Panel Discussion Report 2 : Promoting Equal Access to Education through Volunteerism

There is a saying, “Seek for knowledge from birth to death”. Education is very important in every individual’s life because knowledge widens point of view a person and leads towards success. However, not all the children around the world have access to education due to low socio-economic status, disabilities and so on. Therefore, team of the panel discussion brought a topic on promotion of equal access for education through Civil Societies. Actually, access to at least elementary and primary education is one of the Human Rights. Moreover, it is responsibility of each government as the development of a particular country depends on its literate citizens. In this case, role and responsibility of teachers is also very significant. Establishing voluntary and free tuition classes is one of the solutions to reduce illiteracy rate.

It is important to mention that even well developed countries like Canada and US has got issue of illiteracy, where number of illiterate people is increasing 100.000 per year. Another way of overcoming the issue is through promoting non-formal education through CSOs. And very good example can be “Teach for Malaysia”, “Teach for India” and so on. In addition, inclusiveness of disable children is very important. There are number of real life examples of intelligent children who left behind just because of “special classes” for children with disabilities.

Planning of the panel discussion started with choosing the topic. In order to choose topic, the team went through Human Rights and realized that there is a right of every individual which is not equally accessible. It was education. Therefore, the team came up with idea of discussing issues on education. Although topic was agreed by all the members, it was a bit difficult to write down the thesis statement due to variations of points. So, the team decided to write down all the points and combine as much points as we can into the thesis statement. By that, it was obvious role of each speaker.

Panel discussion was successful with thanks to different approaches by each speaker on the topic. Researches done and points given by each panelist could cover most of the issues and even solutions. However, due to less limited time period the team could not practice more and it caused some of them to look their written points during speech. On the other hand, it was issue of confidence as well which needs lots of practice and support from others. On this case, the team was very supportive to each other and it is another plus of the team.

It was good learning process for me as well, especially, when I prepared my informative speech because I had to do research on the topic. I understood that there are initiatives done in some countries such as Nepal and Sweden in order to reduce illiteracy rate. Finding out about their programs and implementing in other countries can be very useful. Even though I did not handle any question from the floor, a question given to Shahzod made me think. Question was about children with dangerous sicknesses like HIV and their education. I think parents should play important role and online learning can be also another solution for providing equal access to education. In addition, I felt gratitude towards the founder of AiU in his initiative to provide with higher education for students from underprivileged and marginalized backgrounds. In conclusion, panel discussion was good learning process. Moreover, it was opportunity to know about personal strengths to keep and weakness need to overcome. Unexpectedly, it reminded about the gratitude towards given opportunities to study.

References:

Role of NGO’s in Education Development. (2000, April). Retrieved June 2013, from Literacy Watch: http://www.accu.or.jp/litdbase/literacy/nrc_nfe/eng_bul/BUL15.pdf Siew, W. H. (n.d.). The Role of NGO in Promoting Life Long Learning for Person with Visually Impaired and Blindness. 1-10.

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