Once again we have to think about slightly different word forms with radically different meanings.
Something that is difficult or hard work (= is 'demanding'!):
The joys and demands of motherhood are constant.
Motherhood is sometimes hard work/difficult.
The demands of IELTS are considerable.
IELTS is hard work/difficult.
People need something:
Demand for oil field services has been very strong.
A lot of people want or need oil field services.
Demand for paper products softened slightly in recent weeks.
Recently, fewer people have needed paper products.
Returning to our opening example, I think the writer is saying that people need education, not that it is difficult: