Education is the Key

Years ago, I became really sad whenever I see a kid asking for money. Now, it makes me mad. It started to make me mad because once I saw something no kid would think possible of a parent. I was driving around when a kid approached my car, and I didn’t give him money because I didn’t have any. Yet, as I waited for the traffic light to turn green, I kept watching that kid to see what he did next. The kid went to the sidewalk where a woman was sitting down and showed her the money he had collected. When she finished counting the money, she hit him hard and yelled that he hadn’t collected enough. Then I realized that the woman was the kid’s mother, and she forced the kid to beg for money while she sat down all day. It was obvious she didn’t have a job. In a developing country such as Guatemala, finding a job can be a really tough task.

How would the world be if all those children were in school?

The previous situation is very common in many developing countries around the world. Jobs are very hard to find especially for those who didn’t finish school. As situations like this become more common, many parents force their kids to work or beg for money. This should not be the case as WYA points out in its Declaration that the family should be where children can “come to understand their own intrinsic and inviolable human dignity.”  It must not be socially acceptable or tolerable for a parent to force his kid to work while compromising his education.

As citizens, we do not even glance at those poor kids or families on the street. Those kids should be in school. The WYA Declaration on Health and Education states that, “The primary responsibility of education rests on the parents and it is the obligation of the State to support them in this role. Quality education must be available to all on an equal basis and should flow from an authentic understanding of the human person, and foster respect for self and others in solidarity.” Education is the primary solution for many problems such as violence, unemployment, poverty, and many other issues going on in the developing world. It has been proven fewer crimes are perpetrated when more children and teenagers go to school.

Maybe one those kids on the streets would be the one to discover a new invention, a groundbreaking project, or even the cure to many diseases in the future. If all children had the opportunity to study, the world would be far more developed than it is now. The foundation of any country is indeed education.

Education can turn mirrors into windows. As Herbert Spencer once said, “The great aim of education is not knowledge but action.” In prioritizing education in families and the State, I hope that this will inspire action and help others to stand up for what they believe in.

Written by Isabella M. Campbell, a WYA member from Guatemala