Friday, 9 September 2011

The Value of Education

This is a recording of my two minute broadcast on BBC Radio Humberside on Friday 9th September 2011. Here is the script:

Good morning. This week saw children across our region going back to school after the summer holidays. The two assumptions that often accompany thoughts about education are firstly, that it is just for children and young people and secondly that it has to happen in some formal institution such as a school, college or university. Why should we have this limiting view of the place and value of education? I think that education should be seen as a life long journey. Access to public libraries, books and the internet are available to everyone in our society. It is sometimes said that knowledge is power, but is learning only valuable to the extent that it can be put to some use? The Humanist philosopher Bertrand Russell once wrote, “I have enjoyed peaches and apricots more since I have known that they were first cultivated in China in the early days of the Han Dynasty: that Chinese hostages held by the great King Kanishka introduced them into India, whence they spread to Persia, reaching the Roman Empire in the first century of our era; that the word 'apricot' is derived from the same Latin source as the word 'precocious', because the apricot ripens early; and that the A at the beginning was added by mistake, owing to a false etymology. All this makes the fruit taste much sweeter." Did you know that the 9th September is Chrysanthemum Day in Japan, one of five seasonal feasts, associated with Japanese Royal family because the chrysanthemum is its emblem, representative of the sun? Learning something new every day of your life won’t necessarily make you rich financially; it cannot but make your life rich in other ways.