Education, a Human Right
by GUADIZ, Wezley John Bautista (5R07)
Education is a fundamental human right; this is because every child around the world, regardless of their race, culture, or economic status has great potential. This potential can only be harnessed and realized if those young minds receive proper education. We’re in the 21st century, and the world is as advanced as ever with many economies flourishing and countries getting more developed in general, yet, there is still a plethora of children who have yet to receive education for their future. This issue isn’t getting the spotlight that it deserves, but it will come back to haunt us if left unnoticed. The children of today will be the citizens of tomorrow, and it’s saddening to know that a lot of uneducated children, if unaccounted for, won’t be able to contribute or merge into society because they weren’t given an education. Also, the current developing countries such as Africa will find it even harder to develop as their future population isn’t educated too, and the cycle repeats itself yet again, resulting in a constant era where people have to live in poverty.
In 2012, there were more than 61 million children of primary school age that were out of school. That huge number rose to a staggering 72 million children in 2015. The reason why the figures are so high is because of the inequalities and marginalization in both developing and developed countries. Some of these inequalities include the belief in some cultures like the Arab States, central Asia and in Southern and Western Asia where parents think that their daughters aren’t worth sending to school, and instead they are told to stay home to help with the chores or do farm work. But the main cause contributing to the huge figures is poverty. It is said that there are still 1.6 billion people living in poverty. These people barely have any income, which means that it’s hard to survive as they can’t afford money for food, clothes and housing. If they can’t afford those totally basic things which are needed to survive, how can they afford an education for their children?
Most of the people living in poverty are in the continent of Africa. Some cities in Africa are severely underdeveloped and rampant with disease and crime. In those areas, there is a major lack of infrastructure which makes it hard for children to find somewhere that they can find teachers. It’s no secret that a lot of people, especially children, have died of starvation and disease in Africa. There are constantly droughts, which make it impossible for them to grow crops, and if there are crops, they are usually too expensive for the typical family to buy. As families are so focused on trying to survive, they rarely even give a thought about sending their children to school. This means that a lot of families in Africa who can’t afford food can’t send their children to school. Another problem that stops the children from going to school is that the children’s parents are likely not to have received an education in the first place because of the reasons aforementioned. This means that either the parents don’t know the value of education, or even though they are aware that education is vital to their child’s success in the future, they can’t really teach them as they may be illiterate. Some children may have been studying in a school at first, but there’s a chance that they’ll have to stop because of their health issues or do jobs to support their family.
Not only is it the problem of the individual families, the governments of some countries simply don’t put enough resources into education. This means that they are not spending enough of their money building or renovating schools and they’re also not training people to become teachers. So, even if a family has adequate money to get their basic needs and afford an education, the quality of education may not be good enough and if they are sent to those schools, they may benefit insignificantly or not at all. Those schools may not have enough teaching resources, which is a problem because children usually need some sort of mental stimulation to enhance their learning process. Another huge problem is the number of students in one class. Large class sizes cause a lot of problems. For one, the students simply aren’t able to get enough individual attention, so their problems can’t be solved and their learning process will be very slow. This is because children have different learning speeds, and if one’s lagging behind, he/she might not be able to catch up. This type of difficult teaching method can also take its toll on the teachers, as it’s hard to discipline and teach more than 50 students at once, which will lower the effectiveness of teaching.
In conclusion, this problem should be tackled at its root, which is for developed countries to help out developed countries so that the general quality of life of people there will increase and they can afford to send their children to school. Also governments should realize the importance of education and prioritize the building of schools and improvement on the quality of education. If those things become a reality, a lot more children will be able to go to school and we will be one step closer to achieving global education.