• Wednesday, April 24, 2024
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BusinessDay

Quality education – Why essential?

It’s never been about where you’re coming from

“What sculpture is to a block of marble, education is to the soul.” -Joseph Addison, 1711.

“Often slow and unseen, there is a crisis in education – one of equity and inclusion, quality and relevance – which is having a devastating impact on the futures of children and youth worldwide. In the face of escalating climate change, democratic erosion, persistent inequalities, growing discrimination, hate speech, violence, and conflict on a global scale, education emerges as a powerful tool to both address and prevent these challenges in the future. Moreover, when effectively shaped and implemented, education becomes a long-term investment with increasing returns.” – United Nations website.

A good education is very important. In the Holy Scriptures, for example, we are strongly encouraged to acquire wisdom. In Proverbs Chapter 3, Verse 21 [b] we read: “Safeguard practical wisdom and thinking ability.” Also, Proverbs 4:7 says: “Wisdom is the most important thing, so acquire wisdom, and with all you acquire, acquire understanding.”

Wisdom implies a breadth of knowledge and a depth of understanding. Understanding adds strength to wisdom, contributing greatly to a person’s discretion and foresight, which are also notable characteristics of wisdom. The Biblical sense of wisdom lays emphasis on sound judgement, based on knowledge and understanding; the ability to use knowledge and understanding successfully to solve problems, avoid or avert dangers, attain certain goals, or counsel others in doing so.

Education, intertwined with wisdom and understanding, is a gradual acquisition of knowledge crucial for a better life. It equips individuals with academic skills, fostering successful coping in today’s complex society. Beyond reading, writing, and arithmetic, it influences interpersonal interactions and shapes moral standards. In an increasingly intricate human society, a good education is paramount, ensuring everyone is adequately skilled to function effectively in the world.

In ancient societies, family served as the primary unit for education, with fathers overseeing household learning. Today, parents, particularly fathers, remain key in early education. However, in some regions, girls may be excluded due to perceived expenses or societal roles. This perspective is challenged by studies, like UNICEF’s, emphasising that educating girls is pivotal in breaking the poverty cycle. Well-educated girls contribute to family welfare by making informed decisions, highlighting the broader benefits of female education.

In some other places children are deprived of formal education, and then handed over to someone to learn a trade. Sometimes these children are exploited. Learning a trade is a good thing, but they would be more likely to avoid exploitation if they first received a basic education and then learned a trade.

But where can people get a quality education that encourages individual participation, expands their knowledge of the world, and helps them achieve a better life? While government efforts are crucial, other societal sectors – including the private sector, media, and communities – can also play a significant role in improving access to quality education.

This can be achieved through various means, such as providing financial aid and grants, building new classrooms in public schools, donating educational resources like furniture, textbooks, and libraries, or even identifying and sponsoring underprivileged out-of-school children.

Furthermore, a key component of a good education is often the presence of a caring adult, ideally one or both parents, who is actively supportive and involved in the child’s learning journey.

In conclusion, here are some tips for parents and children that can help a child succeed in school (Sourced from: Awake! magazine, December 22, 1995, page 10, accessible on www.jw.org or wol.jw.org):

What Parents Can Do:

-Get to know your child’s school, its aims, and its attitude toward the values and beliefs you hold.

-Become acquainted with your child’s teachers, and try to build a good working relationship with them.

-Take a deep interest in your child’s homework. Read with him frequently.

-Control what your child watches on TV and how much he watches.

-Watch your child’s eating habits. Junk food can have adverse effects on his/her ability to concentrate.

-Make sure your child has sufficient sleep. Tired children do not learn well.

-Try to help your child choose wholesome friends.

-Be your child’s best friend. He needs all the mature friends he can get.

What children can do:

-With your parents’ help, work out educational goals and ways to achieve them; discuss these goals with your teachers.

-Choose your subjects carefully with the help of your teachers and parents; optional courses that are easy are generally not the best.

-Try to build up a good relationship with your teachers. Find out what they expect of you; discuss your progress and problems with them.

-Pay good attention in class; don’t be drawn into disruptive behaviour.

-Select your friends wisely; they can help or hinder your progress at school.

-Do your homework and assignments as well as you can, give them quality time and ask your parents or another mature adult for help if you need it.

Education is one of the greatest assets that we can ever invest in for our future. So, let us all join hands together to ensure quality education for all.

 

Daniel Ighakpe; (A Schoolteacher at City Pride Schools, Amuwo-Odofin, Lagos): [email protected]; 0817 479 5742. FESTAC Town, Lagos.