| November 23, 2012

What’s an Education Worth?


We hope you enjoyed your Thanksgiving!

If you’ve been following Worldreader for a while, you’ll know there’s one thing we give thanks for: the value of education.

As you saw in Kate’s poems and in Linda’s video and will read below in Richard’s essay, education means so much to them, their friends, their families and their communities. Books are inspiring them, empowering them to overcome life’s challenges and preparing them for the future.

Next week, we’ll be asking you to help us achieve something monumental. We want win a $1,000,000 and need your vote. With a million dollars, we could enter 20 new countries, work with hundreds of new schools and help tens of thousands of children.

This essay written by Richard Nartey, a third-year senior high school student participating in our program in Ghana, knows the value of education. It’s worth more than any dollar amount you can imagine. It’s worth a generation’s hope for a better future multiplied exponentially by their desire to succeed.

Richard Nartey: What Education Means to Me?

The Oxford dictionary defines education as “the teaching or training of people, especially in schools.”  For me, I understand education as a training ground in which one is prepared and trained for the future and his or her critical thinking abilities are developed to meet the future demand.

Education increases an individual’s thinking abilities and critical analysis, and helps one plan for his or her future.

Through education, we come across some subjects such as mathematics, integrated sciences or science. These subjects, in fact, help train the mind because they require much brainstorming, which increases our level of understanding. When I was in junior high school, there were some topics I regarded as very important because I could see they open our brains. 

Now, as a boarder at the senior high school (a student who lives at the school, away from their parents), I have to make decisions for myself. I must choose how to spend my time, when to study, and how to manage money, among other things. These decisions are all made with the help of and through the means of education.

Education also helps one to stand tall among his or her colleagues who are not educated. Also, there are some people who do not get the opportunity to attend school, but yet they are enjoying their standard of living. A mention can be made of Kwame Despite, the founder of Peace FM radio station in Ghana, and Agya Koo, one of Ghana’s most popular movie stars. They did not have access to education in their early life, but you may be surprised to hear that these stars have teachers teaching them at home, and they also have well-educated people managing their businesses. This is to say that education is a superb institution that offers the individual something unique.

Education also serves as a training ground and helps mold the behavior of an individual in the society. Sometimes, one measures or senses that there is a great difference between the illiterate and the educated people in the society. These differences can be measured through the behavior or the character possessed by the individual. For example, how one talks and handles him or herself in public often shows his or her level of education. From this perspective, I will say that education tries to expose the individual to social life and instils that kind of “can do” attitude in the individual. It also plays an important role in the society, and, therefore, affects the development of a country and helps move a nation forward.

Education serves as a means through which the individual develops his or her career opportunities. Different courses enable him or her to achieve his dream or start a career. That is the reason why — when you are admitted into any institution — you are taken through an orientation program, aimed at enlightening the individual about the course he or she wants to pursue. This helps the individual choose the right course that will enable him or her achieve his future career goal.

Education also prepares individuals for the job market. Nowadays in this modern world, people are offered jobs based on the level of education they have accessed in their area of specialization and according to their qualifications.

From the few points I have raised above, I will say, education means a lot to me. I encourage everybody to make good use of his or her chance to receive an education when given the opportunity.