The impact of education on human society is immense, once a person is educated he is in the proper sense. When a man is educated, he becomes rational and it trains the human mind to make the right decisions. An uneducated person cannot read or write and that is why he is closed to all information and knowledge. It is through education that information and knowledge are received and spread around the world.
People who do not learn or study is shut off from the outside world. In contrast, an educated man lives with all its windows open towards the outside world. The quality of a nation’s human resources is easily judged by the number of people that is literate and that have some form of education, living in it. If a nation wants to achieve growth, education is a must and to keep it going. This explains why most of the rich and developed nations in the world have such a high literacy rate, it is because of their educated human resources.
There are a lot of nations that offer high levels of training and education programs as well as other training programs for normal credit programs. In the world, there are millions of people that want to learn and want to be highly educated. To cater to all the needs of education of the working population, many colleges and universities offer online education. These online education programs are very helpful for working people as well as students. Working people need to keep on learning and it is not always possible to do when working all the time. Students can also learn an online degree to get more knowledge at the same time. This universities and colleges offer almost any degree there is that one could study.
In most professional careers like doctors and dentists, learning must be followed lifelong to keep them on top of everything. These people do not just have to update their skills and knowledge, but they also have to learn new techniques of practice and perfect old ones. Many of these professionals have a huge responsibility towards society, so for them, education is a must. It is scenarios like this that distance education comes into the picture. Most people do not have the time to attend classes, so online education can be very convenient for them and from the comfort of their homes.
The importance of education can simply not be overlooked by any nation, especially in the world of today where education has become even more vital. It is an absolute necessity for economic and social development of any nation and any individual.
The Education System in America
The role that the educational system should play in the lives of people is to educate them to be conscious, critically thinking individuals who do not passively accept knowledge but question the knowledge that is being taught to them. Education should be taught to give students the skills and intelligence they need to understand the world and how the world works to survive in it. However, the American educational system has been known to produce students who are woefully ignorant about the world and different cultures. One of the reasons is because the educational system in its current state does not leave much room for critical thinking but trains individuals to be docile, worker bees in a global economy that keeps the status quo wealthy and “others” barely making it. The problem becomes evident if we look at the varied curriculums and subjects that are being taught. There is a lack of emphasis on academic learning, and the only thing that matters is high stakes testing. The schools in this country have become swamped with fuzzy curriculums that assume that through constant testing, students will be prepared for life in a new global society . . . whatever that is.
I recently had a conversation with a co-worker and we were discussing how African-Americans were treated forty years ago and I was amazed by her naivety about the subject because she was a college graduate and an African-American. From the moment I entered college, I was eager to explore the history of African and African-American history from a viewpoint that did not make them seem sub-human and college affords students that opportunity. I could not help but wonder what type of history and sociological classes she had taken; from her conversation, none. But the sad truth is that when most people decide to attend college, it is to reap economic rewards, not for expanding one’s consciousness.
For the educational system in this country to produce students who are not clueless about its history and the world surrounding them, it should be restructured in several ways. Parental involvement should be mandatory, just as school attendance for students is mandatory for graduation. Lack of parent involvement is an enormous contributing factor to the current failing educational system. Parents need to instil in their children just how detrimental a lack of education is to their future. Teachers are wonderful people who can take students from the top of Mount Olympus to the cold and desolation of Antarctica but they are there to teach, not the parent. Many teachers spend a great deal of their class time disciplining children and playing babysitter, two things that are not a part of their job duties. Teachers need involvement from parents for the educational system to work and education begins at home.
Funding for the educational system should also be restructured. Public schools are traditionally funded by property taxes which results in a very unequal distribution of educational opportunity. Wealthy communities have more funding for their local schools than those who do not. This situation directly affects the quality of education that children in urban and poor rural areas receive. The No Child Left Behind Act will only make it worse because of the required testing and public reporting of results. When parents are buying a new house, they want to live in a school district that has strong test scores. This drives up the property values in those areas, meaning that only affluent families can afford to live in the top-performing school districts. This means more property taxes to those areas, while the lower performing schools lose their funding if they do not meet federal standards. There should be a fair tax system for education that is not based on property taxes of homeowners. Government funding, for the most part, is distributed to the various schools by state and local governments and there are huge disparities in this funding based on race. According to the text American Education by Joel Spring, there is a gap of more than $1,000 per student nationwide based on race, with large states like New York, Illinois, and Pennsylvania, who lead the nation in their unwillingness to fairly fund education (Spring, pg. 77). Children should not suffer because of their economic background or ethnicity and public education should make no distinction between rich and poor, or black and white. Every child attending a public school should be granted an equal education. Equal funding would grant teachers the proper resources to better educate students. School choice and the privatization of the public school system would not be a factor because, under my plan, the educational system in America would be fully and equally funded by the federal government and closely monitored. With the influx of money pouring into the educational system from the government, schools would change dramatically for the better because that is the biggest issue in most public schools: lack of money.
The educational system’s curriculum would be changed to fit in with the nation’s melting pot of different cultures and ethnicities. From elementary to high school, students are bombarded with facts and figures about wealthy, white men as if women and other minorities do not exist or contribute anything worthy to the history of America. No wonder so many students blank out historical facts: they do not care about this fact because they cannot relate to the actors in the story. The student should be required to take courses that have will give them a more in-depth understanding of the world surrounding them, courses that will discuss the history of marginalized and oppressed individuals in this country and around the world. They should be required to read books that make them think, not just process information for the next test. If more students understood the values and cultures of people unlike themselves, it would not be easy or maybe even possible for the government to lie and use propaganda techniques to lull the masses into believing everything was okay and its leaders competent. High stakes testing would be eliminated because most of the tests are designed by people who do not have a clue about the demographics, ethnicities or economic backgrounds of the students who are to be tested and these tests are biased against minorities and the poor. If students are to be tested, extra tutoring would be available to students, at no cost to the parents.
Having competent teachers, board members, and administrators are also a vital part of restructuring the educational system. Having qualified administrators and board members who know and enforce standards and guidelines is important. What are the qualifications for an administrator? Are there required qualifications? These are the questions that need answers. Just because someone has obtained a degree does not make this person the best for the job. Board members should not be chosen because they golf with the mayor; all board members should have a Master’s degree in Education or have an extensive social justice background. As for teachers, the educational system should make sure that the best teachers are chosen for the positions and evaluations should be given frequently. This would give parents and the educational system a chance to find out what is wrong and what is needed to correct the problems. Public education needs teachers and board members that care about the children and their education, not individuals who want the perks of working for school system: summers and holidays off, steady raises and a fat compensation package. American children are suffering due to the inadequacies of the individuals involved with the educational system.
The “culture of poverty” theory that has been used by several politicians to explain differences in learning between different ethnicities would be exposed as a blatant attempt by the status quo to “blame” individuals for their poverty if the educational system was restructured to meet the needs of all students, not just the wealthy. Huge educational gaps between poor students and wealthy students do not occur because the poorer students have adapted to their poverty-stricken existence but because they do not have resources needed to succeed in school. If students have to deal with outdated textbooks, lack of toiletries, and computers from the late 1980s, their opportunity to advance academically is dismal and their chances of dropping out of school likely.