2 December 2014 Education, At What Cost?
Knowledge is power. Power to have a decent life, power to earn a decent income, power that brings you respect and dignity. When knowledge can give the tools and power for so many things, why should it be restricted to a few who have the advantage of wealth (“Benefits of Free Education”)? Let’s provide free education that will give knowledge to all people, contributing on many areas, such as better governance, improvement of quality of life from intelligent ideas and finally end the stress that we have to go trough paying for tuition fees and meeting deadlines. Some believe though, that if you have to pay to go to university, the students would value the education more. In this situation, student’s motivation for achieving good performance is expected to be higher (“Advantages and Disadvantages of Free Higher Education”). In addition skeptics say if the government fully finances education, the government has to limit the number of universities provided as well as minimizing investment on facilities and hiring few qualified teachers. We need to take their concerns under consideration but let’s explain them what education can really do.
Knowledge is the foundation to build a stronger society. High-skills, critical thinking, clear speech and the ability to reason analytically are some of the characteristics that define a well-educated person. With those skills and much more, the chance for better employment rises significantly. As Mark Gongloff, a managing editor for business and technology at The Huffington Post, states unemployment for people that have not have a high school diploma is almost double from the ones that have a college degree. In September of 2014 data showed that people with a college degree had a 5.2 percent unemployment rate two percent lower than the national rate of 7.2 percent. People that were not able to finish high school had a 10.3 unemployment rate (“You Need A College Degree To Get A Job (And Crushing Debt To Get A Degree)”). Through better employment and elimination of the struggle of basic needs, people can concentrate on the higher aspects of life, such as ending homelessness and world hunger. Veronika Scott is an American social entrepreneur and CEO and founder of The Empowerment Plan, which is based in Detroit. She is a great example that shows what education can do. A simple assignment for her product-design class at the College of Creative Studies in Detroit led to become a nonprofit initiative to employ and empower the homeless population of Detroit (Valiente ABC News). Reflecting to this brave initiation to make her society better, we can see that free education would have a very positive impact on the overall quality and thinking in the society.
With free education provided to all, we open up the door for equal opportunities. Intelligence and talent is not something that not only the wealthy ones posses. There is a lot of talent and intelligence undiscovered in third world countries and poor societies. If every each of us has higher education we have better chances to have a greater future ahead of us and have the option to more opportunities. These opportunities will bring more steady, good paying jobs where consumers will be able to spend more money on goods; hence the economy will be stronger and will keep growing. As Robert B. Reich, current Chancellor Professor of Public Policy and former Secretary of Labor in the Clinton administration, demonstrates in his documentary “Inequality For All’ that education is one of the solutions to minimize the wage gap that we face at the present moment and surely bring back the middle class in America (Reich).
Education does not only have an impact on our society but on our way we govern and elect our representatives. The Founding Fathers were some of the most educated and intellectually developed citizens of the United States of America. They were able to establish one of the most