What education serves for has been immersed in conflict for decades. Some firmly believe that it aims to produce efficient and capable promoters for the social progress, whereas others argue that to achieve personal fulfillment should be its ultimate goal.
Personally, the utilitarian function of education is quite understandable, for to boost a sustainable and bright prospect for the society is the shared objective of human beings at all historical stages and social levels, and education, as such a pivotal approach, has long been resorted to. That is why schools and academies were conventionally designed to cultivate future bureaucrats or pioneers in a specific field. Even nowadays the contents of text books are chosen and courses and programs decided basically in accordance with the current social demands.
Besides, let us not forget that it is public schooling that has provided many young minds with opportunities to get free education and thus to change their destiny; therefore, it would be perfectly rational for these beneficiaries to be dedicated to their communities and to pay back afterwards.
Admittedly, however, learning something to one' s heart content, one will automatically involve him or herself in it, actively find ways to surmount the difficulties on the way and turn a painstaking process into an enjoyable one, which consequently brings about a decent career, higher social status, in a word, happiness. But if individuals have to learn what they are supposed to instead of what they sincerely desire , they may end up with a pathetic life course. Favorable to the development of the society as it may be, the education regardless of the well-being of individuals is a failure in essence.
For me, the two statements are not of a paradox at all and education can be of two-fold function, because one probably has several ambitions, and as long as they select those that can serve the society of great value to be the lifetime pursuit and let go the others, both the individuals and the society can prosper.