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The Vital Importance of Education, in Quotes

The history of education can be traced back to the earliest recorded history of civilization itself. During the first civilizational phase from around 3000 to 1500 BCE, cultures such as those of Mesopotamia and Egypt flourished, due in large part to developments that enabled writing and formal education. Formal schools emerged, typically headed by priests, in which students could learn to read and write as well as study subjects such as science, mathematics, medicine, and geometry.

It soon became apparent that education was fundamental to human progress. It became a key feature of societies through the ages, from ancient Rome and the imperial academies of the Han dynasty to the modern world. (The first public school in what would become the United States was established in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1635.)

Today, around 90% of the world’s population has completed a primary education. Many millions of children still lack access to basic education, but attendance numbers are significantly higher than a century ago.

Here are 17 quotes about the power of education, from Confucius, Kofi Annan, Malala Yousafzai, and others.

If your plan is for one year, plant rice. If your plan is for 10 years, plant trees. If your plan is for 100 years, educate children.
Confucius

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What sculpture is to a block of marble, education is to the human soul.
Joseph Addison

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Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.
John Dewey

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Education is the key to unlock the golden door of freedom for our people.
George Washington Carver

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The ability to read, write, and analyze; the confidence to stand up and demand justice and equality; the qualifications and connections to get your foot in that door and take your seat at that table — all of that starts with education.
Michelle Obama

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Upon the subject of education, not presuming to dictate any plan or system respecting it, I can only say that I view it as the most important subject which we, as a people, can be engaged in.
Abraham Lincoln

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Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.
Nelson Mandela

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Education makes a greater difference between man and man, than nature has made between man and brute. The virtues and powers to which men may be trained, by early education and constant discipline, are truly sublime and astonishing.
John Adams

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The progress of the world depends almost entirely upon education.
George Eastman

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Education, then, beyond all other divides of human origin, is a great equalizer of conditions of men — the balance wheel of the social machinery.
Horace Mann

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Education is a better safeguard of liberty than a standing army.
Edward Everett

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Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs only to the people who prepare for it today.
Malcolm X

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When education and resources are available to all without a price tag, there will be no limit to human potential.
Jacque Fresco

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Knowledge is power. Information is liberating. Education is the premise of progress, in every society, in every family.
Kofi Annan

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Education is the first step to empowerment.
John Leguizamo

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The content of a book holds the power of education and it is with this power that we can shape our future and change lives. There is no greater weapon than knowledge and no greater source of knowledge than the written word.
Malala Yousafzai

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Featured image credit: rosarioscalia/ Shutterstock

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About the Author
Tony Dunnell
Tony is an English writer of non-fiction and fiction living on the edge of the Amazon jungle.
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