What differentiates schooling, education

Monday January 18 2021
By Guest Writer

On December 1, I read an article in this news paper by Dr Muniini K Mulera titled: ‘Academic qualification not  a measure of good leadership ability .” I applaud him for not misusing the word “education” in giving his view on academic qualifications as many people do. The word “education” is the most misused word because its true definition does not require one to use a dictionary, but personal judgment and life experience.

Whatever motives Dr Mulera had are only known to him but to me, I appreciate him for giving me the motivation to conduct further research about the difference between  “schooling “which is the background of academic qualification and “education,” which is an independent word.

The dichotomy between the two words is that schooling is a formal way of learning whereby one is taught about subjects, topics and how to receive instructions based on a curriculum that is conducted in a classroom whereas education is the culmination of facts ,thoughts and experiences that are gained over a life time either formally or informally. Education can be acquired anywhere - in school, home, and market place, among others. Schooling with its limitations, can only be acquired in a classroom just like Mark Twain once said: “I never let my schooling interfere with my education.”

Some of the personalities such as George Washington and Abraham Lincoln Dr Mulera cites in his comment were not schooled, but educated .In fact, their  obsession with education made them eccentric .Lincoln is considered to be the most solitary president of the United States,he spent countless hours of his solitude reading and journaling. You don’t have to be over schooled to master the art of writing and reading .

Self-education should be a priority that must be adequately budgeted for in every civilised society, awareness of its importance should be created from the grassroots  to the top in every community and should involve various stakeholders, including parents, teachers and state institutions.

Self-education rituals that made Lincoln a remarkable president should be nurtured among children from pre-school years  through a variety of activities, which will attract them to reading and exploring the world according to their age . Despite enormous emphasis on schooling ,there is a large percentage of Ugandans who do not fulfil the minimal requirements of literacy .


Back to Dr Mulera’s article, I agree with you that having academic qualification does not guarantee that you can be a good leader. Jim Rohn said: “School education may earn you a living , but self-education will earn you a fortune.” 

Self-education  forms a human being in terms of character, integrity, ethics and reliability in all seasons whereas schooling informs your concepts, topics and subjects. 

Steven Akabwayi,