Sunday, 30 August 2015

Do you know how lucky YOU are?

Hi all, welcome back!

So a couple of months have passed since I last wrote a blog. I'd put it down to something between not having the motivation, nor the inspiration. However for many of us, the return to school or university is imminent. Whilst we're quick enough to complain about the 'tedious' hours spent in the classrooms, and the 'copious' amounts of work we're given,  do we really recognise how lucky we are to be able to go to school without risking our lives? Or do we just take it all for granted?

The answer is "yes". We do take things for granted. Many won't even spare a thought about those girls in the middle-east who go against society's standards whilst risking their lives just to be educated. This is all very seldom-talked about though, isn't it? Look at the connotations associated with being excited, or, to say the least, content with going to school: you're deemed as 'dorky', 'geek-y', in fact. Nobody wants to be known as the nerd obsessed with education and I'm not proposing trying to change society's view of teenagers in the UK, but, what I am saying, is that we need to be more appreciative. After all, you don't know what you have until it's gone.

Perhaps this should be re-instated. Perhaps those at school in 'developed' countries such as the UK should have their awareness raised about how fortunate they are. Surely a bit of global awareness won't do any harm - albeit damaging to this naive perception some people are under that everything in other continents runs as smoothly as it does here. It's evident that many students in the UK would rather not be in school and the exact percentage is unknown, but why aren't students taking responsibility for themselves? It's all very easy to blame teachers and parents for the complete lack of interest students have nowadays, but ultimately, these role models can only do so much. Whilst parents and teachers should be drilling the importance of education into their students/children, they have to accept the benefits and consequences of their own choices and actions. Going to school on average for 14 years of your life and coming out with A*/A grades at the end of it all means the world is your oyster. And of course for those who don't quite achieve the grades they were after, there are always other options. This isn't always the case though in other countries though.

It was only last year that a school in Pakistan was attacked, leaving 149 for the dead. Naturally, a country's particular culture has an impact on how schooling is received and we cannot expect those in Pakistan, for example, to have the same thoughts on education as what we do here in Great Britain - but I think those, both male and female, who risk their lives to attend school need to be commended. We don't think about that though, do we? The security locks on the doors provide reassurance for those with the most wildest imaginations.  But of course, why would anyone sane want to attack a school to prove a point? After all, it's second nature to attend for us.

How many illiterate 9 to 10 year old children do you find nowadays in England? Very, very few. In fact, I'm yet to meet a child of that age that isn't capable of reading and writing, doing the basics at least. Yet in Africa, at this age, children are most likely to drop out of education completely. As a continent, Africa holds almost 128 million school-aged children. That's a lot of potential - but the reality is a world away from that, to say the least. 17 million children will never attend school, yet 38 million will have learnt so little that they won't be much better off than their peers who didn't attend school. Shocking, right? This is an issue that needs to be addressed. Whilst campaigning for equal rights education-wise for those in Asia might seem a tad too asking, being just a bit appreciative doesn't take anything, no time nor effort.

I think the overall message I'm trying to convey here is that perhaps, consider thinking twice before complaining about attending school. It's not costing you your life, after all.


Sophie! X

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