TED Conversations

  • Ann Lee
  • San Jose, CA
  • United States


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I believe the right to an education is a basic human right..what can we do to make that a reality?

Governor Brown just signed the Dream Act and that propelled me to think about how accessible education is in United States and around the world. Education shouldn't be something that only the privileged can afford. What can we do to give every child an opportunity to improve their lives through education?


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    Oct 19 2011: Basic human right....and requirement.

    I would like to talk on two points:
    1. Basic Right - I believe that the solution to the world's upcoming population crisis is education and the opportunities to use this education to work and earn a stable living. People with jobs, income and no threats to their survival, have fewer children. At least this is the phenomena seen in many of the richer parts of the world. Which leadsinto my second point.

    2. Education is a requirement - For a person to vote and be a full member of the world, I believe that they must have received enough education to be able to understand the whole world context. IE understand political systems, world religons, macro economics, envronmental issues etc. Maybe a UN international standard should be introduced as a mandatory minimum level of education that a nation must provide free of charge to all of its citizens? Some system where the testing and quality of the educational outcomes are rated on an international scale by an external arbitor.

    What can we do about it? Well, countires like the US could require that any corporation operating in a third world listed country must implement community investment into schooling infrastructure in that country. Also, these companies should invest in the necessary infrastructure to get those children to school, clothed and clean and with the necessary materials to participate in the education. This model works well in companies that work in the primary industries sector as they have a localised presence in those countries and also have sustainability goals that would align with this activity.
    • Oct 20 2011: Requirement.........
      Kim, you make good points, and on # 1 I agree with. Education will, and is helping our population crisis that we will soon to be experiencing in the near future.
      But requirement?
      I'm in college right now, and after reading, " IE understand political systems, world religions, macro economics, environmental issues, and how much more is etc?
      That seems like a lot of information to be educated on, and would be a dounting task for any young student to learn.
      How many years of education do you think that this would take? And in today's world, "time is money," so how would we make this affordable?
      It would have to be made extremely affordable to make it mandatory, especially on an international scale.
      Do you mean "World" corporations, or just American corporations? And if it was, all of the "Worlds" wealthier corporations getting involved, it would still be difficult.
      You would first have to come up with some kind of estimated "price tag" that it would cost to achieve these conditions. Then see if it is a reachable goal that can be with in the realm of the worlds economic situation.
      How long would this take? Two or three generations maybe even longer. It is a great long term plan, but we need to try to think in short terms.

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