Obama’s education speech suggests bleak future for nation

October 9, 2009 — by Arnav Dugar

President Obama’s speech on education raises grave concern about the direction in which this country is headed. If the president, of all people, has to try to convince students of the necessity education plays in life, this country has little hope for success.

Obama addressed students on Sept. 8 concerning the need for education, giving examples from his life and students persevered despite hardships, but he said nothing earth shattering. Conservatives worried he might engage in “liberal brainwashing,” but he merely stuck to a non-political, pro-education script.

The more troubling aspect of this speech is what it said about our country. Are the parents so incompetent that they cannot inform their children to the point that Obama needs to do it himself? Or are the parents wanting their children to run around in the street that the president needs to say otherwise?

Many students’ motivation to learn must be in such a dire situation that the president has to set aside the economic crisis and the war in Afghanistan to tell students what they already should know. Giving pep-talks to students about education should not be a part of the president’s job description, and the U.S. did not elect Obama to do so.

Sadly, Obama’s speech is not going to have any major impact. Most students already know the importance of education in 21st century life. The person who invents the next iPhone, as Obama put it, is not going to look back at his or her life and say, “Oh, that speech Obama gave really helped me get where I am today.”

And for those exceptions who do not know how to take advantage of the free education, any speech, no matter how well stated, will not change their view on education.

However, there is one lesson students could take from his speech. The speech was a perfect example for any communications lesson. Obama’s oratory skills were phenomenal with several eloquently phrased poignant examples. Still, the time invested to convey the intended message does not justify its purpose, even if it may have a slight impact.

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