Why do we bother with education?

schoolI mean historically. For once, I’m not trying to be contentious, just to list the reasons we have chosen to make this enormous social investment.

  • The British Public Schools created a steady trickle of young men who had the skills and attitude to run the empire.
  • The apprenticeship system has produced artisans since the Middle Ages.
  • The 1870 education act put children into schools mainly as a solution to the scandal of child labour in factories.

What have I missed?