Public education is a privilege in America, but in other countries where its lacking, its importance is more easily visible. (Image via Pixabay)

The Fight for Quality Education Is More Important Than Ever

The strikes, walkouts and crises all underscore one pivotal point: the importance of public education.

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The strikes, walkouts and crises all underscore one pivotal point: the importance of public education.

Study after study has found that the state of literacy and the prevailing educational methods of a society are the primary indicators of its quality of life. As a result, a civilization that understands the role of educational institutions for its children and has a dedicated staff of educators to attend to those students will find its welfare constantly improving.

Below are five facets of modern life that, although not directly connected to the educational system, are affected by its quality. If education suffers, these components of society will suffer in turn, which underscores the importance of quality, public education throughout the world.

Economic Mobility

Informed societies allow their younger generations to pursue their dreams, providing youngsters with the infrastructure and amenities necessary to nurture their personal development.

On the other hand, an uneducated society will struggle to provide basic amenities for its people, as such countries generally suffer from flagging economies, poor health care and, of course, inadequate education.

As a result, illiterate parents are much less likely to provide their children the tools necessary to improve their lives, which will cast them into an endless cycle of inagency. Because of this, quality education is critical not just for the current generation, but for the future of any nation.

Crime

In addition to the benefits an education-oriented society brings to its children, a highly skilled workforce will also lead to less crime for the public at large. Because illicit behavior often arises from a lack of economic opportunity, providing youth with the means to succeed increases their ability to get a good job, which vastly reduces their likelihood to have to turn to crime.

Individuals with a lack of education, however, whose prospects for the future are much bleaker, are much more inclined to adopt criminal behaviors, like theft, to survive and provide a living for their dependents. While obviously not every uneducated person becomes a criminal, the statistical likelihood for such an outcome is much higher.

Wealth

Wealth and abundance are also two benefits of an educated society. When the student bloc of a country is able to spend time furthering their educations, they are able to get better, higher-paying jobs that are more specialized and much more secure. As a result, they make more money more consistently, and thus are able to lead a higher-quality life compared to their peers. They are also then able to pass many of these advantages down to their children, who will benefit from being raised by wealthy parents.

Economic success is much harder to come by in a system whose educational infrastructure is flawed. Less education correlates to lower-paying jobs that offer less job security, meaning wage-earners typically make less money but often have to work longer hours for it. And, just as children benefit from wealthy parents, children receive far fewer benefits when raised by poorer parents who are unable to provide their children with as many resources.

Equality

In educated societies, students are brought up understanding the concept of tolerance as critical to the functioning of a diverse society. Heterogeneity is encouraged, as it leads to novel perspectives, greater creativity and more success for the community as a whole, a truth that can be obscured by the enmity that a lack of education breeds.

Poor education leads to a fear of the other, rather than an embrace of it, and it pits differing groups as in competition against each other, rather than in collaboration. Plus, because a poor education leads to less job stability, less-educated laborers are more likely to feel obligated to defend their job security, leading to a protectionist mentality that can lead to xenophobia, racism, sexism and homophobia.

Politics

Poorly educated societies are much more easily to manipulate, which can quickly give way to corruption. In addition, better education leads to more leisure time and a higher degree of labor specialization, which allows for a watchdog class, such as NGOs or journalistic institutions, that can afford to keep the governing body in check. In an economy dominated by labor-intensive jobs, there is little time to monitor the actions of politicians, as well as an inability to do so.

Indeed, education brings empowerment, ushers in equality and facilitates opportunity. We must get down off our high horses and admit that education itself should change, improve and follow the needs of the human evolution. The system should never fester, but instead be challenged every day for a better future.

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