Here’s a speech by Barack Obama (September 9, 2008) on improving education. Is it a debate we should be having in Jordan?
Here’s some highlights:
Well, the day of reckoning is here. Our kids and our country can’t afford four more years of neglect and indifference. At this defining moment in our history, America faces few more urgent challenges than preparing our children to compete in a global economy. The decisions our leaders make about education in the coming years will shape our future for generations to come. They will help determine not only whether our children have the chance to fulfill their God-given potential, or whether our workers have the chance to build a better life for their families, but whether we, as a nation, will remain in the 21st century the kind of global economic leader that we were in the 20th century.
The rising importance of education reflects the new demands of our new world. In recent decades, revolutions in communications and information technology have broken down barriers that once kept countries and markets apart, creating a single, global economy that is more integrated and interconnected than ever before. In this economy, companies can plant their jobs wherever there’s an internet connection and someone willing to do the work, meaning that children here in Dayton are growing up competing with children not only in Detroit, but in Delhi as well.
What matters, then, isn’t what you do or where you live, but what you know. When two-thirds of all new jobs require a higher education or advanced training, knowledge is the most valuable skill you can sell. It’s not only a pathway to opportunity, but a prerequisite. Without a good pre-school education, our children are less likely to keep up with their peers. Without a high school diploma, you’re likely to make about three times less than a college graduate. And without a college degree or industry certification, it’s harder and harder to find a job that can help you support your family and keep up with rising costs.