Last week I read an article about bringing education to children in some of the poorest parts of the world via computers through “Cloud schools,” so that children can organize themselves and educate themselves. And my first thought was when are kids ever excited to go to school on their own accord, other than little nerds like me? I quickly stopped that thought though, and then thought wait what am I talking about? That's only because here, we're privileged with free education and people take it for granted. So many people in this country have no idea how blessed we are to be able to freely learn what we want to learn. I myself got a Juris Doctorate, not because I wanted to be an attorney, but because…well, why not? I mean, obviously, getting that degree was far from “free” in the monetary sense, but I was free to choose to go. I was free to learn. Why wouldn’t you want to take every opportunity you can to learn and better yourself?
I'm not saying you need a college degree, or a graduate degree to be a better person or to make something of yourself, but when it's available to you, why not take advantage of it? After all, even long after you've finished with school, you're never done learning...hopefully.
Well, a few days after I read about the "Cloud schools", I read an article on BBC about a bus in Pakistan, carrying female students home, getting blown up. More appalling was when militants stormed the hospital the girls had been taken to and started shooting. Why???
In other parts of the world, there is a huge resistance against girls getting educated and it outrages me. Remember 15 year-old Malala who made a miraculous recovery after the Taliban shot her in the head for trying to go to school?
Educating women makes communities thrive. And I'm not just saying that out of some feminist notion. It's a proven fact.
You know, I never really thought about it until I switched majors in undergrad after my first year. I switched from Communications to Global and International Studies, because at my school communications was mostly about studying theory and I wanted to learn more than theory.
Then in one of my classes, we discussed the importance of educating girls and women. There is a direct link between women’s education and improved health and reduced poverty. And then it dawned on me how privileged I was to be sitting where I was, learning about cultures, globalization, international political economics, Russian, language and linguistics, literature, art history, you name it. I was free to absorb it all.
But why should I feel privileged for getting to learn? Education is a basic human right. It’s a basic right recognized by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It's a basic right that should just be inherently recognized by all.
People who fear the education of women fear change. They fear progress. They fear loss of whatever power they think they have. All children in the world should be able to go to school.
They can take away your house, your money, and all your belongings; but they cannot take away your mind. Dementia has taken away my 80 year-old grandmother’s short term memory, but she still remembers, in detail, all the incredible events of her life that have made her the incredible woman she continues to be. When it’s important for her to remember something, she remembers it—even if it’s just that I’m going to take her to lunch. And she can calculate the reduced sale price of pajamas quicker than I can!
So you see, the mind is an incredible source of power, and anyone who tries to inhibit it and suppress it…well, I only have un-Christian words for them. So, I’ll just leave you with this:
“You educate a man; you educate a man. You educate a woman; you educate a generation.” --Brigham Young.
BIG LOVE & HUGS