I go to a private school, and I am labelled as educated. I know the quadratic formula, taught to me by teachers who ‘have my best interests in mind,’ yet only because I am essentially fuelling their bank accounts. If it weren’t for reasons outside of my curricular education, I would have an academic mind, yet know nothing of the world, or how it works, or anything that really matters. Because I can be taught all the maths, and physics, and languages society would like me to learn to ‘succeed’ on this Earth, but what use is it when there is no real world to live in?
Our planet is falling apart. We talk global warming, climate change, and greenhouse gases and how all these problems we need to fix. But how on earth can we help this planet if we ourselves are broken as a human race? There is a label of educated placed upon all those who attend school but it matters not in the ‘real world’ what letters appeared on your report card. What matters is that we try to better the world so we can achieve the simple task of living in it.
There are statistics proving that GDP’s, national, and global economies will be increased by major percentages just by educating 0.1% of girls living below the poverty line. When they are in school, their education means so much more to them than the loss of their week. They do not spend their week waiting for Friday, spend their term yearning for holidays, and their years waiting for the day they finally get a handshake and a certificate. It’s the girls who are reluctantly and with much sacrifice given the gift of schooling who are using their educations as a tool to make something of the world. They work day and night to improve not only their own, but their families lives and would never, ever take their schooling, be it only a measly six years of primary, for granted. These are the girls who are going to change the world.
I do not blame myself, or my school, or my peers for the negative repercussions our lack of world learning is actually imposing on the earth. If we have the privilege of a high-standard education, why not use it to make something of the world? In the Australian curriculum there is not one lesson, not one subject that covers current or past issues, besides war or history. There is no knowledge taught about how we are slowly killing our world, and the people in it, or how we as privileged students can perform even the smallest of actions to change this. If we have the power to be taught to save the world, why aren’t we?
This piece is inspired by the documentary film ‘Girl Rising.’ It is full of stories encased in poverty and war-stricken countries, and highlights the issue of young girls missing out on even a primary school education, and how detrimental this is to the world.