The role of the state in society
Arguably, the state plays an essential role in the development and growth of any given society. As part of exercising its obligation to its citizen, a state ensures that there is coordination among various agencies in different sectors to help it provide needs considered as basic for its survival (Geary, 2005; 3). The phrase `state` or `country` is used to describe a group of people who occupy a definite territory and are organized under a system of governance that is not subject to outside control (Allio, 2008; Kjaer, 2004). Through the powers granted to the state by the constitution, the state is able to do this by enacting some statutes.
This paper limits itself to the discussion of the various roles performed by the state with particular emphasis on three important societal sectors. These sectors are education, security, and careers. Undeniably, these sectors are very essential in ensuring that the society develops uniformly. For instance, education and careers are interlinked and they are important in the impartment of knowledge and as well in the improvement of the living standards (Chang, 2006; 22). Equally, security provides an essential environment for the realization of the two factors.
Education in absolute terms can be referred to spread or communication of the skills where a subsequent generation receives the skills, which are required to perform daily living tasks (Allio, 2008; 5). In a broader sense, education can be described as the means by which the habits and aims of a group of people lives on are transferred from one generation to the next generation (Allio, 2008; 6). It describes how values such as social, spiritual and cultural are also communicated to subsequent generations (Geary, 2005; 7).
The role of a nation in providing education
As an association, the state organizes the society and helps it in realizing its objectives in a systematic and effective manner (Chang, 2006; 22). The state should ensure that all its citizen have the right to education which starts from primary education and the right to access secondary education. There should also be mechanisms laid by the state to develop an equitable well-functioning access to higher education as well as indigenous education and alternative education (Boix, 2003; 16).
Education provision is a pivotal role for the state as it prepares the citizens for the state. This represents a mutual relationship as one works for the other (Boix, 2003; 16). The nation as well as the state government is responsible in ensuring maintenance and improvement of standards of education at all levels (Chang, 2006; 25). This is ensured through sufficient financing of education sector to provide all materials and avenues of passing education (Geary, 2005; 17). Curriculums, which focus on practical job skill, which prepare students for skilled blue-collar work or white-collar jobs are in this case created.
Being the most fundamental block in human development, a nation should ensure and maintaining adequate control over the quality and standards of education in transmitting knowledge and skills to succeeding generations (Allio, 2008;8). By doing this, the nation promotes individual freedom among its citizens. It also promotes individual empowerment, which is essential in yielding important individual benefits (Chang, 2006; 26).
States are known to lay down normative instruments and national legal obligations to advocate for the right to education (Geary, 2005; 30). Great importance is attached to these instruments as they help in realizing the nation`s objective of success in education sectors which includes raising literacy level among its citizens (Chang, 2006; 22). The nation does this by ensuring it fulfils its legal and political obligation about providing good quality education and implementing effective strategies in education. This is also a key to attain the millennium development goals (Allio, 2008; 16).
The state has identified education as a powerful tool which when it is well established, it will help lift adults and children that are economically and socially marginalised (Geary, 2005; 15). To help it achieve this, the state forms departments, which interpret and facilitate legislations in education development (Chang, 2006; 25). These departments are given the responsibility of observing the how school systems have been implemented, the way they operate and later advice the legislatures any desired changes and improvement in regulations. The result for this is a community that can lift itself up from chains of poverty and can fully participate as citizens.
A common pattern followed by many nations is the creation of other bodies by the existing legislative branch of a nation (Chang, 2006; 33). The bodies are created to share power with the nation and are controlled by the state. School boards and education boards are some of the boards, which are vested powers, assist the government with rule making and policy making about educational matters(Chang, 2006;32).. The rules established act as a basis of providing education to the nations` citizen and ensuring equitable access to education facilities (Chang, 2006; 33). The education boards also have the mandate to deal with matters arising in the education sector.
An educated state is an environment free from ignorance (Chang, 2006; 30). Education raises the literacy level, this helps communication of the objectives to be achieved by the state, and the benefits the citizens can derive from the state (Boix, 2003; 7). Education prepares individuals for job opportunities. Through education, citizens of a state acquire skills and knowledge necessary to perform different jobs (Chang, 2006; 29).
