Getting the best out of education starts from our mindset that education is a privilege by Sharon

Sharon's entry into Varsity Tutor's January 2021 scholarship contest

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Getting the best out of education starts from our mindset that education is a privilege by Sharon - January 2021 Scholarship Essay

Some people would say that education is a right because all kids in the United States should attend a school, whether they like to study or not since education for kids is mandatory in the United States. Compulsory public education in the United States was initiated in the early 1920s and since then it became natural for all kids to be in the education system until a certain age (mostly 16 or 17). However, I would say that education is rather a privilege. Some kids are fully exposed to the benefit of education while others merely attend a school. The fact that kids are in a class or belong to a school does not necessarily support the statement that education is a right. How to fully get the benefits of education is a real criterion to judge whether education is a right or a privilege. And in that way, education is and should be a privilege.

I don’t mean that education is a privilege only for those who attend expensive private schools or resourceful public schools where experienced and well-qualified teachers are providing excellent educational environment and materials. Some people go to a very expensive private school but they are not satisfied with their education; while other people go to a public school in a socioeconomically poor area where only limited resources are available but enjoy their education and get the best out of it. Some people go to college to pursue their academic interest and develop their professional knowledge and skills. Particularly for those with financial needs, college education may not be a right but a privilege with financial support from colleges, private/non-profit organization, and governments.

If we think education is a privilege, we would be able to get more out of it. If we think education is a right, we may take it for granted and end up getting less out of it. So we should appreciate the mandatory education system in our country and regard it as a privilege.