The Justification for Free Higher Education
The evolution and civilization of the human race have been to a large extent informed by knowledge. It is the men and women who have dared to dream, who have aspired to acquire knowledge, who have persisted on their course of enlightenment that has made us who we are today. In the past, little emphasis was placed on education. However, living in the 21st century, we cannot afford to ignore the reality of the significance of education in improving every aspect of our beings.
Education refers to the process of facilitating the acquisition of knowledge, skills, and beliefs. As such, education is one of the most important and vital pillars of society(King, 2011). Indeed, the level of one’s education determines our futures and the level of success that we can achieve to a very large extent. Education
There is no denying the fact that a good education is one of the most important things that an individual can pursue because good education affects very many aspects of the life of an individual. Indeed, having a higher education translates to increasing the odds of finding a well-paying job, better opportunities, that guarantee a better and more comfortable life(Krason, 2017). The value of education is better understood by peering into our history, one of the major setbacks that separated the American wealthy from the poor white and slaves is education. During those dark ages, education was explicitly reserved for the wealthy, access to education required funds which did not come by easily to the poor or to the African slaves who were not allowed access to education. The expensive nature of education is a testament to the fact that education was used as a means to occasion historical injustices, and that it is a shame that up until today access to education is based on an individuals ability to pay school fees.
In the 21st century, Higher Education is an important rite of passage. It offers students an opportunity to establish independence, to study on their areas of interest and be exposed to different cultures and ideas that improve their thought process. There exists a general feeling amongst people who feel that higher education is a stepping stone to success. This feeling is substantiated by the fact job opportunities are granted based on merit. In this regard, merit refers to educational qualifications. Also, we cannot ignore the characteristics of individuals who have had access to education. These characteristics include being independent, having leadership qualities and guaranteed equality.
Access to Higher education particularly in the United States is often beyond the reach of people belonging to the middle class and underclass. The provision of government grants does not offer any reprieve to these classes of people because they never get the required funding from the grants. College tuition fee is a persistent headache to these citizens who in most instances forfeit attending college despite having qualified. Those who choose to attend college have to contend with the headache of clearing student debt accrued in college. The average college graduate completes college with an estimated debt of at least $60,000; this figure may go up to $100,000 for those who attend Ivy League colleges. These students are placed under an obligation to clear this debt before they land their first secure job. The effect of these demands translates to placing an added financial burden on an individual whose resources have been stretched.
Allowing this menace to go on is not only morally wrong but also detrimental to the continued growth of the country’s economy. Education is an asset to the individual and the government. Granting free higher education stimulates the growth and improvement of every aspect of the social and economic welfare of the society. The definition and understanding embodies both the present and the future; it also includes the number of economically active individuals that are productive in the work area. As such, our country’s economy can reap massive benefits from having an educated workforce. In addition, the main purpose of education is to enlighten students through gaining knowledge and skills. This enlightenment empowers students to be fully functional members of society and productive citizens.
There exists a notion alleging that making higher education free would threaten and cause the quality of education granted in higher education institutions to go down. In truth, making higher education free translates to having the government bear the costs solely(Pulcini, 2018). However, the fact that the government would take up the responsibility of funding higher education institutions does not mean that the quality of education would go down not unless the government’s priorities are misplaced. In my thinking, education, health and security should be the government’s primary priorities. Prioritizing education in the budgetary allocation process would maintain the current status-quo if not improve it.
Education should be free to help provide a better quality of life. Education should be free so that people can have the proper knowledge needed to perform multiple job task. An education that stops at a high school diploma is no longer enough if it ever was. Most of us at some point in our lives were told the difference we would see in income with higher education vs a high school diploma. If one cannot further their education a better chance of living will be just that, a chance if education was free. It is therefore imperative for the government to put in place reasonable measures that address the need to have free higher education. Most importantly, offering free education is the most viable and sustainable means of addressing historical injustices that have condemned minorities to live in poverty.
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