Limitations in education provision
Financial resources to develop and maintain good education system is a major challenge facing the government (Boix, 2003; 7). Programs to run education sector require wide range of funding and many states are not in capacity to access the funds (Boix, 2003; 8).
Ensuring students have access to adequate general education curriculum has not been easy among many countries. This has led to other challenges such as ability to promote students` self-advocacy and self-determination (Kim, and Axelrod, 2005). With regard to this, nations should embrace the use of universal design to make curriculum, classrooms and assessments that can be used by biggest population of students possible without additional modifications or accommodations. The states should also clearly elaborate the subject matter domain and scope of the selected curriculum, which includes facts, principles, procedures and concepts (Boix, 2003; 16).
Access postsecondary education has proved to be a big challenge for many nations. Employment after this also adds up to the existing challenges (Chang, 2006; 25).
Security can be simply described as precautions taken to protect against events such as attacks and crime (Chang, 2006; 25). It also means something that secures or gives freedom from doubt, risks, danger and establishes well-founded confidence (Chang, 2006; 26). A nation owns the responsibility to ensure that it adopt measures to ensure security among its citizens (Landry, 2009; 28).
The role of the state in the management and administration of security issues
Security in a nation is well explained in line with the concept of human security (Chang, 2006; 25). The right to human security is embedded in a state’s obligation and considered one of the sensitive areas of its responsibilities (Landry, 2009; 20). Human security is expanded to several areas, which are:
Food security- all people in a nation are required to have access to basic food at all times. Food security problem is a global problem and a nation has to ensure that the problem in handled at a national level (Chang, 2006; 21). By establishing effective and efficient food distribution mechanism, a nation will ensure that there is food security among its citizens and achieve one of the key millennium development goals (Landry, 2009; 26).
Health security- this works to ensure that citizens are guaranteed maximum protection from any diseases and unhealthy lifestyles (Landry, 2009; 23). For a country to achieve its objectives that includes high productivity good health, must be ensured as bad health or unhealthy living lowers the productivity of individuals (Chang, 2006; 31). There are preventive and curative measures that nations use to handle health security. Preventive measures are established to minimize the possibilities of disease occurrence and include steps such as immunization against certain diseases while curative measures include putting avenues to treat patients (Landry, 2009; 26). This includes operating hospitals and ensuring patients get right medication on timely basis (Landry, 2009; 27).
Economic security- a country’s citizens need to be assured basic income (Kjaer, 2004; 52). This ranges from productive to remunerative work. A country is supposed to ensure that issues of employment are well handled and unemployment levels are kept at minimum levels (Chang, 2006; 33). Establishment of industries, which offer employment to citizen, is a basic way of tackling employment issues. There has to be also good policies to ensure that these industries work under desirable conditions and contribute to the growth of the company`s economy (Kjaer, 2004; 33).
Personal security – this type of security aims to protect citizens from physical violence (Landry, 2009). The violence could either be from violent individuals, domestic abuse, from the state or external source (Kjaer, 2004; 39). Crime is the concern in this and the state has the responsibility to ensure all its citizens are well protected.
Environmental security- citizens have to be protected from the long-term and short-term ravages of nature. Man made threats and the deterioration of natural environment is environmental concerns (Landry, 2009; 19). The state therefore put policies to handle issues such as pollution of environment, global warming and inability to access clean water resources (Chang, 2006; 22).
Community security- the state does this by protecting its citizens from the loss of traditional relationship values and violence such ethnic violence (Landry, 2009; 27).
Political security- a country that honours basic human rights of its members is said to be having political security(Chang, 2006;26). A state should ensure that there are no human violation and political unrest (Chang, 2006; 27).
Because of the presence of good security, a state is able to achieve economic development, as there will be smooth running of activities in that state (Boix, 2003; 121). Conflicts will also be reduced meaning less time and resources will be channelled towards conflict resolution (Landry, 2009; 21). Instead, the resources will be channelled to productive avenues to help the state achieve its objectives and of its citizens (Boix, 2003; 121)
Limitations in security provision
Poor politics and political framework in a country is challenges towards achieving security (Boix, 2003; 122). This is characterised by poor governance. Policies formed under an un-stable state are least likely to be implemented. In addition, poverty is usually a hindrance to achievement of a country`s security objectives (Boix, 2003; 122).
