My daughter Noa (Grade 9) wrote an interesting paper on this topic.
Should education be free for all, if so what steps can we take to achieve this?
Yes, education should be free but education is, and never will be, free. Someone always pays. There are three ways education can be founded.
The first option is private school. Of course, private school’s cost money. This money is provided by the user. The user being a student, it will most likely to be paid by their families. Therefore it is not “free education”.
The second option is the seemingly “free education”, but in reality, it isn’t. Public schools are founded by the government. But who is the government? The public is the government. The people that are citizens and use the schools are the public. In most places, even citizens that do not use the public schools are forced to pay for the schools through taxes. Taxes are payed by the public, not really making it “free education”. This again shows, that there is no such thing as “free education”.
But now we have a problem. You’re thinking, ‘of course there must be a way to provide free education!’ But you’re wrong. Even the third way, is not free.
If the private user doesn’t pay, and the public doesn’t pay, then how will “free education” be provided. The answer is simple; Sponsors.
Sponsors are people that either decide to give their time and effort to a, for example, school and work there voluntarily. Being a sponsor could also mean that a person not from the country/area gives money, books, utensils, etc. to the school in order to help.
But even if all of that is good and well, there is still someone paying for the teachers that stay in the school. Where does the sponsored money come from? No matter how much people try to provide “free education” it is simply not possible. Either the user, the government, or someone from outside has to pay. Someone always pays. And therefore, I think that there is no such thing as “free education” no matter how good it might sound.
But there is much more to “free education”. Of course, students living in a MEDC will have the choice between public school and private school, and since they’re probably not as poor, they will have no major difficulties with paying for the school system.
However, children/students living in a LEDC will have more difficulties with being able to attend school. Not only will there be private schools that are nowhere near affordable to them, but the public school system could be corrupt. When the public school is corrupt, students and their families end up having to pay even more money they could’ve used for other essential things.
Private school and paid public schools are usually only available in western countries because the government has the money from the taxes to pay the teachers, utensils, and rent for public schools. Private schools are also more common because people in western countries have much more money and when parents or guardians want their child/relative to have a better education, it is likely to be more available in western countries.
Steps we can take to achieve “free education”: there isn’t a lot of things that we can do alone, but organisations and people working together will have the most impact in people’s lives. In third world countries, such as Cambodia, have many NGOs (non-government organisations) to help the country and its citizens. Some NGOs provide education for people that do not have the privilege of being able to go to school. These students are then sponsored where the money comes from an outside source, usually a western country.