Glad everyone enoyed yesterday’s blog. We have gone from 92 facebook likes to 842 likes in the space of 4 days and 3,000 Twitter followers to 4,136..not bad. Keep sharing! With some Universities charging an arm and a leg to get that glorious piece of paper called ‘degree’ and with the high levels of unemployment amongst people with degrees. My blog today get’s into whether ‘Education is really that important’!!! Enjoy!!!

Education is commonly referred to as the process of learning and obtaining knowledge at school, in a type of formal education. However the process of education does not start when you first attend school. Education begins at home. You don’t only acquire knowledge from a teacher; you can learn and receive knowledge from a parent, family member, and even a stranger. In almost all societies, attending school and receiving an education is extremely vital and necessary if one wants to achieve success.

Unfortunately we have places in the world where not everyone has an opportunity to receive this formal type of education. The opportunities that are offered are greatly limited. Sometimes there are not enough resources to provide schooling. Additionally, because parents need their children to help them work in factories, many students have odd jobs that make their education much more untraditional.

Since it is not traditional, in some places, to receive a formal education, the one who receives an education is usually envied, praised, and even admired by members of the community. Children sometimes look at other children with awe just the same way as one child might envy another because he got a new pair of sneakers, and wishes he could have too. There is a sense of admiration, but at the same time there is a sense of jealousy as well. Seeing your peer do better than yourself causes some tension and jealousy because of the scarce opportunities available. As a child, it’s hard to understand why there is a difference.

Learning subjects in school is not enough. One can learn history, math, and science in school and be ‘book-smart’. In addition, one can learn how to live life by knowing what to say when, acting a certain way in certain situations, and being ‘street-smart’. These two types of knowledge are extremely essential to be successful in life. For example, you can have all the ‘book’ knowledge in the world about a certain profession, but if you don’t know how to behave with your co-workers and your superiors when you finally get into employment, having ‘book’ knowledge won’t get you too far.

No matter what, education is the key that allows people to move up in the world, seek better jobs, and ultimately succeed fully in life. Education is very important, and no one should be deprived of it or deprive themselves of it.

Well, if education is so important, why do many young people drop out from school and get into the wrong side of the law?

The young people in schools today, especially those considered ‘at-risk’, face many challenges. Whether it is the major challenges of broken or abusive families, coping with poverty, or unplanned pregnancies and babies, or the slightly more minor challenges of self image, trying to fit in, keeping friends, being attractive, or dealing with all the cruelties that occur in their everyday drama, it is undeniable that young people face difficult life issues that in today’s society sometimes start at a very young age. While many of these challenges are often unavoidable, it is unfortunate that most young people do not have better tools to cope with these challenges in a healthy way.

Like the majority of us all, each and every young person is caught up in a constant search and struggle to feel content. In order to achieve this, many young people try to un-plug their minds from their problems. The main way to un-plug for the majority of these kids is by ‘getting high’, which comes with a whole string of secondary problems. Getting high can be achieved through many methods, not just drugs. Physical and mental violence allows one to ‘get higher’ than the person they abuse, and hustling to make money, legal or illegal, can give one a ‘higher status’. There are many ways to get high, healthy ones too, but, essentially by getting high, young people are able to rise up out of, or at least get away from, their primary problems.

In my talks with several young people who have fallen out of the educational system, I have never heard them say that they are trying to escape from their pain. They are usually not that self-aware. They know what they like and they know what they don’t like, and they will tell you. You will hear something like, ‘I like to kick it with my friends, get high, or whatever.’

This ‘whatever’ attitude has another side. It is the statement ‘whatever’ that can express their ambivalence towards everything they don’t like. ‘Whatever’ is how some of today’s youth who have dropped out of education express their extreme apathy towards teachers (and other adults) that cannot relate to them and to classrooms and institution that do not engage their interests. Breaking through this ‘whatever’ is the educator’s biggest challenge.

I was once invited to speak amongst a few other entrepreneurs at a school in Leicester; I was blown away by the degree to which these kids were disengaged. When it was always my time to speak, some of the kids were basically looking at me with one question. What can you do for me in this second? They assumed I could do nothing.

I ended up doing an exercise where I wrote on the board two words, ‘like’ and ‘dislike’. I asked them to tell me all the things they liked and all the things they did not without holding back. Their faces lit up, they looked at me instead of away from me, and they started calling out various things that I proceeded to write on the board. At the end, we did an exercise in which we concentrated on each side, first ‘dislike’ and then ‘like’ for about 30 seconds each. ‘Like’ made them feel good, relaxed, content, and excited and ‘dislike’ made them angry, tense, and sad.

In doing this, they immediately saw the power of thoughts over their bodies and minds. They were introduced to the power of the mind. However this exercise revealed something different to me. It revealed that these young boys and girls have interests, passions, and inspirations, and that they yearn for an environment in which they can express them.

Educators need to tap into this, honour their yearning, and offer them healthy ways to express it. However, what normally happens is that some of these kids fall into the gap. The gap is the middle bit where they get introduced to the wrong part of society, a gang, bullying, carrying knifes, or other negative things.

When they get lost in the gap they are generally recognised as ‘lost in the system’. They commit a range of despicable crimes until one day karma gets to them and they get caught and put in prison. Whilst in prison they learn from older prisoners and then come out hardened criminals who recruit more young people who have fallen into the gap to commit more crimes on their behalf.
How to prevent yourself falling out of love with education?
1.) Education helps you to organize knowledge. Remember that knowledge is power only when organized and specialized.
2.) Life is a continuous lesson and the education gained in nursery, primary, high school, college, and university are needed to truly develop your mind and help you focus on getting the problem solving skills needed to tackle whatever future career path you decide to choose.
3.) Use education to learn to think, not to follow, and start to combine your learning with action
4.) Get rid of competition. The biggest failures in establishments have been the promotion of competition between students. We all have a gift unique to us and as every single finger on your hands is different so is the mental capability of every single human being. You are unique and different so set your standard to do the best by you; compete with yourself to do your personal best as in life it all boils down to the man in the mirror. Do not feel down or out if for some reason you are more or less intelligent than your counterpart or suffer from some sort of learning deficiency such as dyslexia because some of the most successful people in life weren’t the most intelligent students but used education to develop a creative approach to solve every single challenge.

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