Education is considered a great equalizer, something countries and leaders the world over know rather well. The world inches on towards the goal of ensuring universal literacy. This noble goal, however, is still far off, as political, economic, religious and economic disputes are prone to remind the world. It’s not just the developing countries that are behind in education even with their population control woes and economically hamstrung budgets. The world as a whole, it seems, is sliding into a morass of lethargic attitudes towards educating tomorrow’s generations.
Let’s take a look at some shocking facts that illustrate the state of education in the US. Being the superpower, one would be forgiven for thinking the education in one of the most prosperous regions of the planet might be better. These facts, however, post a rather dismal picture, one policy czars need to pay attention to.
From being a world leader in education some 40 years ago, the US is now home to a dysfunctional education system for natives. It is widely observed recently that 1.2 million students drop out of their studies in a school year. To put it in the proper perspective, about 7000 individuals forfeit their chance for a better future every day. If one were to be more microscopic about this, the figure becomes 1 student every 26 seconds. Talk about a dire state.
How Do These Dropouts End Up?
Not every dropout has the technical whiz kid skills of Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg (and these two high profile dropouts actually encourage people to go back and complete their graduate studies). People who exit the educational system as dropouts are in for a rough ride. It is widely believed these individuals are:
- 50% less likely to exercise their democratic right to vote.
- Not considered for the job market (some 90% new employment opportunities are lost to these people forever).
- Generally earn less and end up working longer hours than college grads. Have a hard time just making ends meet.
- Likely to have more potential to end up in a prison. 800% more chances to be precise!
- A constant drain on the welfare system, living off the crumbs.
‘Did you know that the average American has more difficulty solving a math problem than cleaning a bathroom? Say like 30% of the population.’
The US Is Worse Than New Zealand When It Comes To Industrialized Nations with College Degree Levels
The US is in 12th position amongst the 36 industrialized countries of the world in terms of percentage of adults with a college-level degree. Canada and Israel fare better than the sole superpower of the world. There’s some food for thought.
However, Not All Is Lost
The situation might be dire. But when one compares the percentage of American graduates with the rest of the world, the picture becomes rosier. Some 40% of the American adults have a degree to their credit. Contrast this with 6.7% of the adults in the rest of the world, and people are inclined to agree the education system, no matter how broken, is still accomplishing major milestones.
Universal literacy is a world-wide goal. The USAID grants aid for impoverished and developing countries to improve their standard of education. Disenfranchisement levels are being brought down due to the presence of professionals in the recipient countries who make the dream of literacy come true to otherwise remote areas.
That being said, the US needs to do more to fix up its own education woes as well. Charity does, after all, begin at home. And thanks to philanthropists and some much required governmental support, reforms are been undertaken to correct the course of the ship and arrest the educational slump in the affected areas. It will take time to see the fruits of the labor, but rest assured, the outcome will be favorable.