Education Is A Privilege, It's About Time Americans Realize That

Education Is A Privilege, It's About Time Americans Realize That

Think about what your education is worth to you.


Education is a privilege, though some may not view it as such. In America, for those of us who are privileged enough to attend school, we often take it for granted. Having access to knowledge, textbooks, teachers, etc. may not seem like anything extraordinary, but compared to other countries, it is a gift. Due to the fact that access to education in America is, for the most part, so unappreciated, we look at the world with an ethnocentric and privileged view, forgetting that not everyone is so fortunate.

My statistics professor recently described having access to education as a "blessing." He had begun to notice the number of students that chose to skip his class each week and told us that he did not understand why. Candidly, he explained that he is from Ghana and in his country, the resources that are available to us here, are not as easily accessible there. Education is a gift and in his experience, he said that he cannot begin to comprehend why it is so easy for some students to throw that gift away. It was a moment that was particularly eye-opening for me and many other students and was simultaneously a culture shock moment for my professor.

Interested in the education rates in Ghana, I chose to do some research in order to put my professor's words in context. What I have compiled, sheds some light on how our education compares on a global scale. According to NationMaster, in terms of the average years of schooling of adults, Ghana is ranked 76th compared to America's first place ranking. The average years of schooling in America are typically 12 years while in Ghana it is only 3.9. Additionally, the literacy rate for Ghana's total population is 74.8% compared to a 99% rate in the United States. The most unsettling fact that I came across was that, in comparison, Ghana spends 1% more on education. The United States is ranked behind Ghana in 26th place in this category. Though 28.5% of their population lives below the poverty line and the average number of years of schooling is equivalent to a student's high school career, Ghana spends more on education than America.

It appears unfair to compare the two countries, as they are vastly different but on a surface level, the drastic difference between them reveals a new way to look at education. Not only should it alert us to the fact that Ghana could use our help but also to the fact that our access to education is something that should be treasured. Admittedly, the U.S. education system is flawed and imperfect, it stands to be reformed (Textbooks essentially rewriting and whitewashing U.S. history is no secret, for example). Though it has its issues, it is still a privilege for those who can access it. Education should be something that is guaranteed to all, but until that becomes a reality, we should feel fortunate enough to afford it and access all it has to offer.

My professor was able to share his insightful perspective, having experienced education systems in both Ghana and the United States. I value my education greatly but without this candid moment, I would have continued looking at my education with tunnel vision. It is vital that we look outside of what we are familiar with in order to gain perspective on our own situations. Simply put, education is a privilege that we need to stop taking for granted; and one that we need to extend to those less fortunate than ourselves.

Here is a link to verified organizations that aid Ghana in various areas.

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What I Miss

Good old Britania


It's May 14th, the day I fly home. As I write this, I'm sitting in the Starbucks in Atlanta's airport, terminal F, listening to smooth jazz whilst sipping my grande coconut latte waiting for the announcement that my British Airways flight to Heathrow is ready to board. It's weird to think that I'm leaving- leaving, that I'm not coming back and honestly after this banger of a year I really don't want to go home. I've basically travelled all year and I'm not ready to go back to the 9-5 life and I'm certainly not ready to say goodbye to all the amazing people I met out here and that I love so dearly.

As much as I don't want to leave, I also don't want to stay.

America has been an adventure but after studying it for three years and living here for almost a year and completing another programme a year ago I've came to realise that this country just isn't for me. I don't want to leave because I enjoy this bubble that's been constructed- a hyper reality if you will, it's my life but it isn't my life. It's not sustainable. So, in order to return to reality, I figured I would write about all the things that Great Britain has to offer and all the things I hold so close to my heart and look forward to.

My dog- as much as I love my roommates they don't jump on me and lick my face on a morning and I was starting to feel under-appreciated as a result.

Wetherspoons- boy, oh boy is this something America is missing out on. A meal and a drink for less than six pound, quality food at quality prices and two pitchers for £12, it is a dream come true. I can't wait to get back and have my quinoa salad and a drink for £5.50 (oh and about the carpet image, if you know you know).

Nandos- America just ain't cheeky enough.

TV that's actually funny- sorry guys but canned laughter just doesn't make it funny.

Smithy's Indian takeaway - Gavin and Stacey - BBC

The ability to walk pretty much everywhere- not having a car here automatically makes you a peasant and I want my social status and mobility back.

Free dairy- free milk in coffee shops- what about the lactose intolerant people?

British banter- Right, I know my jokes are borderline dad jokes at the best of times but at least people in England understand it/ aren't offended.

Healthcare- controversial?

Tax already added onto your purchase- Why do you add it at the till? It's inconvenient for everyone involved.

The big Tescos- Yeah, you guys have Walmart- but you can't buy Tescos own cookie for like £1 can you- very overpriced and it isn't good quality like why are your chicken breasts so big? What are you feeding them? And what's with the red meat?

Holly and Phil- Americans you need to google This Morning highlights.

This Morning Funniest Moments Part 1 - Phil, Holly, Fern and Gino at their very best

The accent- As much as I love being 'the British one' and having Americans glorify you and see the sheer excitement in their face when they say "are you BritIshHH" I love the accent and I'm excited to hear it more.

Not having huge caps in toilet cubicles- Like everyone can see my business.

Costa Coffee- The staple of every British train station.

The train- whilst were at it.

British drinking culture- Americans don't know how to get down like the Brits do, Campus corner can be lit but I need like seven straight tequila shots and an adios motherfucker before I can fully immerse myself.

Drinking: UK Vs US

A Sunday Roast- Imagine thanksgiving but not covered in sugar.

The drizzle- there, I said it, I miss my grey skies, I like knowing that it's always going to be cold and a tad miserable but there isn't tornado warnings and there isn't tropical rain from nowhere.

Okay, maybe returning to Queens country ain't that bad after all.

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