Many commentators, and certainly many employers, tend to define it narrowly. The purpose of education is seen as being to fit people to take their place in the work force. What they need is basic skills and more over vocational qualification. Without numeracy and literacy, people are at a grave disadvantage. Vocational qualification is very important. No one will have confidence in a surgeon, or plumber, or an accountant, who does not possess the necessary skill and confidence.
The trouble comes when people see basic skills, or for that matter vocational qualifications, as the only things that are important. Clearly they should be developed by education or their acquisition made possible through education - but that isn't the same thing at all. We are in a world of rapid change. That is a statement that is clearly true which no one would deny. Because of this, most people need, throughout their lives, to deal with new problems.
The ability to learn, to develop vocational capacity, is an enabling ability. Hence the object of teaching a child would be to enable the child to get along with a world of rapid change.