Education: Right or Privilege?Posted: December 9, 2010
Like many young people, tonight’s news that the government is to raise tuition fees to £9,000 a year makes me sick!
Personally, I think I’m already paying enough. Graduating with upwards of £30,000 debt is quite enough thank you very much. I don’t want any more.
The fact that the Liberal Democrats promised not to raise tuition fees (which won them a lot of votes from students) have done exactly that makes the news even worse.
But before we all sink into this pit of depression, let’s take a step back and ask a wider question. Is going to university a right, or a privilege?
The way some people have campaigned, you would think that it is a fundamental human right to have a reasonably priced (or preferably free) education. But sadly, I don’t think it is.
104 million children aged between 5 to 12 do not attend school. 94% of these children live in the developing world where no education equals few prospects and a life of poverty. As you can see from this graph, there’s a correlation between lack of education and increased poverty.
Of course I agree every man woman and child should be able to live in relative comfort, and not be subjected to poverty. But that is not the world we live in. Millions of children can’t even gain basic maths skills because their parents can’t afford to send them to school.
Yet we sit here in the West typing our blogs on our MacBooks, sitting on our comfy sofas drinking beer and complaining about tuition fees, when in reality we can afford to go to university because the government is going to lend us the money. We are able to gain an education whilst millions of others can never dream of it.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not happy about the rise in tuition fees, it was totally wrong. I’m just trying to put thing in perspective. Whilst I don’t think education is a right, I believe it could be and even that it should be. But whilst there are millions of children unable to get a basic education, I can’t get angry enough to start a fire outside parliament square, when our government makes educated (and let’s face it, lucky) people pay more for higher level education.
Heck, people aren’t going to like that…
*runs away from angry mob of students*