I previously believed that formal education is not necessary for actual learning and gaining knowledge . But I have updated my beliefs realizing I have different views now, and so want to record them here.
Every effort must be made to give yourself a good, decent education till at least high school, that is, K-12. Go to the best school you possibly can, because that gives you a great foundation. Of course no one can think for you, but I do believe that a good education can open up your mind and make it curious and ready to self learn.
I do want to clarify also, that my previous post about formal education, was in regard to higher education. Your educational foundation should be as strong as possible. Then whether you go to the best college around (which is great) or you go to a mediocre college or no college at all, your mind will be curious and knowledgeable enough to continue learning. Most people who go through an excellent high school and have a curious mind, do not want to remain ignorant.
You have the internet, library, Barnes & Nobles, if nothing else. You can read all you want and since your mind will be ready to learn and discern, and you will, hopefully, by the end of high school, have cultivated the basic abilities necessary to differentiate between bologna and facts and knowledge.
So, yes. Learning how to think and read will take one a long way. Once your mind is receptive to learning, you should be well on track to not remaining an ignorant fool your entire life, provided you continue to show enthusiasm for knowledge and the truth.