September 25, 2014

Guest Blog: John Buckley, Spun Out

There’s room for a shed load of clichés when it comes to defining what education is, not in a negative way, but it’s hard not to repeat the absolute value that education offers to both individuals and societies. In my job, I come across people who experience different levels and types of education advantage and, unfortunately, disadvantage. Over the last seven years I’ve worked with children and young people from the ages of 6 to 25. I’ve worked with some of these young people over prolonged periods of time ranging from six months to two years. What I experienced was the innate power of education to transform, develop and empower young people. I’ve seen young people in third level education go from being shy and isolated to outspoken, informed and making meaningful contributions. I’ve seen children in secondary school grow too; finding out who they are and where they want to go in life.

Education is a transformation power in young people’s lives; and I have seen that first hand and continue to do so. I’ve also seen what education does for the society that we’re in. We know that we want all these high skilled jobs to drive our economy but there are other positive things that it does to our society too. It drives a contribution to democracy and encourages political representation; it’s the route of social change and social innovation. It’s where many of societies problems are discussed, analyzed and solutions are formed. And, to think that we still have to fight to remind decision makers of what education does for individuals and society.

Education is a right but not only that, it’s a society responsibility to make sure our citizens are equipped with the skills to forward their own lives and our great nation. Education is transformative and the continued investment, development and innovation of the sector should not be questioned apart from one aspect, are we doing enough?

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