Education is the route to happiness.
Education is simply one aspect of socialization: it involves the acquisition of knowledge and the learning of skills. Whether intentionally or unintentionally, education also helps to shape beliefs and moral values.(Haralambos &Holborn 2000) Used to describe a myriad of good things in life including love fleeting moments of joy and chocolate bars; we often talk about happiness as a destination just down the road but happiness is part of a journey. Helping individuals navigate the journey with courage and optismism is a part of healthy individuals. Alfred D. Souza made a great point: “For a long time it seemed to me that life was about to begin but there was always some obstacle in the way. Something to be gotten through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served or a debt still to be paid. Then life would begin. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life.” Indeed obstacles are part of life and often they seem endless. Wouldn’t our kids be happier adults if they learned how to overcome challenges and obstacles? This is done through the education process. The focus of this paper would be on education is the route to happinessFormal education in Trinidad and Tobago mirrors the British education system. Children generally start pre-school at the early age of three years. During this level of tuition children are expected to have basic reading and writing skills to prepare them for primary school. Students proceed to a primary school at the age of five. Seven years are spent in the primary school. During the final year of primary school, students prepare for and sit the Secondary Assessment (SEA) which determines the secondary school the child will attend. This is a very stressful period for most parents and children. While primary education is extremely important perhaps upbringing at home before and after schooling may be even more crucial for the healthy development of one’s personality and hence happiness of the child. Unfortunately most new parents are not very good in parenting, mainly due to the lack of some elementary knowledge than to the lack of time, effort and love. In fact the lack of some basic knowledge makes the task of bringing up a child very heavy and disappointing and this function is handed over to the school. Students attend secondary school for a minimum of five years. Their first major exam is the local NCSE (National Certificate of Secondary Education) examinations, which is done in the third year of this system and administered by the Ministry of Education. The next major exam is done on the fifth year of school, (CSEC) Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate which is equivalent to the British GCE O levels. Children who receive satisfactory grades may opt to continue high school for a further two year period leading to the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examinations (CAPE), the equivalent of GCE A Levels. Both CSEC and CAPE examinations are held by the Caribbean Examination Council. Many student feel a sigh of relief and happiness when they receive their results because it means gaining early employment or moving on to tertiary education. Many people young and old are moving on to tertiary education because of the fact that it is free up to the level of doctorate. Both the government and the private sector also provide financial assistance in the form of academic scholarships to gifted needy students for study at local, regional and international institutions. After completing tertiary education one may experience that feeling of joy and happiness because it is the end of sleepless nights and a beginning of enjoyment. It’s a new beginning because you may now have a job and could afford all the luxuries that you couldn’t before. You may also be able to have a more logical view of society and what you once took for granted will now be looked at differently. During one’s childhood and...
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