Nelson Mandela's Vision of Education

Today, we want to invite you to take a look at Nelson Mandela's vision of education as well as how we can apply his teachings today. 
Nelson Mandela's Vision of Education

Last update: 04 September, 2020

We all know and appreciate the legacy of Nelson Mandela. This amazing South African lawyer, activist, and politician decided to dedicate his life to fighting for a better world. In short, he wanted a world where people could be free and live together in peace… A world that’s free of racism and inequality. And these desires greatly shape Mandela’s vision of education.

Mandela made so many contributions to the common good that the United Nations declared a day in his honor. In 2009, the UN General Assembly declared July 18th (Mandela’s birthday) to be Nelson Mandela International Day.

We’re talking about one of the most important and influential leaders of modern history. A man who left us with multiple teachings that we must still reflect on today. So, do you want to know about Nelson Mandela’s vision of education? We’ll tell you more below.

Nelson Mandela’s vision of education

Nelson Mandela defended education as one of the most important factors in making society function, improve, and advance. According to Mandela, all children, no matter where they live, have the right to a quality educationThis education allows them to develop and grow as individuals in order to become adults who can contribute to society.

Nelson Mandela's Vision of Education

However, in order for this to happen, we must focus on more than mere academics. Rather, we must provide children with an education based on values like equality, inclusion, respect, cooperation, etc.

What’s more, according to Mandala’s vision, teaching children to think for themselves is essential. In other words, children need to learn to think critically and thoughtfully in order to prevent repeating the mistakes of the past.

Famous quotes that reflect Mandela’s vision of education

The following phrases reflect Nelson Mandel’s vision of education:

  1. “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
  2. “Education is the great engine of personal development. It is through education that the daughter of a peasant can become a doctor, that the son of a mineworker can become the head of the mine; that a child of farm workers can become the president of a great nation.”
  3. “Without education, your children can never really meet the challenges they will face. So it’s very important to give children education and explain that they should play a role for their country.”
  4. “Only mass education can free the people. An educated man cannot be oppressed because he can think for himself.”
  5. “We owe our children – the most vulnerable citizens in any society – a life free from violence and fear.”
  6. “No country can really develop unless its citizens are educated.”
  7. “There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.”
Nelson Mandela's Vision of Education

Applying the teachings of Nelson Mandela today

Supposedly, we live in a modern and advanced society where many social problems have disappeared. However, unfortunately, that’s not the case. There’s still much more to be done before every individual can live in peace and harmony. We’re very far from living in a world where everyone enjoys the rights that belong to them.

To meet this goal, it’s important for families and schools to take Mandela’s vision of education seriously and to apply it. That way, children can internalize certain civic and social values as they grow. In other words, they’ll enjoy a quality education that prioritizes getting along with others, inclusion, and mutual respect.

We know that our younger generations are the future. Therefore, from the time they’re young, we need to teach them to take advantage of the resources they have to make the world a better place.


All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Mandela, N. (2012). El largo camino hacia la libertad: la autobiografía de Nelson Mandela. Madrid: Aguilar.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.