Education For All: When Knowledge is Power
- 12 Posts
- Age 18
They say that knowledge is power. But what they don’t say is that this power deserves to be shared. It deserves to be universal. It deserves to be deserved by all.
My country, Singapore, has just made groundbreaking progress in our education system. A cause that I have been an advocate for has finally been turned into reality. Currently, all Singaporean children are required to attend national primary school under the Compulsory Education Act, with the exception of children with moderate to severe special needs.
However, our government has recently made the move to extend
compulsory education to children with special needs too. Not only
does this demonstrate Singapore’s effort to provide all children
with the opportunity to gain knowledge and be equipped with the
necessary skills for the later chapters of their lives such as
employment, this new change in legislation also illustrates
Singapore’s progress towards a more inclusive society that aims
to uplift everyone.
Yet, despite the progress of several developed countries, there still exist many other children around the world who are deprived of the one thing that they deserve – formal education. In countries like Cambodia, children are forced to work on the streets instead of staying in school because of the need to prioritise survival over education. Moreover, according to UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) data, “for the school year ending in 2013, 124 million children and young adolescents, roughly between the ages of 6 and 15 years, have either never started school or have dropped out, compared to 122 million in 2011”. It is completely unfathomable how such a prolific number of children are still unable to attain the education that they need for a better future in this contemporary world.
The matter of the fact is, when millions of children who are afflicted by the perils of penurious predicaments, they aren’t the only ones who are affected; their lack of access to education is an impediment to the entire world too. Civilisation is not merely dependent on the progress of a few countries, but the sustained and forward-bound social evolution of humanity in its entirety.
Most importantly, what we need to remember is this: The only difference between literate youths like ourselves and those from poverty-stricken countries is our place of birth. The only difference between those of us who have access to education and those who do not is our privilege. So, let us capitalise on this privilege by raising our voices to enable the stifled and shackled to finally be heard.
Let us share the power of knowledge with the rest of the world.