Luis Altamirano Junqueira: Education, a transforming force | Columnists | Opinion

Today we see the despair that youth goes through, in protecting themselves from an uncertain future. Note that I mention “protecting yourself”, rather than aspiring to build a tomorrow tailored to your dreams. Analogous to what happens in the case of vaccines that save lives, education is the best protector against the expansion of social deficiencies and inequities, evidenced by the increase in “NEETs”, a derogatory reference made to young people between 14 and 28 years that they neither study nor work.

Unlike vaccines that protect the only biological humanity of the person, education has a holistic effect, since it, according to behaviorism, allows the domain of cognitive, affective and psychomotor behaviors; Aspects that assimilated in a sequence and appropriate contexts lead to the incorporation of personal and professional skills, as a previous step to a potential job placement.

Just as education differs by its spectrum of influence, this at the same time is not comparable to immunization against a virus, because the learning process is not achieved with the application of just one or several doses; education is a continuous process. In this vein, the book “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” – written by Stephen Covey – reaffirms his latest habit: “sharpen the saw”, the principle of “renewal”; a concept that involves the so-called “continuous improvement” as a key element of competitiveness.

And it is that this habit is not only attributed to the importance of attending an educational program – regardless of its nature or whether or not it has any accreditation -, but above all it encompasses the search for permanent learning by taking advantage of the many existing alternatives, in which self-learning plays a central role. Therefore, it is worth asking ourselves: where does that seed come from that makes people find that inspiration to continually grow in their capacities? Well, largely through the role of the institution called “school”, which sociologically includes all educational centers, regardless of the level of education it provides. The school is the main social vehicle of education. This last aspect in its most minimal sense can be defined as “valued learning”.

And it is that true education is not only limited to a set of knowledge, skills and abilities, but they must be accepted and taught within the framework of the principles and values ​​promulgated by society in order to keep the condition of “valued”. . Precisely, in this group of social references, we find “overcoming” as the central pivot that makes the habit known as “sharpening the saw” become a habit. In this sense, it is through “personal improvement” that vaccination could be comparable to education, since both provide us with the potential to generate antibodies; This is how education is done against immobility, mediocrity, the law of least effort and even “Creole liveliness”.

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Today more than ever the contribution of young people is required, as a revitalizing force of the system, since their participation is a cornerstone for the development of the country. The violence carried out –especially by the youth in other countries of the region–, must call on the authorities and society in general to create opportunities, aimed especially at the least favored. Education is not all-powerful, but it is a transforming force in society. (OR)

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