Education for the Common Good
by Aneesh Nandam, IIRON Student Network
I was recently at a lecture about the recent student debt crisis and the rising cost of education. Higher education has become increasingly unaffordable for students and families, and the debt burden being placed on students has blown completely out of control. My generation now faces appallingly poor job prospects, while also being saddled with massive debt obligations.
The situation with rising education costs, especially that of public education, demonstrates how our elected officials and policy has gone astray. Education isn’t something that should be sold like a commodity. We also know this isn’t how it works in other developed countries. Some professors I know who got their educations in Europe were appalled at the high cost of education even at public institutions (~$15,000 at UIC), and were shocked even more when I said that this was considered affordable. In these countries, there is an understanding that education is something that the government should ensure remains accessible and affordable. Most of us seem to understand that this isn’t how things should be.
It’s time for all of us to take a stand for an economically just set of values – values that uphold the idea that some goods should be protected and provided to the people for the sake of the common good. Some things just shouldn’t be for profit. Come support IIRON and our elected officials this Sunday June 10th at 2:30, at Saint Mark Methodist Church (8441 S St Lawrence Ave) in signing our Covenant for Economic Justice.