Education, a public responsibility.



Pundits it is said are people of great learning. But the label can often be applied to people who might appear to be of great learning as well.


It is not necessarily an honor to be referred to as a pundit. There are times when the term may also be applied sarcastically.


Not many years ago, pundits however, products of learning themselves declared that “a mind is a terrible thing to waste.” This was, of course, a direct reference to appropriate education.


Underlying this concept was the fact that many people were going without minimal education and lack of education would lead to a terrible waste.


It appeared at the time that the responsibility of education was broader than responsibility that the individual or the family might have for seeing to it that its members were educated.


Sometime ago within our democracy, it was decided that what we call primary school education was a public responsibility. Thus the public schools.


Over the years, this concept was institutionalized and has become basic to our system, even though some pundits and some who appear to be pundits would question this public function today.


Some, primary education especially and even university education is provided us by our various religious institutions. We are a nation who believe that religion is not only part of our daily lives but concepts of religion were even included in our national constitution.


Therefore, the constitution contains within it and declares some of our religious concepts. And our concepts of mind, its relationship to the mind of God and “the mind as a terrible thing to waste” carry strong religious links.


I am convinced that the mind is a terrible thing to waste and that we have a public and national, if not a constitutional responsibility to educate that mind to its fullest. We may even have a religious responsibility.


It becomes one of our basic responsibilities, one that we owe each generation and in a sense it has become the birthright of every individual. How can we not afford to educate every citizen?


We should devote the fruits of our assets and social and economic efforts just as much to educating the mind as we do in maintaining our security and military defense. The minds of the children of God are terrible things to waste.


If this nation is to set any goals, the most important one is to maintain the means for education and the practical result is that educated minds return the cost to our nation many fold. Who knows how many real pundits, people of great learning that we shall gain because we dare not waste one mind.


Yet today, we hear that states can no longer afford to contribute to education. The states have become a failing source. Then do we need to find other ways to contribute to education? We need a steady and constant source. We cannot afford the waste. Let's seek out the pundits who will present us with new solutions.

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