Students sit together at a makeshift desk, taking notes.

A Meaningful Education

It doesn’t seem too long ago that many were looking at the appalling results of University of Liberia’s 2013 entrance exams which saw an hundred percent failure of all applicants. The reasons sited for the failures were:
⋅English is not our first language.
⋅We are a country coming from war.
⋅There is corruption in the system.
These type of statements come from those who are grasping at education services in Liberia to raise themselves out of poverty and take them into a life that reflects a standard that is enjoyed on the North American continent.
On the West side of the Atlantic Ocean or the east coast of America another story is of a young man who has given up all his opportunities because of his education and stated:
“Education becomes meaningless if you become desensitized to what a community goes through.” (as quoted in the NY Times, Sept. 1, 2013, by Gonsalez, words of Marco Saavedra, 24 yo, son of illegal immigrants to US.
Education becomes meaningless if…
It is an interesting concept to consider the meaningless of education if it does not do what we hope it will.
Education, we hope, will be the thing that changes the world, brings understanding and enlightenment to the masses and raise all of us into a wonderful, caring, mass of humanity.
There is only one problem. Unless we build our education on Truth: Unchangeable Universal Truth, we will never achieve anything but enable selfish people who can justify their lives logically but have no vision for God’s Kingdom nor serving His people.
Sending students to school for 12 to 15 years of their lives to graduate them with a skill level less than a grade five reading level and the math capacity of a grade 4 is the sad story of too many lives in Liberia. Education is not lifting any one up here, but teaching them how to cheat and use their “smarts” to get by.
Sending students to school in Canada or the USA for 12 to 15 years, building up their ego and selfish interests in materialism and giving them the know how to feed their ‘needs’ is the sad story of too many students in the western world. Education it seems, is not solving our problems here, but only giving false ideas and bad starts on life.
Sharing and learning God’s word is the historic basis for many education endeavours in our past. It was what motivated so many to build the universities and schools of today. How can we bring the excellence of their visions into the plans of today for educating the children of Liberia and the west. Is teaching values enough? Is teaching for excellence enough? Education is meaningless unless it is driven by a vision greater than the present and remembers the past. Education is meaningless unless it provides the tools to find truth and discern error. Education is meaningless unless it raises us above our circumstances and gives us a map for a better future.
Liberia and the Western world need education systems that lead to meaningfulness for our individual lives as well as our communities and nations.
Like the good Book says,
“Correct the wise and they will love you,
Instruct the wise, and they will be even wiser,
Teach the righteous, and they will learn even more.
Fear of the Lord is the foundation of wisdom.”

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