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Should Education be Free for All?

A person’s financial standing plays an important role in the education of his children in today’s society. While the elite segment can send their children to the best of schools and colleges within their nation or abroad to receive the best of education, there are parents who cannot even afford to provide minimum education to their children. The perils of being uneducated are endless, since it would deprive a person of a decent livelihood. As this custom goes on and on, the divide between the rich and the poor classes in a society keeps increasing and its neither good for the economy nor for the individuals.

Why should financial capacity be the determining factor, and have the final say in the sphere of education? It is rather unfair that meritorious students often need to give up on education at an early stage only because they cannot pay for it, while the not-so-bright yet rich ones get to finish their education and bag all the white collar jobs.

In the developing countries, where poverty is still one of the biggest demons engulfing the society, higher education is but a daydream for the poor segment. In fact, they do not even consider it as an option. It’s not uncommon to find 12-13 year old boys working at a garage or girls working as housemaids. At an age when they should be attending the school, they are forced to work by their family members: not by choice but by compulsion.

One might realize that what I was just referring to was an incident of child labor (which, mind you, is illegal but is still largely in practice). Many other social evils are borne out of the fact that a particular section of the society cannot afford education since it’s far beyond their means.

Social evils arising out of lack of education:

1. High rate of illiteracy in a country.
2. Children are send off to work at an early age.
3. Widespread poverty among families with no educated member (since no one earns a high salary).
4. Without education, people learn very little about their own welfare and about the preservation of environment.

This leads to the circumstances of:

A. High rate of population growth.
B. Depletion of natural resources via means of pollution.
C. Unemployment (since the population grows faster than a growth in job opportunities).
D. Superstitious beliefs and unscientific ways of life.

5. The gap between the rich and the poor section keeps increasing.
6. Deserving students get left behind, while the undeserving flourish.
7. Poverty in turn leads to immoral activities like theft and robbery.

These are only a few instances which show how the society itself suffers from an inequitable distribution of knowledge. What is wrong with modern education system is that it is more money oriented instead of being merit oriented.

How can free education change lives?

Some nation like Germany and Denmark have taken the noble initiative of making education free for all citizens and this has in turn worked out in favor of the nations. While in countries like India, primary education has been made free for all, it’s not nearly enough to educate the nation. The illiteracy rate is significantly high and only primary education will not help one to improve his social standing. This is another major aspect that one might emphasize while pointing out why free education is important. When the younger generation of a family receives high education and opts for a more respectable occupation, the whole family sees a change in their social position and this in turn breaks the social barrier.

What is the importance of education in a person’s life? Well, free education can:

1. Make the ignorant people aware of the world.
2. Do away with superstitions and social evils.
3. Help people to get better jobs.
4. Improve the standard of living in general.
5. As people rise out of their poverty stricken condition, the Nation Income of the country will certainly see an improvement.
6. There’ll be more scope for employment.

Thus, a single step of ensuring free education for all will bring about drastic changes in the society.

What can the Governments do to offer free education?

Why should the children coming from economically stable families have their rights reserved for higher education? Can a person with mere primary education be expected to well in life? Of course not! Not only primary but higher education as well must be made free for all. Here one might bring in the questions of scholarships or reservation for minorities, but the truth is, such initiatives are helping only a handful of people. In a wider scale, no change has actually come about and more importantly, in many cases such privileges are being awarded to undeserving candidates. Arguments like this can go on and on but a permanent way to put an end to this and to truly bring about a change in society would be to make education free for one and all. This, the children from varying backgrounds will have equal rights to educations.

The first steps to make education free would be:

1. To provide free school education to all.

2. To provide free College/ University education to all.

3. To provide free tuitions or Academic assignment helps to all.

4. To award scholarships to extraordinarily meritorious students, if they wish to carry on research programmes after University education.

5. To ensure that these facilities are available to every family, every individual citizen of the nation.

Steps like this can truly take a nation forward towards a better world. With education, people will be more aware of their rights and duties toward their country and towards the world, and in turn they’ll make their own contribution for the betterment of the society. The improvement will take place on a large scale, and we’ll no longer have to come across the spectacle of young children begging by the roadside. Every individual is born with an equal right to education to have decent life; the society must ensure that they receive it.

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