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         Every country has the obligation to abolish illiteracy among its citizens.  The process of education is fundamental to eradicating such illiteracy and sustaining its growth and progress.  It is noteworthy that the basic education in The Bahamas includes – but is not limited to – the three R’s: reading, writing, and arithmetic along with the successful completion of grade twelve standard school works.  The pursuit of higher education at the College of the Bahamas and abroad, has increased in recent years as thousands of Bahamians aspire to raise their standard of living and success.  Sir Lynden’s vehement fight to eradicate illiteracy and poverty and move this country to first world status has done much for this country’s growth and development.  His dream was to empower people through education.  Education, by nature, has the power to impact any human society.  It is a must have if we aspire to achieve growth and development and most importantly, sustain ourselves.  Education trains the human mind to think and make the right decision.  Through education, knowledge and information is received and spread throughout the world.  An educated man is likened unto a man who lives in a room with all its windows open toward the outside world, whereas an uneducated man is described as shut off from the outside world.  Higher education has long been recognized as critical to the social and economic and cultural development of our nation.  . The pursuit of this goal has taken on many different forms.   The establishment of the College of The Bahamas and other educational entities has significantly increased opportunities for higher and continuing education locally.  “A good educational system is the foundation of any country; and more significantly it is an important factor in the development of third world countries. However, this progress requires the cooperation of people with different abilities, different experiences and specialized training, working together to produce a dynamic system which could be improved upon over a period of time.”[1]  Getting an education is one of the best things a young person, can do for himself to ensure he leads a better, more fulfilling and prosperous life.  Education can significantly improve people's lives. It benefits people, society, and the world as a whole.  Education is at the very cornerstone of this nation and has produced massive economic, social and cultural transformation of The Bahamas.

Role of Education in Social Character of The Bahamas

Education has numerous benefits for the individual and the society.  “Higher education has long been recognized as critical to the social development of our nation.  This investment in higher education has resulted in the emergence of a cadre of highly skilled professionals, capable of meeting the majority of the manpower needs in the country.”[2]  Prior to the establishment of the College of the Bahamas, access to higher education was limited to few people.  However, since its establishment, thousands of Bahamians have improved their status in life through attainment of Associate’s, Bachelor’s and even a Master’s Degree from this institute.  Persons are empowered to take control of the future of their families and participate in the up building of society.  Socially, education has allowed more people to enjoy life much more fully.  Persons make more positive decisions regarding their health, family, children’s well-being; contribute to cleaner environment and absence of violent crimes. Socrates once said that the more he learned the more he became convinced of his own ignorance. An Educated person has the capacity to live an improved life conforming to the social rules and norms and understanding his civic roles.  Persons who are educated can read, reason, communicate and make informed choices – all of which leads to a better society and living conditions for the individual. One’s quality of life increases, female vulnerability to ill health, frequent unplanned pregnancy is reduced, and the chance for contracting HIV/AIDS infection is also reduced.  Education improves the overall quality of The Bahamas: - the “quality of a nation is easily judged by the number of liberate population living in it”. It is safe to conclude that we have come a long way as a nation since our independence and this has been as a direct result of more people obtaining higher education.

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When one looks back at the pre-emancipation and early periods in Bahamian history, it is easy to visualize the impact education has on our nation. It was an educated man who championed the cause to assist in liberating his fellow Bahamas from injustices, degradation and an impoverished state of mind.  It was a handful of educated men who spoke out on the behalf of freedom, and equality for all and paved the way for this society to rise up and reach its maximum potential.  None of this could have occurred if it were not for a potent vision of a ...

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