“…In other words, in a way that is profoundly at war with our founding ideals, poverty breeds deeper poverty; lack of educational achievement breeds deeper academic failure; and broken families are the surest predictor of more broken families in the next generation and the generation beyond that.
This is a sentence of unequal opportunity for all poor Americans, no matter the color of their skin. It is a generational sentence for 7 out of 10 children who will remain at the bottom of the income scale…
… America’s children are our children, our responsibility, not someone else’s. Can you really accept an America in which your little girl has just a one in five chance of being able to read well, or a 9 in 100 chance to graduate from college? Can you really demand heroism as a precondition of success…?” – Parts of a speech of Senator Michael Bennet/March 2015
America is not that great of a country in terms of primary and middle school education, although its universities rank among the top best ones in the world. In his speech on Inequality and Education, Senator Michael Benet has highlighted this big gap that astonished me. Children in the USA are also facing major problems. Children and their challenges are present a lot in the formal speech of politicians. During our visit to the U.S. Association of Former Members of Congress (FMC), one of the former members made frequent reference to his daughter of 11 years old and how he is still very positive and believes the future is brighter for her.
The American system or policy is unique and open to all changes, it is a system that can give opportunities and that can give birth to lot of controversies. It is a system that keeps its values and, in the name of democracy, has brought both the first African-American man to the presidency, which has never been the case before, even in the biggest, oldest democracies in Europe, who was directly followed by a new president who seems to be undermining everything the previous administration and even the international institutions stood for
I attended this year’s “I’ll Be There” Award where the DC High School Walk-Out leaders were rewarded for organizing a District-wide walk-out for students to show youth power and values after the 2016 presidential election. It may be normal to some extent, as the amazing story behind this act was a teacher – a respectful lady who has given a lot of her time to work with students and who set up a human rights club years ago. Human rights, or any kind of development education, can lead to change and awaken people. The walk-out was started by five high school kids on social media and reached thousands on the streets – with the intention to express solidarity and involvement in creating one, united, America. Positive and pacific change starts there.
During his speech on the opening day, Mr. Rash reminded us that, “…we need evolution not a revolution…” and that the key to accomplishing this is education. Human rights education, sustainable development education, peace education…or what we call development education.
The teacher who inspired these young people could be a hero, as she represents the brighter side of education in US; just imagine how many heroes are or could be among us, if they can bring this sparkle to young people: a sparkle of hope, commitment, leadership and active citizenship. These young people know their duties. Moreover, they act positively to take their rights and express their thoughts. Like The Godfather movie illustrates, to a certain extent, the leadership skills that a school (education) can plant and enhance in students makes them the leaders of tomorrow.
Author: Abdallah Khazene
Abdallah is an organization executive serving as the President for Arc en Ciel. Part of his role is to offer quality training to staff in addition to website updates, project development, management, and task delegation. Abdallah believes that in order to better respect the environment there needs to be access to education about how it works.
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