In Malcolm X essay “Prison Studies”, Malcolm discusses the importance of education for every single human being through telling us his own story in prison and how he came to like reading and learning and went from barely understanding the words he has been reading books and borrowing tons of materials from the prison`s library. Education in Malcolm`s case is something he thought for himself thus he self-educated himself.
On the other hand, in the other article education is thought of as an essential, however the article discusses the notion of education as something that is needed in people`s lives in the 19th century and was not needed in old eras because humans lived longer. The article discusses the importance of good education in general and adds to that the right education and the right mentorship. Having a good teacher is very important for good education and good mentors set an example for their students.
Importance of Education:
1- Education is an Essential Part of Life:
In general, education is an essential part of life; one can learn information through reading books, or through experience. Education is thought, in the current century, as a right that people should have and must have. Many governments around the world currently provide education for free to its people and even inmates in prisons are currently allowed to read and learn.
Some people even get rewards because they showed interest in knowledge. Some prisons currently offer rehabilitation methods for prisoners that involve reading and increasing their knowledge and to some people that idea might seem good and to others it might seem bad; however, it is true that there are people who were indeed helped by the notion of education in prison just like Malcolm. Education in general enlightens the mind, helps a person to know many things and helps in social communications; however, some people stand against the spread of education.
2- Education Can Enlighten Minds:
Education in general enlightens the mind as it eliminates darkness and gloom from the mind. The situation of Malcolm is a clear example of that, he went from not understanding anything but some words are complicated to be understood and heavy books that are hard to be read even by college students. Malcolm educated himself.
However, the availability of books in his prison allowed him to learn and that explains the importance of education even for prisoner. Since education can in fact enlighten the mind, it can make those who would do wrong in the past analyze their old wrongdoings and change their attitudes or even work harder to repent. Education can help a person to learn more about what is considered a crime in the law and how to avoid getting involved in one. It can also help people change what other think about them which is a very important thing in life.
3- Education Could Increase Public Knowledge:
Education helps people to know many things. According to Malcolm X (2009) P 75, education is built on the example of an instructor. An instructor is usually someone you look up to and sometimes it does not have to be real instructors that help someone get educated or feel interested in the notion of learning. In Malcolm’s case for example, it was a prisoner like him who inspired him to learn and educate himself. Sometimes because you look up to someone you start seeking the same field as them or you start learning more and reading more in order to reach the same place as them and that is how education affects the people around the educated person.
4- Education Would Enhance Social Communication:
Education helps in social communications. According to Dublin (1833) P 46, education helps people develop better social communication skills with others and with superiors in knowledge. Malcolm was able to connect better with the guards and the people around him in prison after he started reading. People in general tend to appreciate knowledgeable people and even between prisoners that notion seems to be encouraged because books and knowledge can help a person to become a better person in the future. Currently prisons are thought of as places for rehabilitation and there is nothing better than reading and learning when it comes to rehabilitation. Thus, education is essential even for prisoners.
5- Education Could Improve Prisoners' Behaviors:
While many people might agree with the importance of education and how essential it is in life, many others seem to frown upon the idea of allowing prisoners or criminals to learn more or read books. Some people think that allowing someone with a criminal record to widen his understanding is pretty much giving a knife to a murderer to kill someone as he could use his knowledge wrongly and in fact hurt someone.
However, that all can be rebutted by Malcolm example education in itself can never be harmful and there are tons of criminals who were already well-educated before committing a crime thus, education cannot cause harm people who educate. Also some people seem to think that education should not be given for free to poor people as it is a privilege that only people who are capable of paying school tuitions should have. That of course is not only racist but unfair as well, many scientists in the world right now were original from poor communities and currently they depend on their majors.
Short Paragraph on Education:
Finally, education is important to either a free person or a prisoner. Education helps people to gain respect, enlightens their mind and improves their social skills. A well educated person can always handle himself in any conversation and that endows him the respect he wants, he can also respect others whom he sees are more knowledgeable than him and more influential than him. Education can broaden the prospects of people and help them become more open socially. Education is not limited to only certain people who live comfortably and freely in the outside world. Education is essential to prisoners and in fact it can help them develop themselves. Thus, education is the best way to protect society and people from the danger of going to the wrong path.