The great Nelson Mandela once said that education is the most powerful weapon that can be used to change the world. We live in a world with an ever-burgeoning evolution ensured by most educated people with quality intellectual and innovative prowess.
Then, what happens to the “uneducated”, especially the less-privileged ones?
Apparently, they are being afflicted with contempt, oppression, intimidation, manipulation, inhumanity, and abuse by the society who virtually believes they have little or nothing to contribute to this vast change. In fact, they are being treated as slaves and not the freeborn; and as liabilities and not assets. This ill-treatment even gets aggravated if these un-schooled individuals are also poor and non-influential in the society. Then what is the real cause of this whole treatment? Honestly, it is the meagre or zero educational background of these afflicted individuals.
However, it’s quite evident that education was also valued by people like Victor Hugo with his sage quote: “he who opens a school door closes a prison” made over a century ago.
This quote literally means that the acquisition of a sound and adequate education (formal or informal) automatically snatches one from the path to prison and condemnation. This could be the traditional prison for crime punishment or even the prison of utter ignorance. In fact, the latter directly or indirectly opens the gates of the former.
Education undoubtedly boosts one’s self-confidence and dignity and also instils a good sense of unsentimental and strong judgment. Nowadays, most less-privileged and uneducated people are continuously being maltreated. Perhaps, they don’t have the voice of their own to confront their victimizers! This continuous maltreatment eats away their self-esteem and forces them into taking their own pound of flesh through criminal acts like mutiny and murder.
Illiterate people obviously cannot write or read. They apparently become ignorant of some vital information contained in books, gadgets, consumables, and other materials. They tend to abuse these things because they do not realise the vital information these materials carry in order to secure the welfare, satisfaction, and the future of their users and consumers.
Furthermore, many current prisoners incarcerated on the grounds of breaking the law happen to be illiterates who never acknowledged the written laws of the society. The pathetic ignorant turned the resentful incarcerated!
Illiteracy causes frustration! Imagine how you would feel if you are mute and illiterate. Apparently, you wouldn’t be able to read or write to express yourself . This could possibly get you frustrated and isolated. You could even do despicable things just to vent your resentment, despicable things that could cruise one to prison.
Some people believe that the reason for schooling is only to get literate. But isn’t it quite puzzling that nowadays, crime cases sometimes increase with literacy? Therefore, there should be more to education than mere literacy. Education surely encompasses a lot! It makes one aware of the veiled difference between right and wrong through indubitably refining one’s sense of choice, decision, and judgement to ensure the person’s welfare and success. What a pathetic and nightmarish”life the uneducated with un-refined minds could have!
According to Margaret Mead, children must be taught how to think and not what to think. Therefore, children who are passionately obsessed with arithmetics, logical reasonings, and other vital school works undoubtedly make goals and decisions that through consistent and adequate tutelage shape them into successful and laudable figures the society yearns and clamours to have.
By the way, what happens to those ones who are un-educated or school drop-outs – probably due to the meagre parental, societal, or school tutelage they obtain? Some of them end up taking the wrong solace in the luring arms of mischiefs and crimes that eventually show them the way to prison: helpless juveniles turn pathetic and resentful prisoners.
American incarceration statistics however reveal that a large proportion (roughly 80 percent) of prison inmates are the un-educated and the high school-dropouts of the society.
In fact, it’s quite sad that most of these prisoners used to be ambitious kids with big dreams. Perhaps, they never got the sound, adequate, and friendly education they needed to support those dreams.
However, Robert Fullilove, a senior advisor to BPI and associate dean of Community and Minority Affairs at Mailman said, “Some of the best minds in the community are not in the community …They’re doing 20- to 30-year bids in places where they have limited opportunity to impact what is going on in the community life.” This suggests that many great potentials and talents are being imprisoned and wasted.
Therefore, I strongly believe that those shattered positive dreams of the incarcerated could still be remolded and well-nurtured again through sound prison-schooling and rehabilitation programs which include academic and life -skills tutoring and even vocational skills acquisition, together spiced up with recreational activities. The community can possibly still regain its lost fortune! According to the report of the “Corrections to College California”, research shows a return of four to five dollars for every dollar channelled into correctional education for the imprisoned.
With sound education, a deep sense of good choice, decision, and judgement is apparently being instilled. People won’t be cheated or deceived into gambling away fortune. Also, their fundamental human rights won’t be violated without their knowledge.
In addition, a wise family planning apparently stemming from this acquisition of a sound education will indeed ensure adequate tutelage and attention for at least a child. At least a child with adequate parental tutelage is far better than dozens of children who receive little or no parental tutelage. In fact, that one child could end up as a very successful and laudable individual, while the numerous ones who are being left to fend for themselves could possibly end as prisoners punished for financial and social crimes.
Over the years, I have noticed that most frequently sad and frustrated people happen to be the uneducated. Perhaps, they compare their lives with those of other successful people and also hate themselves for not being equally successful. This makes them unhappy and frustrated due to the sprouted wrong impression of inequality in them.
I believe education broadens one’s productive thinking horizon. Nowadays, everyone is trying to climb the bandwagon. The educated ones could be said to have an edge over the un-educated because they can make use of their intellectual prowess to climb this bandwagon successfully. But what about the uneducated? Apparently, his ill-conceived thoughts could either force him to quit the climbing or remain on the bandwagon by hook or by crook. Unfortunately, he either ends up cleaning up the mess of the educated and intellectual ones or rather resorting to following in the footsteps of people like Pablo Escobar and Charles Manson, these people incredibly gained affluence and popularity for their notorious crimes.
Lost self-value also drives many people into the field of low-wage jobs that can barely cater for their basic needs. Many of them get frustrated into doing crimes that they think can augment their income: they believe they can never do a high paying white-collar job because they lack the qualifications and necessary documents which could only be legally gotten from schools they perhaps, never had the chance to attend.
Becker and Mulligan (1997) however stated that people who are educated could be refrained from committing crimes because they would be informed of the disgraceful repercussions of committing these crimes. If only education is compulsorily obtained earlier in life or even later in prisons through rehabilitation, the high rate of crime cases will apparently plummet; because education will instil a sense of belonging, patience, modesty and responsibility that could keep people away from crimes even in their trying times. Therefore, education is indeed the best security for humans’ dignity.