June 28, 2009

The Value of Scholarship

An opinion article by Thomas L. Friedman in today's New York Times argues that education, by producing innovators and creating jobs, can lead a country out of recession. I agree that education is the most important investment that a country can make in its future and the future of other countries. His emphasis on education underscored how it is sometimes neglected.

Education can be overshadowed by efforts to increase access to healthcare and provide food. I think this is a disservice when health care is not coupled with education. I argue, albeit without data, that education improves health disparities, decreases birth rates, and tempers religious zealotry. As a rule when aid (usually financial) is considered to develop a country or improve the lives of an underpriveleged group, it should be proportionally directed toward developing sustainable food supplies, providing basic health care, and fostering education systems.

The reality of the world - when a $1 is spent on education, it's not spent on feeding a child going without a meal - creates a real problem for my view, but arguably, the starving child will always be there if we don't fix the system he's born into.