In today’s world, it is crucial for an individual to be able to read, write, and think critically in order to contribute to society. Successful careers require individuals to have these three skills in order to perform their work effectively and properly under any situation. In fact, many parts of the world provide free public education system in which children from all social classes can attend public school for free up through high school to develop and hone these skills not only for future careers they will take, but also to understand political and health issues.
Furthermore, Americans pay taxes to provide the education of thousands of children in the United States. So why are there still people who cannot read, write, or think critically in these areas with free public education? The primary cause is that free education does not cover the gaps that result from the distraction by technology, financial incapacity, and mental incapacity. To begin with, many students are bombarded by commercials and ads selling new video games or the latest technology that distract from the children’s focus on school.
Most parents enforce their children to take their education seriously, however, they do not always know if their kids are doing their schoolwork or paying attention in class. Schools tend not to personally oversee what students do afterschool and leave it up to the parents. Nowadays, a large number of students spend a majority of their time on the internet or playing video games while parents are out of sight and out of mind. When the habit of putting technology first develops, children start to devote nearly all of their time to these activities.
These time-consuming distractions take away time from work given by teachers to do that actually help in exercising the thought process. When push comes to shove, new technology provides a multitude of activities aimed at the younger generation that win over their minds over tedious homework. As a result, students will develop the bad habit of prioritizing their social media or video games over homework that provides exercises to improve reading, writing, and critically thinking skills.
These students who are too engrossed in watching for the latest gossip, tweet, status update, or playing level after level of one particularly addictive game will subsequently start homework at the last minute or even the last second by copying their friends answers. By neglecting their studies, reading comprehension skills and writing skills start to lag as they do not exercise these abilities. The ability to analyze text and evidence go hand in hand with reading and writing and will affect other important subjects in school such as science and history.
Eventually, the pile of assignments provided by teachers will overwhelm these specific students. Performance and health issues will increase as those facing these problems stress out and stay up for multiple all-nighters or skip meals. Due to such distractions, these types of students who develop the habit of putting technological entertainment first would not excel as well as those who do put in the time to learn. Of course, one of the primary causes that affect a student’s education is their family’s income.
Students with financially unstable families may not have been able to afford basic learning materials, leaving these students unable to properly study for school. Paper and pencils are essential to do homework that contributes to the practice of writing or solving math problems, both of which aids to critical thinking. Utensils such as paper, pencils, and books for schoolwork may be difficult to buy or may be in short supply. Without proper materials, students from families with low incomes may find themselves having a difficult time learning compared to the other students who are more financially stable.
A few may even stop going to school in frustration or embarrassment until they eventually drop out. Despite education being free for public schools, there are still many finances that students and their families must pay to get the most out of their educational experience. Along with the limited amount of materials to use for schoolwork, students with parents who do not obtain a regular income may only have limited time for work on their hands. For instance, older students may not have time to study or practice what they reviewed in class as they are taking care of younger siblings or helping their parents earn extra cash.
Education may not seen as the first priority since family matters and money problems tend to seem more important. Because these students do not have enough time to review due to their responsibility to help family first, they are not as well trained to those with plenty of time on their hands. However, another cause that is a reason why there are some people who are not as educated in reading, writing, or critical thinking is that they have an intellectual learning disability. Specifically speaking of those who have more serious levels of cognitive disabilities that prevents them from fully functioning by themselves.
Certain tasks for people with intellectual disabilities are difficult for them to complete, and learning how to read, write, and problem-solve is another challenge. As someone who has a relative with autism, I know first hand how difficult it is to have them sit down and concentrate on work when all they want do is anything else but learn. Due to these individual’s difficulty to comprehend text taught through traditional methods, specialized teachers are hired to specifically tend to their educational needs.
Some families may also need to personally hire trained specialized tutors to help those with slightly more difficulties in learning. Free public education, in this case, can not do much about the disabilities and can only guide these struggling individuals as best as the hired educators can. There is also the fact that finances affect the decisions of family member’s actions to educate children with intellectual disabilities. Some families may not be able to, or do not want to, deal with the extra expenses to pay for medication and disability services.
As a consequence, these handicapped individuals do not fully develop comprehension skills to be able to read, write, and critically think. Other intellectually disabled individuals may not even be able to develop these skills and continue to depend others to help them through life. It is a fact that those who are mentally incapacitated require large amounts of money to treat them and there is a possibility that education will be provided by only the family members to focus finances on medication. Therefore, with these potential causes in mind, people need to start taking action.
Public education is a costly system, but works as a means to provide the basic knowledge that students need to succeed in. Using this system to an advantage is difficult when some students are unable to focus on work, dealing with financial difficulties, which comes first in many people’s minds, and those who are intellectually challenged due to factors such as intellectual disabilities. Simple solutions can range from parents helping their children develop good studying habits early and setting up a specific work area free from distractions to donating money and supplies for those who need it for educational purposes.
All people need is a bit of encouragement, force, and patience to learn productively. Free public education is imperfect, however, just extending a helping hand to give students a small push from behind is a start to fill the gaps in the system for the basic comprehension skills. Once problems such as the lack of motivation and money are solved, every single person just may be able to smoothly read, write, and think critically.
In conclusion, the events and situations that occur out of school influences their education. The distractions surrounding the learners, the financial issues some are facing, and an individual’s own mental incapacity that is difficult to change contribute to the few who do not meet the standards of the basic skills taught in school. In short, though these events seem little to affect a child’s education, they all are common factors of home life that the free public education does not seem to cover.