For several years, Rihanna has voiced her concerns and raised money to aid in global access to education. Here’s why you should care too.
The literacy rate has significantly increased over the last 100 years but, there is still significant work to do in the field of education. Rihanna has been one of the more vocal stars in regards to education access and equity in the past several years and for good reasons. Education can drastically shift life expectancy, achievement, well-being and social status. Who doesn’t want to live longer and make more money??
Education is key. It makes sense then that education should be at the forefront of all political debates. Yet, it is not. Education is the gateway to independence and various forms of self-improvement either through climbing the corporate ladder or being able to be an entrepreneur. That is why Rihanna’s constant attention to education makes sense. She sees, from her own experience and through the experiences she has seen through her global travels, that education can and will change the life of anyone who has the privilege of receiving it.
“I’ve grown tremendously as an individual through my formal education as well as the global education I have received by travelling the world through music.” – Rihanna, The Guardian
As someone who has had three distinct education experiences (Caribbean schooling, American public schooling, and American college schooling) and who currently works in the field of education, I have seen the scope of difference education has on the life trajectory of people.
This isn’t saying that a non-traditionally educated person cannot be successful. It is saying that by providing excellent education opportunity to more people, as many as we can, we can significantly improve the quality of life of each and every person. In doing so, we can drastically improve society as a whole.
Rihanna Realizes That Education Is Key:
In the brief opinion piece that Rihanna Robyn Fenty penned for The Guardian, she touches lightly on the fact that education can be taken away more quickly than most realize. She discusses things like natural disasters and political structures that prevent children eager to learn from accessing the education that many, including her, have taken for granted.
The Stats & Effects:
The numbers, while they have been steadily decreasing over time, are still shocking. Approximately 25 million children globally are kept from education by any number of variables.
All affect a child’s ability to access education. We know from hundreds and hundreds of studies that education has long-lasting effects on a number of things later in life. Education has been proven to have a positive effect on the following:
1. Income: Yes, more knowledge more bank!
2. Health: Duh, the more you know the better you’ll be able to avoid illness. Prevention is better than cure.
3. Mental health: The ability to both understand, spot feelings, and to properly vocalize them makes a difference. Education also helps remove some of the stigma against mental illness encouraging others to seek help and fostering a community that supports those who seek help.
4. Political Engagement: Educated people are usually more involved in politics and voting. More informed voters tend to make sounder choices. Who doesn’t want more informed voters?
Why You Should Care:
If better health (mental and physical), a better society, more money, and overall improved satisfaction with the quality of life are important to you then yes, you should care about education! You should care that education in poorer neighborhoods are funded less than in wealthy neighborhoods. You should be pissed, in fact.
You should be eager to figure out how you can improve the situation for the millions of young children that will become leaders of your world. Eventually, you will be old and it’s these young children who will grow up to be driving the society that you’ll belong to. By pushing for better education access and equity, you will be providing the tools to the young to help improve society for themselves and for you as well.
If education has been shown to increase positive outcomes of so many things in life, imagine what you would have been able to accomplish provided you received a better education! Imagine what those who receive none at all could accomplish if they even receive the very basics. Do some research and get out there to vote for representatives who are in support of better educational access. It’s not too late to register in most states!
Register here: https://www.usa.gov/register-to-vote