Education has the power to change the future

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Mata'afa Keni Lesa

We’ve been saying this for sometime now, but we will say it again. 

Looking at a lot of our problems in Samoa today, what the people of this country really need are jobs and more income generating opportunities. In other words, they need money. 

The fact is the high unemployment rate coupled with the skyrocketing cost of living is making life a living misery for many people. Add the pain of being taxed by the Government from left, right and centre, it’s undeniable that life is quite tough.

But that’s not all. 

In this paradise we call home, there are far too many able-bodied young people roaming the streets doing nothing. 

They are hanging around corners of shops and congregating on the side of the road proving a real menace to motorists at all sorts of hours. You see, it is no longer unusual to find a group of young people congregating on the corners of streets at 1am. 

What are they doing? And aren’t parents worried about their whereabouts?

Ladies and gentlemen, some of them look drugged up. They look like they are on a mission and at that time of the night, goodness knows what that is. 

Let’s be warned. Unless we give them something better to do, they  are a time bomb waiting to go off. 

And more often than not, these young people end up committing unthinkable crime since they have nothing else to get excited about.

But our problems go much deeper than that.  Many children who are supposed to be learning to count at primary schools are not. 

How do we know? It’s simple. All you need to do is drive around downtown Apia and you’ll see that despite multiple laws to stop young kids from hawking goods on the streets, it’s having a very minimal impact. 

More and more young children are deliberately being kept by their parents from going to school so they can hustle on the streets to make some money. Day in and day out. This is perhaps the saddest part about what is happening today. 

The fact is that life today is so much more complicated than yesteryears. We are living at a time when success is measured by our ability to keep abreast with changing times.

Which requires parents to change their mindsets if they want their children to survive the tough realities of today. 

They must have a vision. And that vision should be about far more than merely surviving on a daily basis. 

It should be about their children succeeding in school and growing up to carve out their own destinies. 

The challenge is how can we get this message through to parents who cannot see past the next meal? 

How do we convince them that education is the key to a prosperous future? 

These are tough questions. In fact we’ve been asking ourselves for years and we still don’t seem to have found the answer.

The point is that parents must look to the future and see the bigger picture. 

And education plays such a vital part in that future. What they need to know is that without a decent education, life will continue to be a struggle. 

That without a good level of education, children cannot venture beyond their little world so that they will be stuck in that rut forever.

We’ve seen today how educated children have changed the prospects for their families. That the higher your educational achievements are, the better your chances of creating opportunities for yourself and helping people close to you. 

And the better your opportunities are, the better your quality of life is. There’s no other way to put it. 

We need to get excited about education and the power it holds to change the future.  What do you think? God bless!

© Samoa Observer 2016

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