The lack of power and authority in most of society can be directly linked to a deficiency in knowledge. In fact, the most common deficiency in almost 1 billion people is illiteracy. This is the result of poor quality learning or no education at all.
While the role of knowledge varies culture to culture, the concept of a basic and well engineered education is paramount to pretty much all societies, regardless of what that level of education may be. A plumber needs to know the angle of a needed pipe. A tribesman teaches his sons how to hunt. A parent helps keep their children healthy by knowing the fundamentals of hygiene.
A basic level of education enables people to make sound decisions in all aspects of their life. There isn’t a single thought or action taken throughout our existence that won’t be influenced by something we learned, consciously or not, at another point in our lives.
A well educated population leads to empowered communities and societies, which in turn gives us stronger government. The population becomes the most valuable asset in building economies and developing sound and beneficial relationships with other countries. In a free market, a well educated population is critical. How does an illiterate society compete when it cannot write or read, cannot calculate or have the foundation of knowledge to be pioneering?
Of course, there are plenty of stories about the millionaire who dropped out of fourth grade. But that is the rare exception to a very important rule. Education provides essential skills. It prepares the mentality for making healthy, intelligent, practical and sane decisions throughout life.