What exactly is the purpose of secondary education?

Updated: Aug 21, 2020

There are many thoughts on this which include:

- “A secondary education should prepare the learner with

opportunities to build self and the nation."

- “Education is seen as the engine of an economy, the

foundation of culture and essential in the preparation of

adult life.”

- Some see it as “the gate opener to university for all

students and that the fundamental aim of teaching is to

enable students to realise the disciplines in which they

have greater abilities so that they can pursue related


- Others would argue that education is NOT for the purpose

of a career but should be for the purpose of the enjoyment

of learning and learning all that school can offer….

Heavens! We could go on and on. In my years in the game,

the purpose of secondary education is ALL of the above and

some students like it, some love it, some actually hate it, and

some would say they’re neutral, that is “eh, this is where we

have to be.” I often crack up at that last one – I do give

possible alternatives, but they’re always turned down. Most

students, at the heart of it, would prefer to be in school.

My two cents on this subject. Education is not just about

schooling. It is a process which involves discovery and

learning with an outcome – your understanding (be that right

understanding or wrong understanding) of your own experiences.

So, we are getting an education (informal) all of

time, in our homes, with our friends, with strangers we

encounter etc. Then there is formal learning – school,

university, college, which everyone means when the term

‘education’ is talked about. I will be focusing my thoughts on

predominantly on formal education and with informal education

in the subtext as we all will experience both at some point in

our lives.

So, to continue to answer my own question “What is the

purpose of secondary education?”

It is about you gathering all types of experiences, managing

and interpreting those experiences …. and you using these to

the best of your ability to harness the formal education that you

are led into. I want to walk through with you from the ages

of 14 years +. For me, the formal education – mathematics,

computer science, English, Business, RE and all the others

coupled with life experiences (informal education), should

enable you to have sufficient knowledge and understanding of

how to generate and act on your ideas, how to be an

intrapreneur / entrepreneur to be and continue to be your best

self while you walk this earth. This is your fundamental human

right. So, let’s get started.


Infed, what is education?


Rt Hon Nick Gibb MP 2015, The purpose of education.