The Fairviewer

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On the Way to School

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“My coffee isn’t good today,”  

“My nail broke.  

“My phone died.

“My car is parked so far away.”

These are very few of the many complaints we hear at VHS on a daily basis. We complain about superficial things that have little impact because the important things are taken care of for us, like our education or our finances. Our parents provide food and clothing and the electronics we want  and put dinner on the table for us.

They also force us to go to school and we complain that we have “better things to do.” But we do not realize how lucky we are to live in a safe, clean, developed town, let alone a wealthy, free, opportunity-filled country. Our government forces us to go to school and we are annoyed by it.  Yet there are children in other countries that would make almost any sacrifice to receive an education as effortlessly as we do.

I recently watched a documentary on Netflix called On the Way to School that changed my view on school and education.

The documentary shows families in different countries and shows the journeys they take to get to school. One brother and sister in Kenya walk almost nine miles to get to school. It takes them two hours and they encounter elephants and giraffes as they tread towards an education. In Morocco, a young girl must climb through mountains on a three hour walk to reach her destination. Three young brothers must push their disabled brother in a hand-made wheelchair over two miles in India so they can get to school. In Argentina, a young boy must help his little sister get to their school.  It is 11 miles away on a horse. All of these obstacles and journeys to have one purpose: to receive an education.

These children, many much younger than us, trek to school with tons of obstacles because they know the importance of an education. They aspire to make the most of their lives.  They have ambitions to be pilots or doctors, just like us, yet the chances of those dreams becoming reality are so slim for them. Not one of the children complained the entire documentary; in fact, they were smiling and singing, happy to be going to school.

After watching the documentary, I was ashamed.

We complain every morning that we have to wake up early, leave our comfortable, warm beds, and drive our expensive luxury cars to a nice school to develop our knowledge while there are children who live in straw houses and must walk miles in absurd conditions so they can go to school and hopefully not end up where their parents are now. My life was changed and my outlook on school was transformed from this documentary. We all take school for granted and it is important for us to keep in mind how privileged we are to have easy access to an exceptional education, which is not the case all over the world. I recommend that everyone watch this documentary as a reminder of what is really important in life because too often we forget how lucky we are to go to school.

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The news site of Verona High School
On the Way to School