Is education a right or a privilege?

By Penny Yip. Penny, 15, is from Hong Kong, China. Please read her entry and leave your comments below.

When I started thinking about how education is so important to our lives,  I have seen so many of my peers who hated going to school, didn’t like the ideas of studying but think differently, does everyone have the chance to be educated?

Education, in fact, it is a privilege, although we all deserved to learn, but only those privileged people can and will. Though it is a law that education is compulsory and nobody can be denied it, the reality does not say the case. Through education, a person can grow not only mentally, but also physically and socially especially for children. Yet, 70 million children across the world are not being educated, and most of them are girls which is definitely not a fair case.

Not everybody in the world is as lucky as us and has access to the same level of education like we do. In this world, you think you can become literally anything that you want, just study hard, work hard, and eventually it will all pay off. However, for a lot of other people from different countries like north-eastern Africa, Haiti, it is not the case. They may aspire to become a lawyer, a teacher or even a teacher but it is highly unlikely that they will ever be given these opportunities which people in developed countries take these opportunities for granted.

Not everyone has the right to go to school, the chances are precious. That is why we shouldn’t look at education as just going to school, reading, being in class, learning… We should respect those not as lucky and privileged as us, and not become ignorant because that person you might be undermining may have the wisdom, knowledge that might help you one day, and because they did not have the standard of education you might’ve received, you will both need each other sometime in the future. With knowledge and wisdom we can do great things help others in the world .

We should see education as a privilege but not a right and appreciate it, Mahtab Narsimhan once said, “A good education is the greatest gift you can give yourself or anyone else.” Education is one of the most vital gifts that the lucky ones can receive. The teacher who inspired us , changed how we looked at the world, or the friends we met in school who helped us get through the hard times.

But is everyone lucky to experience all these stages? Do they have chance to receive education? It is hard to conceptualize the struggles young girls in developing countries face when it comes to pursuing an education. I thought about how similar their dreams and ambitions are and yet they face very different obstacles in order to get an education. In Hong Kong, we have always taken receiving education for granted, we have treated it as everyday routine, but we never know the desire of people who are not lucky enough to be educated.

We should all stop thinking that taking school as a chore, while it shouldn’t feel like that , cherish the education we have in the moment.

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