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I Believe In Free Education

There you go, I said it. I believe in free education. So chain me to a tree and brand me a hippie, this isn't a new idea. Heck, we've been going to public schools since God-knows-when, right?

My educational life has been something of a mixed bag. I went to a public primary school, a private secondary school, and a HECS-funded university. And while I could debate the ins and outs of private and public schooling until the kids come home, that's not what I'm here to talk about.

What I *am* here to talk about is the short-sighted-ness of governments around the world who are more interested in completing their term with favourable economic results than in the future of their nation.

As overplayed and trite as it may sound, the youth *are* the future. If governments are to invest in the future, they should invest in the youth of the nation. Moreover, if governments are to have a more professionalised workforce in the future, they should invest in the tertiary education of school leavers.

I couldn't rightly tell you how many people I know whose lives would be completely different had they had the resources to go to university or some form of tertiary study. The others that were brave enough to bite the bullet have that debt hanging over their heads for a good part of their life. On top of the car payments. *Annnd* the mortgage. The courses of peoples' lives really are affected by the astronomical costs of tertiary study. It's difficult enough to get a job without qualifications these days, even *with* experience under the belt, but when it comes to specialist tasks, it's nigh-on impossible and probably dangerous to give someone a job *without* qualifications.

If tertiary study was free, it would unlock all new possibilities for under-priveleged people - people with very few possibilities in the first place. This could be the solution to all manner of problems, the most obvious being umemployment, maybe even homelessness.

The Whitlam Government in Australia provided free tertiary education to the nation during the 70s. While this set the economy and budget back in the short-term, the specialised workforce of Australia now has that government to thank for their own prosperity and fulfillment of their aspirations. At the very least, the people of Australia knew that their tax dollars were being spent on them, and not on making the government look good in the short-term.

A specialised labour force is the future of any nation's economy, and governments should do all in their power to encourage its growth and development. The most tangible way of doing this is to make tertiary education accessible to everyone, especially school leavers.

Submitted by:

Adam Redsell

Adam Redsell is a joint partner in Film 'n' Send. Film 'n' Send is an affordable way of converting memories from your video camera to DVD. Discuss this and other topics on the Film 'n' Send forums


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