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To Be the Change: What is Education?

Joined: 1/1/2013
Posts: 3
“I didn’t feel like going to school.”
My friend’s statement several weeks ago shocked me. Having known her for over five years, I had always thought her to be a committed student. My friend had been, without a doubt, very bright, but she also put in an effort that I greatly admired. After her acceptance to a renowned Ivy League school, however, doing her best no longer seemed important. And so, what I had previously viewed as a genuine dedication to learning disappeared.
It is not only my friend who possesses this attitude towards education. Within my local community, there is an increasing number of agencies that provide services ranging from offering extra classes, to “packaging” for post-secondary applications, to even creating projects for students to submit in place of their own work. Education has evolved from being a process focused on nurturing individuals’ academic development to a calculated procedure based on marks and sometimes, skewed truths.
Similarly, people are treating university as a just-get-it-over-with phase. As President and Founding Tutor of Quest University noted in a presentation at my school, the degree has become the focus. Many people now expect that at the end of the day, the paper that states where they graduated from will open all the doors in their future.
Yet, this idea that education is quantifiable, I believe, is incorrect. According to Globe and Mail article “When a University Degree Just Isn’t Enough,” as employment standards rise with the increase of undergraduate degree holding individuals, “employers … [are looking] for students trained with specific skills.” What is just as essential as the information people have learned such as the ability to work with others, to respond to the challenges of work, and to be leaders – these are skills that a degree or even multiple degrees cannot replace.
Within the web of edification, I am but only a participant, a student, but I believe I can communicate what I believe is true. Since two years ago, I have been a peer tutor, helping others in various classes, and just as I have aspired to assist my students, so they may improve their grades, I have tried to extend my interest in learning new knowledge to them. I hope that one day I will have the opportunity to speak to large audiences about the true meaning of education and to play my part in making the love of learning a value that more people share because education is so much more than grades, a university’s name, or a degree.
It is a privilege that many people in this world do not have access to. It is a tool that enables us to become active members of society. And it is a crucial process that continues throughout life. Although formal education may end at a high school diploma or a university degree, the desire to further ourselves and to be open to new experiences should be values we always hold close to our hearts.
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