Education begins with the three Rs

Published 9:59 pm Wednesday, August 29, 2007

We’ve come a long way with education. I can remember my grandparents talking about the three Rs. They were reading, writing and arithmathic. Even in those days, education was important. Education was important because without it, a person was illiterate and words or writing on anything was Greek to them.

In my grandparents’ days, many weren’t allowed the opportunity of getting a good education because their priority or first choice in life was to work. They had to work to help the family put food on the table, clothes on their backs and a roof over their head. And because of this, they were left behind in education and became illiterate. Being illiterate plagued their lives in many ways. Because they were not able to read or write or count, they were taken advantage of. Many lost their homes and land by signing an “x” to documents that they could not read. Others were cheated of a day’s pay because they couldn’t add or subtract.

In the Bible, God says “my people perish for lack of knowledge.” Today, there is no excuse for lacking knowledge when it comes to getting an education. From the schools to the internet, education has been made available to all. Education is so freely available until all one has to do is sit in the privacy of their home and learn. And to further combat some of the school system’s problems of learning, the President signed into law, in 2002, the No Child Left Behind Act of 2000.

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In both Mississippi and Louisiana, there are certain tests that students must take to see what level of understanding they have. These tests are focused on the basic three “Rs.” These individual tests show if a child is failing, basic or advancing. If the results show that the child is in need of help, they are given this help in the area where they are lacking in their learning or understanding. These tests also show if a child is advancing beyond their years. When a child needs additional help, it is everyone’s — superintendents, principals, teachers, parents — responsibility to give that child the needed help. We must all work together to give our children the education that is required to keep them abreast in society.

All of our teachers have prepared themselves to be great teachers; but we must remember that the teachers are not effective teachers unless the students learn.

Maybe we need to rethink how we are educating our children and win them over by making education fun. I say this because isn’t it funny how a small child can recite the lyrics of their favorite song verbatim, and yet they haven’t learned to read?

There may be a need to incorporate some new activities or a different technique to get students motivated. Rethinking may mean getting on the student’s level and incorporating some fun learning activities. This should be done on all levels of education from preschool children to high school children. You know the old saying “all work and no play will make Johnny a dull boy.” This is true. Children get bored quickly and easily. When this happens, students usually get in trouble and are labeled as “having an attitude or being a misbehaved child,” when all it is, is boredom. There is a commercial that comes on television, it shows a teacher giving her students art supplies and then allowing them to use their imagination. In the commercial, you can see a smile on her face as well as her students. This is because they are learning with fun. Making learning fun is good. It gets a students attention than just by saying “sit down and do your work.” Sometimes it calls for change.

Change is sometimes good and sometimes needed. Teachers may need to do something different, while staying within their educational boundaries, and then watch for the difference in your students. We must continue to educate our children by any means necessary and give them the basic three R’s to equip them to face other subjects in our school curriculum, giving them the confidence to further their education through higher learning,

The basic three “Rs” will also give them the confidence to pursue their future dreams and responsibilities. Although there are numerous other subjects stemming from the three “Rs,” just learning reading, writing and math will give our children a head start and a pathway to manage in society. Additional information may be found at:

Beverly Gibson is a Ferriday resident.