By Laura Gail Sweeney
If one considers all of the problems facing the environment and society in general, he or she knows that qualified, educated individuals are likely to be the ones who will find effective solutions. It is highly unlikely that the Baby Boomer Generation or Generation X will have resolved the issues of climate change, the economy, and international relations within the next twenty years. It is more likely that it will take humankind several generations to repair the damage done by the greediness of some big corporations and by the production of goods that are unfriendly to the environment. Furthermore, prevention will be necessary to ensure that disasters do not occur and that larger nations get along. For all of these reasons, young people deserve to receive free, quality education that meets both their personal needs and those of society. Their education would not only meet the needs of business, but it might meet a greater need to save the planet. Without such quality education at schools (both online and brick-and-mortar schools), future generations will have to suffer due to the unintentional--albeit careless--mistakes of their forefathers.
Young people need education in order to ensure that the infrastructure of their country is in excellent condition. Without it, they will be unprepared to maintain bridges, highways, and public property. For example, on the 14th of August 2018, the Morandi Bridge abruptly fell in Genova, Italy, just one day before the Italian summer vacation known as "Ferragosto". One cannot help but suspect that such a disaster could have been prevented if there had been knowledgeable experts to control the quality of the bridge. Therefore, well-educated individuals are needed to pick up the pieces of the bridge and to ensure that future structures will be safe and secure.
In the second place, many world citizens have forgotten that a few generations ago people died from contagious diseases. All one has to do is to look at genealogy records to discover that it was common to lose parents, children, and family members to diseases like the Spanish Flu in 1918 and Smallpox, which was eradicated by 1980. People have neglected to study the history of immunization. Educated scientists need to be cultivated so as to investigate the effectiveness of the various vaccines while developing superior cures that can be used in the future. More importantly, young experts will be armed to fight any diseases that might appear in the future.
In the meantime, most people have given some thought to global warming. Those who believe in its existence fear for the future of their children and grandchildren. Without having received a satisfactory science education, people of all ages feel like their hands are tied. Many do not know how little changes can improve the climate. Moreover, they would like to convince people who are in powerful positions to change production techniques to protect the earth. In the event change does not come about, young people desire to enhance their communication skills in order to bring about a radical shift. Unfortunately, many potential defenders of nature cannot even afford to pay for university degrees that would enable them to argue a convincing case in a court of law.
Notably, many occupations have disappeared as they have been taken over by robots, artificial intelligence, and other digital tools. This means that great minds are in demand to determine how the future economy will be structured in order to provide food, shelter, and comfort to those people who work fewer hours or who cannot find a position. Experts will be needed to help organize schedules that involve individuals in pleasurable, humanitarian causes as well as artistic and leisure activities. Perhaps lifelong learning will take on greater importance and people will become more altruistic.
Last but not least, there remains much to be done in space and in the ocean. Naturally, young people need opportunities to study fields such as oceanology, astronomy, and biology without having to become overburdened with debt. Sea life remains to be saved and protected from water pollution while space junk needs to be overseen carefully. Natural resources need to be protected while various species of animals must be cared for, even reintroduced into the environment.
Many people argue that students will not appreciate education if they do not have to pay a lot of money for it. Such individuals insist that students will waste precious resources. Fortunately, some universities and even nations like Germany have demonstrated that free education or very inexpensive education can and does produce effective results. Germany (2018) offers to educate anyone who is accepted in their universities, but it should not be necessary for everyone to move to Germany to receive this benefit when many need and want to continue working in their home countries while studying. Nonetheless, people tend to earn considerably less money today than they did back in the 1960s if one takes inflation in to account; therefore, families with two working parents cannot typically afford to pay for their children's college degrees, even when they would like to do so.
The unexplored, unread future remains a mystery to be revealed. Thus, it is possible that hard-working young people, well-equipped with quality education, will be the problem-solvers and geniuses of the future. Such great minds need not be wasted when young adults do sincerely wish to contribute to the greater good. They will turn the keys to the not-so-distant future once provided with the education they deserve, regardless of their religion, social status, creed, color, gender, or nationality. Students might communicate internationally in English given that they receive the necessary tools and ability to communicate their ideas. Moreover, students could enhance the universe with the creation of sleek electric cars that are eco-friendly, with the invention of useful tools, with the understanding that universal compassion defeats war, and with the possession of new scholarly insight. So much remains to be discovered by a well-educated society of young people who communicate freely and openly--optimistically desirous of learning. Making learning free for all benefits everyone no matter how young or old since it will generate new solutions to problems that haven't been solved in the past.
Laura Gail Sweeney is an English teacher and an English-language coach who communicates with people across the globe by means of Skype and other similar platforms. She has a wide variety of interests, one of which happens to be Hollywood English.