What the World Needs Now

Nelson Mandela once said “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” As rhetorically clichéd it is for me to begin this post with a quotation from a great mind, this sentiment seems to have been forgotten. Religious tensions, racism, sexism, repression, institutionalized oppression; essentially a myriad of varying social issues that stretch across the world wide social milieu are matters of misunderstanding. That is not to say that I trivialize these ongoing battles for equality as simple minded “misunderstandings”. Rather they are the groundxo_tablet-above-head level consequences of decades of politicized and systematically promoted inequality. This planet is the most populated it’s ever been, and the wealth disparity is at history’s most extreme. It is 2015 and astonishingly we are still dealing with the growing pains of social progress in rampant and deeply rooted social norms of discrimination and bigotry. Yet we still seem to look at the world around us and muster enough enthusiasm to congratulate ourselves for all of our “progress”. Perhaps, I am being overzealous in my criticisms of social change but that is only a sad and jaded result of my young and slightly underdeveloped observations. However I acknowledge the need for social reform, and the best way to begin is with education. Education is the catalyst for many life skills yet it is seldom recognized for its power to instil a sense of empathy and understanding. The initiative of One Laptop Per Child is an effort to provide a digital tablet to students in poverty stricken regions where compulsory primary education is unfortunately not a reality. The innovative tablet allows children to interact with their academic and personal interests in a current form of technology. It provides assistance with traditional schooling, while updating it to a more current interface and platform on the tablet. By providing educational experiences to children in need, we essentially democratize the foundation for social reform and progress. To ensure and promote international social equality in the future, we must start with primary education.

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