Education: Its Immense Impact and Necessity
I am sure you all have heard of Malala Yusufzai? No? Not surprised. At the age of eleven, she began to speak about the necessity of education for girls in her region of Mingora, Pakistan as they are banned from attending. She has written numerous blogs, delivered public speeches, appeared on many television interviews, etc. Of course, you do not know Malala – you already have an education, you do not have any essential disadvantages, and of course girls are free to attend public schools. For adolescent boys, it makes school hours bearable. We have enough education to be aware of ourselves and others, and yet we are oblivious to its purpose. Despite our unstable economy, our nation still funds at least 5.3% of the GDP to public education with enough resources for each student. While in Malala’s homeland, only 2.7% of the GDP is funded to the public education system and the public schools are incapable of sustaining the crowds of lost causes.
Recently, in October 2012 at fourteen years old, she was shot by a Taliban man in the head and miraculously survived. Although many claim other conspiracies to her attack, the issue is not who shot her, the issue is why. She is bringing change to a region where change is unwanted. Despite her young age, her bravery is a threat because it disrupts the traditional society and lifestyle of people in places like Pakistan. Women are degraded by culture and suffer because a male figure culturally provides the income. Most are dependent on a male’s salary. If without a sufficient male figure, which makes up a significant amount of women, the women and their children are hopeless on the streets or forced into jobs, doomed for humiliation. There is a lack of education burdening each citizen with hardships and increasing poverty due to the inability to survive on meager jobs and businesses. Pakistan’s foundation is Islam, and in Islam education, especially equal education to both genders, is crucial. It is one of the most essential principles of Islam and duties brought to humanity. Malala is educated because she is aware of her surroundings and the truth. Her critics misunderstand and denounce seemingly her Western and secular beliefs, but her motive is to provide education and equality–a value in Islam–and not just in Westernized ideas.
The United States literacy rate is on average 95.5%, and by gender, women have a rate of 95.3%. Pakistan’s literacy rate is an average 37% where women are literate by only 24%, while the male’s literacy rate is 50%. We have free education, the law commands us to attend school, and we have nothing to worry about besides passing high school, going to college, then getting a career–or even choosing not to plan any future.
Women like Malala are targeted for bringing awareness and demanding change. Yet, we ignore people like her or only give them our attention for a short period of time and then forget. We ignore the activists because they protest what we – the privileged – already abuse. We are accustomed to our privileges and treat them as basic essentials. Education is a necessity; a necessity that not everyone has access to. If we truly valued our education, we would not be sleeping in class, cheating on tests, or disrespecting our teachers. And here at the Trail we have SPUR cards? We need incentives for our students to respect an institution that many pay to learn, to read, to write, and most of all, to think? Trust me, if school and education was useless, the disadvantaged youth like Malala would not take a bullet for it. But that is if we valued our education, and if we did, we would be aware of the world that surrounds and affects us, the global impact of the 7 billion people that we share it with, and maybe, just maybe we would know of Malala.
I do not mean to patronize or demean any students here at the Trail or
anywhere. Even I also have days when I am disconnected from my teachers
lectures and feel stressed or just simply tired of school. The point is,
if you take advantage and learn of the resources and the privileges given
to you, (education being the most important privilege), then you should be
in good hands to whatever goal you wish to achieve.