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Friday, July 15, 2016

Youth and Education: Who needs more of what?

Author: Alyona Romaniuk, a student of the Lesya Ukrayinka Volyn' National University, Ukraine
Translated by Ihor Cap
Nowadays, alumni acutely question education: should we study further, which career to choose, or where to go following graduation? I wonder if everyone needs a higher education because right now many people who have degrees are unable to find work.  In particular, there are hundreds of lawyers, teachers, and doctors out on the market without work. Moreover, how much effort and money was expended to get this higher education. Many parents assist their children in later life to pursue a higher education, without attention to the true talents of these young people. Maybe someone prefers to paint more than teach math, and still others would be just as happy sewing something instead of memorizing physics. The lawyer’s daughter will have to go to the Faculty of Law to satisfy her father’s will even though she may prefer a career in teaching. So who really decides what we really need: our parents or we?  Often parents may use their authority (not only earned, but also authoritarian) to ensure that children receive a higher education. However, if the young person expressed other career interests, all options should be reviewed with equal attention and a decision must be taken together. It is very possible that not everyone needs a higher education because our country needs not only highly qualified specialists with degrees from prestigious schools, but also carpenters, seamstresses/tailors, drivers, and bakers. To find answers to these questions, I decided to talk to a few of this year’s graduates.
Most say that acquiring an education in our time is a necessity. In fact, it is extremely necessary in order to support yourself. However, does everyone need to study at a university?
I think that post secondary institutes (PSIs) are for those children who really want to learn something and it works for them. After all, what kind of experts will they be if they have no ability to learn...?
- Many young people who received higher education diplomas can't find a job according to their profession and leave to work in other countries “for gainful employment”. Maybe they should have gone to a vocational-technical school and become decent professionals.  Our country also needs good apprentice-workers.  Moreover, after completing their vocational training, numerous manufacturing jobs await them at the factories. The paradox is that, for some reason, the kids who study worse earlier on in life tend to adapt better in later life than those who “aced” their way through school and got used to getting everything using their “know-how” and then hope for their just reward at the end of it all. Really, would it not be simpler if we first assess our abilities, and then choose a life path? For some reason, we repeatedly hear from older people: "How can you build a family life without getting an education?" However, the ability to live as a family or to have a sense of responsibility for your relatives a higher education does not provide. Rather, it depends on the individual.  It truly depends on the young person’s character and ability to apply their theoretical knowledge.
Having conducted my small survey, I made the following conclusion. Education is important for young people and it lies within our sphere of priorities. Still, it is but one factor (and not always the major one), which helps us to fulfill our life as well as the lives of our immediate others.
Indeed, full life – is a process of continuous learning, of discovering new horizons of personal attributes, of the unexplored sides of our surroundings. So, I can say with certainty, that higher education - is a powerful, but not the only way to discovering yourself and the world around us, or for acquiring knowledge and skills for professional activity.

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