“You’ve inherited $5 million, with instructions that you must give it all away — but you can choose any organizations you like to be the beneficiaries. Where does the money go?”
Excerpt From: The Editors, WordPress.com. “365 Days of Writing Prompts.” iBooks.
It must be because our Filipino culture values education so much. Or maybe because we think education is the answer to poverty. Or maybe, these days, education is just another way for parents to attain some type of “bragging rights” with their friends.
My younger brother will be gracing the stage on his college commencement exercises this Sunday. He is probably more than 25 years of age now. And I hope he doesn’t mind me talking about his graduation here.
My brother worked so hard to graduate college. He is a very active basketball varsity player. He’s very sociable and knows a lot of people. Needless to say, my brother is an extrovert who knows his way around entertaining people. But you could say he’s not the most intelligent in his class. This never stopped him and even urged him to think of “creative” ways to attain those grade requirements.
He wasn’t always as responsible. Imagine spending so much of his early twenties in school while his batch-mates were already working and starting families! When we were younger, he used to get a lot of spanking from my mother for being so mischievous (to say the least). He would give my parents a lot of head- and heart-aches. He would runaway from home. He would ride his little bicycle one afternoon until we found out he just went to our cousin’s house that was several kilometers away using just his bike! And he was just school age then!
But this Sunday, he’s graduating and he’s so proud of it as we are as proud for him. He deserves it for all his hard work.
I want to imagine the same world for most children. The same opportunities to education. It doesn’t matter if these children turned out to be hard-headed or troublemakers at this point in their lives. It doesn’t matter whether they had a traumatic background or not. If I had the money, I would give these children the opportunity of a proper education because they deserve to know everything there is to know out there.
Education doesn’t always mean college degrees. It could just mean grade school, high school — you know, those formative years that are so critical for a child/ adolescent. If someone thinks college is just not for them and they’d love to do something else, then that’s okay, too.
But those early years of education will be their foundation for framing those thoughts about whether college is for them or not.
Perhaps they will learn so much more from their peers than they ever will from their teachers. Perhaps, in school, they will realize what they don’t want to do so they can go after what they really want to do. Perhaps school will teach them to want to stay in school for longer.
Anything goes but without going to school, these kids won’t ever know and thus decide whether school is for them or otherwise. All they need is that one opportunity to learn, to discover, and then to decide.