in fact depended on skill and the person’s know-how. Then we know that the perspective of knowledge keeps changing in every era, and restricting it to just books is unfair.”

Published in Dawn, March 2nd, 2019

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