What is the value of education to you?
Guyana Chronicle
December 3, 2006

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What is the value of education to you?
The United States embassy in Guyana recently held a poster and essay competition for school children in Guyana in observance of International Education Week. The winners have been chosen and today we feature the first prize winners. Next week, we will publish the second and third prize winners. What is the value of education to you? By Dharamraj Shivraj, 14

My great grand-father, an immigrant from India, always said to me in his native tongue - 'Yesham na vidya, na tapo na dhanam' I fail to remember the rest but I remember its meaning vividly. It translates that, those who have no education or knowledge, have no determination, no manners, no charitable disposition, no virtuous qualities and no firm faith. They are just a dead load on this earth.

They are beasts in human form roaming about the earth. At a very tender age, I was forced to memorize and recite those lines every morning before I ate breakfast. Those words meant nothing to me, they puzzled me, in fact I despised having to recite them but I loyally did in fear of earning myself a sound beating with 'Nana's leather straps. Little did I realize that I would grow to comprehend and appreciate his words and apply them to my life.

Education is the substance of my life at the moment. For me it is the stars I hope to touch one day. I don't want to become just another farmer like my father. I don't want to be a drug addict like my elder brothers or a dim wit like my sister. I want to become a highly intellectual person - a scholar, a recognized personality and to make a credible contribution to this universe. I also want that my name will live on, like the names - Martin Luther King Junior, Mahatma Gandhi, Dr. Cheddi Bharrat Jagan - my gods, my prestigious role models.

For me, having a good education is everything I need, even though there are many times because of financial constraints and other problems, I feel I won't able to complete my education.

I have fought and will continue to fight for the knowledge that I know will lift me above all. My cousins scoff at me and call me 'sissy' because I am always with my books but I can bear the brunt of all the despicable names though I can never bear the thought of being unaccomplished. My future depends upon education; there is no other key to unlock that future.

Had I been granted one wish from the Supreme Father, I will wish to attain the highest possible level of education. I have dreamt a dream, a sweet dream, in which I, the Executive President of Guyana, rescues the country, my mother land, from the jaws of poverty and crime and directed it into an ocean of economic growth, benevolence and progress.

It hurts my brains and pierces my heart to see my country in this state of mass destruction but I know that as long as I am determined to educate myself, then it follows that I would set Guyana free.

Without an education, I would feel like a crow among swans, like a thorn among roses and a fool among wise men. My biggest fear is the fear of becoming a failure, so dear Almighty Father, grant me the strength, the courage, the determination and the competence to upkeep my standards and to make my dreams come true.

Without an education, my life will be without value, without happiness and I will choose to live in isolation. If that will be my lifestyle then I'd rather not live at all. So you see, education is a great necessity to me.Many times education has been sung just as norms values and patterns of good behavior, but for me it means so much more than this. Education is life! It starts at home and follows us during the whole course of our life. It is the knowledge that we get from our parents, teachers, relatives and friends and would be shared many times and to different persons but doesn't ever end. Education is love and concern. It is the harmony of body and mind which leads us to peace. It is what makes us better citizens and better humans. Let us share it with everyone! (Jennifer DaSilva, 9, School of the Nations)