Photo Credit: The Sold Project
Guest Post by Melissa McCreery
This is Part 1 of a 2 Part series.
Last month, I wrote a post highlighting the “back to school” mentality in the United States compared with other countries. I shared some rather compelling statistics about economic instability, poverty and the state of global education.
After sharing those statistics, I started thinking about how education – or the lack thereof—really, truly impacts the day-to-day lives of millions of people and children around the world. Sometimes dramatic statistics, while poignant, can be difficult to identify with on a human level. It’s ironic since the purpose of statistical analysis is to quantify human suffering and pain and sorrow.
It hit me a few days ago that education should mean more than the statistics and ‘big picture’ scenarios I presented last month.
Education should mean more than terms like economic viability and developmental impact. While education is pivotal to addressing these issues, at its purest essence education is about people and the flourishing of individuals. Education’s beneficiary has a face. In fact it has many faces. It is the face of a working mom; a single father; and the innocent faces of thousands – even millions—of children.
To the tear-stained face of a 10-year old girl in Thailand, education means avoiding a life trapped in prostitution. It means opportunity.
To a Congolese boy, with a face aged well beyond his years, it means freedom from war and terror and oppression and death. It means rescue.
To a teenager in Mumbai – face stained by filth and sewage – it means a life away from the slums. It means freedom.
To the weary face of a child in inner city Philadelphia, it means the opportunity for a career or profession. It means hope.
At its heart, education rescues— truly rescues—people. People with families, with names, with smiles, with souls, with heart, and with faces. As an educator, it’s these people—these faces—I feel most drawn to serve. It’s the students I’ve met face-to-face that continuously ignite my passion for education reform – domestically and abroad.
So the question we’re left with is what does this mean for me?What can I do? How can we, as a community of Christians, speak into education reform in the US and abroad?
We’ll explore and attempt to answer these questions in Part 2 of this series.