In response to ABC’s Q&A (Monday July 14) segment on education, it got me thinking about what is the meaning and importance of schooling and education is.
Education is a basic human right, because of the endless opportunities it provides to everyone. It can allow people to escape poverty cycles, abuse, disadvantages and inequality experienced by anyone, regardless of gender, race, religion, sexuality, height, weight, socio-economic class or political preference.
In Australia, the 21st Century, we are so privileged to have not only the freedom but also the support to go to school to seize our education and all associated opportunities. However, I believe the current schooling system expects (at least what I have experienced in NSW) that you go to school 5 days a week, sit in your classes, take notes, hand in your assignments on time, aim to get A+’s, participate in many extra curricular activites, finish year 12, receive a high and respectable ATAR, be accepted to university and dedicate the following 3-5 years at uni. This is an excellent option for lots of people who feel (like me) that university will open their doors to more opportunities for their desired careers.
However, some people are far from interested in racking up an enormous HECS debt. Instead they have other goals and dreams which I believe school doesn’t necessarily equip them for. And even as someone who followed that path of ATAR, Year 12, University, there are still many life skills I feel I am lacking. Taxes, bank loans, politics, voting, visas, cooking and changing a lightbulb (which I can now do! Thanks Dad).
I know that there is a lot of support for students who want to pursue other avenues, however, what I simply do not understand is why the current Abott government would cut funding for schools, teachers, resources and the education system, when we all know that education is the key to individuals, communities and our country moving forward! Or perhaps I’m just not educated enough to understand the logic behind it.