Our Struggles.com

Change comes from struggle. We shows the struggle towards the violated rights and freedoms by others body. By Behailu M.

What is the Value of an Education?

I think it’s a question that receives a wide range of opinions, many of which may have valid points. The way you answer the question will obviously depend on your own life and experiences but the first question is obviously what is an education? In the context of this discussion I’ll define it simply as completing your schooling ie. a post-secondary institution. Some of the opinions I’ve come across range from “an education is worth everything in life” to “it isn’t worth anything”. But what’s more important than the the conclusions is the reasoning behind it, which are too diverse and numerous to get into every detail so I’m just gonna highlight some points and focus in on my own community (Oromo and other African youth).

Being born and raised in this country I found that alot of youth, found it hard to stay motivated in school (and I include myself in this group). In most case these youth grew interested with other “more glamorous things” such as the sports and entertainment industry or other things that they couldn’t really relate to what they were doing in school. I’m just gonna make a general statement and say that the culture most black and african youth identified with and the personalities that they looked up to, didn’t really value education. Aside from that their lack of interest in school became reinforced by other points such as unemployment among graduates, and the high cost of education. The point about unemployment making education obsolete is also something echoed by Oromo youth back home. They figure that from an economic standpoint, why waste so much time and money investing on an education and end up unemployed, when you can just work hard and make money now. Alot of them follow fast-money schemes, some of which are illegal. In the west they see drug dealers counting money and driving the latest luxury vehicles, and back home they see the same with the big time khat merchants and diaspora visitors.

So we end up with youth who would rather be a self made “merchant”, or in the case of back home youth, follow the diaspora trail. They don’t see the value in completing their schooling. You even have some who adopt more extreme views who say that school is pointless because a person can be a self made enterpeneur and genius without completing their schooling ie. Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Albert Einstein etc. I think it suffices to say that this is an example of taking the exception and making it the rule. While it’s true that knowledge isn’t exclusively tied to post-secondary education, most people who drop out of school aren’t doing it to set up the next Microsoft or Apple. They just aren’t able or motivated to be in school, and the reasons for that are endless.

But one observation I’ve made in my community is the gap that exists between the parents who immigrated to this country on one hand, and their children. Parents preach education, and narrate their own life experiences, and lack of opportunities where they were raised. But for the most part this doesn’t register with their kids. Their kids can hear them, but they can’t really relate to their experiences so they don’t respond. It’s one thing to hear about the poverty and lack of opportunities in an oppressive 3rd world country, it’s quite another to see it and live it. So parents should probably take that into account when they’re preaching to their 16 year old whose idol in life is a Rapper, or a basketball player. My own opinion on the matter, is that in our situation, education is important. We’re not from the privileged class in society who can afford to screw up only to be held up by family ties. We’re from a people who were deprived of the opportunity to learn and excel. A people whose lands are extracted of it’s wealth and resources to build skyscrapers in the west. So we owe it to ourselves, our families, and our people, to do something to change that. An education isn’t going to make you who you are. You already are who you are based on your identity, your values, your motivations, your goals. But depending on how you use it, or apply it, it can enhance your abilities to do what it is you want to do.

Source: http://www.gulelepost.com/2013/07/31/what-is-the-value-of-an-education/


One comment on “What is the Value of an Education?

  1. behailum2012
    August 1, 2013

    Reblogged this on Oromo Land.


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This entry was posted on August 1, 2013 by in Home, News letters and tagged , .
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