Should education be free?
Posted on May 7, 2014
When the conversation was directed towards the issue of the government’s plan for the deregulation of university fees by an audience member, a group of university students unfurled a banner and started chanting catchy slogans about their views on the governments policies.
Here’s a quick clip of the event:
The point that was ogirinally made by the young lady asking the question was that fee deregulation will lead to increased fee’s meaning that education becomes the realm of those who can afford it, not just those who really want it.
This raises an interesting question: Should education be free?
Should knowledge and information be provided to anyone who wants it, free of charge?
This is a heated debate with many good points on both sides of the equation, but there is one key point that seems to be missed:
Education is already free.
There’s this little thing called the ‘internet’ (you might have heard of it) that contains almost the entirety of human knowledge and can be accessed on a device small enough to fit in your pocket from almost anywhere in Australia.
You want free education? There it is. Almost the entirety of human knowledge. Do you have any idea how much that is? There is no way possible you could get through all the information and education that’s available in 1000 lifetimes.
You want free education: Get online, read, ask a question, talk to people, engage in debates, and LEARN.
It’s all there, sitting, waiting for you to start.
Not structured enough for you? You can access almost all of MIT’s complete catalogue of course material for free right here.
Kahn Academy has the most unbelievable range of courses and training programs available to start, right now, for free.
Want to learn another language? Get FREE language tuition at DuoLingo.com
That’s not enough? Here’s a list of 35 other websites (as well as two mentioned here) where you can learn just about everything else you’d ever want to know: 37 of the best websites to learn something new
Information is everywhere, education is everywhere.
The thing that isn’t free are qualifications.
You can get your education for free, but if you want a large piece of cardboard with your name and an official university stamp on it, it’s going to cost you money.
Why? Because it costs money to provide that.
It costs money to build the classrooms you sit in, it costs money to pay the teachers and tutors who’re education you, it costs money to pay for the labs you work in, it even costs money to print those nice certificates you like so much.
If you want to use something that costs money, pay for it. You wouldn’t let someone sleep in your house for free for 7 months of the year whilst you coached them on… demanding things for free… so why should qualifications be any different?
Education is free, qualifications are not.
If you want to learn, learn. If you want something that costs money, pay for it.