And, of course, the next step is a connection to the Internet: The summit of Man’s knowledge and pit of his fears.
This opens up a literal world of new ideas and cultures.
As a tool for education, the Internet is in its own league entirely.
It contains almost every piece of information known to man…
…and that’s just one website.
You know which one.
The Internet also allows near-instant communication. Students and teachers in developing countries could use the Internet, as countless millions do, to communicate with one another as well as students and teachers from Australia and other countries with more developed education systems, almost as if that is something the internet was supposed to be doing already…
And of course with the Internet will come other people’s work; examples, guides, formats, tutorials and research on any subject under the sun. Here’s how a solar panel works. Want to find yourself on Google Earth or perhaps just something cool? Wherefore art thou Romeo? And that’s just a whimsical list of examples. There are websites designed specifically to teach the foundations of primary school level subjects. Mathematics, for example.
As primary school-level education ends, already these students have at least the fundamentals of language, mathematics, geography, history, science and the basics of learning itself.
Even if education stopped here, in many countries a vast improvement has been made and the students are much better off. And that’s just primary school, K-6.
It doesn’t have to end there.
Eventually, these students may continue on to High School. As their education expands to more subjects and takes them further in depth, they begin to develop sophistication in their areas of interest, and they continue to explore possibilities for their future.
With the help of their teachers, schools, equipment and the Internet, they will begin to learn of other cultures and how they can use their own culture to improve their work to make it unique.
Students will begin to apply their knowledge and reasoning to their works, while also using the examples and formats online, and their work begins to show the higher levels of education in their quality and presentation.
If a tertiary education is made possible, then students can specialize their education, becoming proficient in the skills and areas of their choosing.
Their work meets the standards of professionalism for the field they’ve chosen, whether it is the way they show their work in a mathematics-based course or academic writing for a communication degree, just as it is in any developed country. With access to professional tutors and resources, they will be able to not only form opinions and take a stance on issues, but inform those opinions with that of other academics (Clarke, 2015).
Eventually, students will reach a level on par with those who are employed in their field of choice and will graduate with the knowledge and skills they need to begin to operate in the world. Whether they become mechanics, scientists or even teachers or professors these people will form the basis for an evolving and expanding society.
It is this process that makes education one of the most important factors in the development of a society and indeed a country. Education benefits everyone, not only those who actively participate and end up graduating from a college or university.
BuildOn is a charity organisation that aims to allow all people, particularly those in developing nations, access to the most basic levels of education. According to the BuildOn website nearly 900 million people worldwide are illiterate. In Australia, basic reading and writing is taken for granted and as one of the fundamentals of human society, has been a necessity for most people for at least a century. And yet there are hundreds of millions of people being deprived of this core skill set due to where they were born or how much money they have.
Click here to donate to Buildon and help get education to those that can’t get it themselves.
Of course, there are dozens of charities and volunteer programs which specifically focus on providing education to people who need it. With their help and with yours, perhaps education will be within the reach of everyone on the planet in the near future.
If you enjoyed reading this article, spare a thought for the 900 million who couldn’t.