Education upgrades communitiesPublished 7:33pm Monday, August 8, 2011
I have heard so many quotes on the benefits of education but I was drawn into deeper analysis one Sunday when Pastor Effell William asserted that, “Besides Jesus, the best thing that you can give a child is education.”
It was so captivating to me that I lost focus of most things he preached that day. In the end, it was my conclusion that he was perfectly right, particularly for us Christians. We could not agree more.
If your neighbor’s child is walking around in the neighborhood when the child should be in school, you must intervene and encourage the child to go back to school. If you do not utilize the minimal effort of speaking to a child now, it will cost you more in the future when crime goes up due to lack of education.
Besides crime, poverty increases, unemployment increases, voting percentages go down, incarceration goes up, and children’s reading ability and other grades are sometimes affected because statistics indicate that educated adults have the capacity to help their children with homework.
Statistics also have it that high school graduates make more money than high school drop outs; college graduates make more than high school graduates and those with graduate/professional degree make more than college graduates. Furthermore, statistics also depict that a one- year growth in the average level of education in a community translates to 30 percent decrease in the murder rate. Also, a high school dropout is four times more likely to be unemployed than a college graduate
Similarly, it is a worldwide observation that 25 percent of the adult population without a high school diploma or GED or equivalents is poor; the less education, the less chances of competing meaningfully in today’s world.
As far as I’m concerned, education is a community’s business. As a member of the Selma City School Board, I see a lot of good programs being implemented and more partnerships being formed; and we should support the meaningful partnerships. Sustained growth does not manifest in a vacuum. The school board, the superintendents and the faculty may not be able to achieve this by themselves. Businesses, churches and the community should continue to be involved through material, monetary and other honorable support.
More parental roles should become visible. Everybody should be aware of the warning signs of chronic absenteeism and bad grades. The role of adults as mentors and advocates for empowerment through education should be prominent. When we engage the entire community meaningfully, support all children, the outcome of such endeavor will be nothing but consequential.