Benefits of Free Education
In the words of Francis Bacon, Knowledge is Power, Power to live a decent life, Power to earn a decent income, Power that brings you respect and dignity. When knowledge can bestow the power for so many things, why should it be restricted to a few who have the advantage of wealth? Knowledge needs to be free for all those who deserve it, and what a person deserves should be decided by an individual capability and intelligence and not by wealth. The best and simplest way to disseminate knowledge to all those who deserve it, is through free education. Making education free at the least at the primary level, or maybe, even up to the secondary and/or post-secondary level, would only benefit our society. Lets look at some of the most important benefits of free education.
Remedy to Society ills:
Our society is more divided by wealth than by any other criteria. There is the unbelievably rich few, the very rich, the middle income group, the poor, and those in utter poverty. And amidst all this are impoverishment, unemployment, and destitution. How can anyone think of spending money on education, when they do not have money for food and shelter? However, education is the remedy for all these ills that plague our society. Education is the only means that can open up the doors that lead to employment, and through it food, shelter and better quality of life. Therefore, providing free education to the deserving ensures that atleast the future generation can step through these doors to a better living.
Although scholarships are intended for the disadvantaged few, the disadvantaged aren’t just few. Scholarships help only a handful, for others providing free education would come as a great relief.
Focus on learning:
Providing free education would enable students to concentrate on learning and gaining more through the education, instead of struggling with the payment of tuition fees and meeting other expenses. When the focus shifts to learning it leads to empowerment of the youth to work towards an increasingly intellectual society.
Improved quality of life:
Free education would lead to more educated people. More educated people in the society leads to overall improvement in the quality of life in the society. Through better employment and elimination of the struggle for basic needs, people would concentrate on the higher aspects of life, such as improving administration and management of issues that impact the society in general. Therefore free education would have a very positive impact on the overall quality and thinking in the society.
More educated people would mean better governance from the grassroots to the national level. Educated people would make better choices in electing their representatives and are better equipped to question corruption and misuse of power. Therefore, education is not only the remedy for the ills of unequal wealth, but also the remedy for the ills that plague our administration and governments. By making education free, we prod our society towards the path of better governance.
Intelligence and talent are not the forte of the wealthy alone. There is lot of untapped and undiscovered talent and intelligence lying covered under impoverishment and destitution. Free education opens the doors of opportunities to these talented people. Through free education, we can ensure that the talented and intelligent can gain the assurance of a better tomorrow through maximizing their academic potentials.
Free education would be beneficial to those who deserve it, as well as, to the society as a whole. Where everybody is talking about equal and better opportunities, the prospects of a better future should not be lost due to lack of equal opportunities for education.
Mienpamo Onitsha Saint is the Director of operation. Bayelsa New Media Team