Education, an investment for the future

Growing up, most of us don’t really stop to consider that the things that are a part of our daily lives aren’t a part of everyone’s daily life. We tend to go about our day doing our chores and often complain- maybe even whine, about why we have to do said chores. For example, as a kid growing up, I was not a big fan of school like many other kids my age. I hated having to get up so early to go to a place I didn’t even like. Now that I am in college, I am still not a morning person, but I do realise why academics is an essential stepping stone in everyone’s journey of becoming an independent and self-sufficient adult.

To some, this may sound like a silly rant preaching about privilege and whatnot, and to be honest with you, to a certain extent, it is one; but for other people who haven’t had this great epiphany yet, I would really like to rant a little more about why education is so important and should not be overlooked at any cost.

When I started working at Uttejana, I was met with the opportunity to teach young kids who fall under the underprivileged section of our society. Now when I initially started working, teaching 2 hours at a stretch in the hot summer mornings was not how I had envisioned my weekends to go, but here I was doing it anyway, and whilst teaching, I realised that I was the only one who had a problem with the sun shining right over my head. None of the kids seemed to be perturbed by the extreme weather and were determined as ever to study. To soak in every last bit of knowledge that they could within those two hours. I was amazed by their undeterred spirits and in awe of their keenness to do something so mundane with such continued wonder shining through their eyes. And that’s when it hit me, education isn’t mundane at all, far from it; and these kids realise that more than anybody else does.

They are proud of their little achievements. Whenever they get a sum right in math, or are able to recite poems in english perfectly well, their faces light up with some of the biggest smiles I have ever seen. Sometimes, the mothers of these kids would drop by to watch their children study and encourage them to come over every weekend and continue learning. I love that they are prioritizing their children’s education instead of forcing them to work because their family needs the money. I love that they view their education as an investment for the future and not as an option for the present; because that’s exactly what it is, an investment. By continuing to pursue their studies, these kids are not only going to be better equipped to look after themselves and their families, but this will also aid in their overall personality development. It will teach them not just skills, but provide them with confidence and the opportunity to prove their mettle; that just because circumstances aren’t favourable for them right now does not mean that they are never going to be. That their dreams and aspirations are just as important and realistic as anybody else’s. And that the power they need to change these circumstances, they already hold within their tiny bodies and sharp minds. I can’t wait to see these kids take on the world with their brazen smiles and incredible wit, and so far, it’s going really well.

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