A country is obligated to ensure that there is conducive environment to enable individual attain careers and further them. There are various opportunities of developing an individual career (Chang, 2006; 23). The government is one of the sources as it provides government employment opportunities. It employs people to help it govern the country and provide some of the essential services. Other reason why it employs is for research and education development (Allio, 2008; 15).
The government encourages career development by encouraging membership of professional organizations (Kjaer, 2004; 45). These professional association memberships are usually of tremendous benefit to individual career progress. However, the employment opportunities in the government are usually limited in comparison with private industries jobs (Allio, 2008; 15). A large number of individuals opt for private sector as it has more opportunities. This sector brings sufficient money to the country (Kjaer, 2004; 46).
Role of the state in ensuring there are careers
The state forms policies such as economic policy, which is important in career creation (Landry, 2009; 27). This leads to a greater representation of its citizens in workforce. Where the government finds out that there are no employment opportunities, it creates favourable policies, which create favourable environment in the private sector, which absorbs more its citizens (Geary, 2005; 26).
In times of unemployment and lack of career development due economic crisis caused by factors such inflation, the country`s government is called in to counter inflationary patterns (Landry, 2009; 27). The government also act to do away with recession that hinders economic growth together with development of careers (Boix, 2003; 60). By eradicating the recession, economic growth is ensured and the citizens are assured of careers and personal development (Geary, 2005; 87). Stagnant economic growth is not benefit in career development. While the government fights with this, it also is also fighting unemployment at the same time.
As more and more people establish careers, there are more benefits accompanying this and hence, individual become more productive in their respective area (Chang, 2006; 24). This will increase productivity in different sectors of the economy and profits will rise (Boix, 2003). There will be better remuneration packages for employees’ efforts. The employees` disposable income will be high which will enable them meet their consumption needs and increase their savings (Geary, 2005; 45). From their saving, they are now able to invest and generate more income. This whole process helps in wealth creation in a country and eradicating poverty by providing more employment opportunities (Chang, 2006; 32).When a state provides its citizens with careers; there is an unquantifiable psychological benefit among the citizens. The citizens develop a feeling of satisfaction (Geary, 2005; 46).
It is unrealistic to get a situation where the state has provided careers to all its citizens (Chang, 2006; 32). The reason being it is difficult for a state to be in position where it caters for the needs of all its citizens. A big number of citizens in many nations are languishing in poverty because of unemployment (Kjaer, 2004; 48).
Poor governance of a state`s resource has denied the state the opportunity to establish and develop careers for it citizens (Kjaer, 2004; 53). Some individual who are given the responsibility to ensure equitable distribution of resources engage in corruption thus denying the state to serve all its citizens.
Education, careers, and security are closely inter-related. In a state that literacy levels are high (educated society), it is easier for a state to provide various types of security to the citizens (Chang, 2006; 25). The state uses these skills in its citizen and employees them as government agents in offering services such as healthcare, which is health security (Landry, 2009). Finally yet important, provision of quality education, security, and career management are universal sectors that must be managed efficiently by states all over the world. This highly contribute to a country`s autonomy and maintenance both independence in mind and appearance.
Allio, (2008) "Planning at the centre", Strategy & Leadership, Vol. 6 Iss: 4, pp.5 – 16
Boix, C. (2003). Democracy and Redistribution. New York: Cambridge University Press
Chang E. K. et. al. (2006) "The importance of strategic readiness in an emerging e-
government environment", Business Process Management Journal, Vol. 12 Iss: 1,
pp.22 - 33
Geary, D. C. (2005). "Folk knowledge and academic learning", In B. J. Ellis & D. F.
Bjorklund (Eds.), Origins of the social mind, New York: Guilford Publications,
Kim, T. and Axelrod, S. (2005). Direct Instruction: An Educators’ Guide and a Plea for
Action -The Behaviour Analyst Today, 6. (2), Page 111
Kjaer, A. M. (2004). Governance. Wiley-Blackwell
Landry, R.S. (2009) "The new politics of regulation", Strategy & Leadership, Vol. 6 Iss: 1,
pp.19 - 29 28