More on “free” education

RE: The myth of “free” education

Education costs a LOT of money. Most Sri Lankans cannot appreciate the amount of money it takes to put a student through one year of school, because of a lifetime of unpaid-for education. We take education for granted precisely because it’s free.

I remember once taking several teaching assignments at a certain organization. Employee participation was voluntary. I liked the subject and I told my contact that I’m willing to do it for free. He was grateful to hear this, but insisted that I accept the pay. He explained that each employee will be paying for himself and that they’re charging not because it costs anything, but because what is given free is not valued. How right he was.

Feedback: A reader makes a valid point about introducing student loans for tertiary education (the student is expected to pay back his tuition fees in installments after he/she finds employment).

However, in a country like this, we can expect the rate of default to be very high — just look at the number of educated professionals who sign bonds to receive state sponsored education and then disappear overseas. If we can come up with ways to curb defaults, this is much better than subsidies.

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