Monday, November 14, 2011

How Much Do You Value Education?

No one can deny that education is important, no matter what country they live in. It’s true that every person doesn’t have the same opportunities for education as their peers across the globe, but that doesn’t mean there is a lack of dedication to learning.

Last week, Nicholas D. Kristof from the New York Times presented the story of a malnourished 14-year-old Vietnamese girl making every sacrifice possible in order to go to school and take care of her two younger siblings at the same time.

Dao Ngoc Phung is so obsessed with schoolwork that she sets her alarm for 3 a.m. every day to cook rice for breakfast while reviewing her books. She rides her bike with her two siblings for 90 minutes each way to and from school. Though she is only 14 years old, Phung takes responsibility not only for her learning, but that of her younger sister and brother—she doesn’t complete her homework until after she helps them finish theirs. Sometimes this means late nights with little sleep to start over again the next day.

Phung is not the only one who values education. Kristof explains, “Teachers in America’s troubled schools complain to me that parents rarely show up for meetings. In contrast, Phung’s father takes a day off work and spends a day’s wages for transportation to attend parent-teacher conferences.”

Then what may be most admirable is the following statement from Phung’s father. “If I don’t work, I lose a little bit of money,” he said. “But if my kids miss out on school, they lose their life hopes. I want to know how they’re doing in school.”

“I tell my children that we don’t own land that I can leave them when they grow up,” he added. “So the only thing I can give them is an education.”

Today, we might ask ourselves, “How much do I value education?”

Read the full article here.

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