The Forgotten Importance of Education

Ludovica's picture

Malala Yousafzai attended her first day at school in Birmingham, yesterday. She described this day as: "the most important of my life", and I believe it should represent an achievement for all of us and a reminder of the struggles of people in other countries.

The braveness of a Pakistani adolescent, who was shot in the head by Taliban for asking education to be granted to girls in Pakistan, has to remind us that what we have is still denied in other places.
However, the irony is that while in some parts of the world people risk their lives to gain access to education, somewhere else the importance of a hard-won historical right is denied.

I often happen to hear youths lamenting because they have to study: it is too boring and useless.
I see so many teenagers, forgotten by their parents, wandering around the city smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol and ‘acting cool'. None of them has a dream, a purpose, a motivation and the more I witness this, the more I think about Malala and how differently education is conceived today in modern societies.

We have come to this point because the historical value of education has been lost and as I blame youths for their lack of interests, I also blame parents who no longer teach certain values. I also blame the unilateral way of teaching that renders students passive, does not enable them to think with their own minds, does not stimulate, provoke and induce them to ask questions, be inquisitive, want to know more.

Learning can be difficult and demotivating, especially when bored and underpaid teachers have lost faith in their jobs. Especially when the role models proposed today are showgirls and football players and more and more people aspire to a life of flashing lights that a very small number of individuals achieve, and often for the wrong reasons.

Learning is a duty, a path and therefore it requires discipline, focus and hard work; but learning means knowledge, power and it is the key to self- growth and improvement and we have to learn how to use it to our own advantage.

Education needs to be seen again as a privilege, as an undeniable right we have gained with so much struggle and so many losses; governments, parents and teachers have to work hard to make youths rediscover its priceless value.

Ludovica Iaccino is an Italian who graduated in international journalism and is currently living in London. Read more posts by her here

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