Social mobility, education and me.
We hear so much about social mobility and education, although I can honestly say I haven’t seen evidence of it amounting to much in practice.
More often than not, someone in a position of power or influence is seen on the TV, or quoted in the press, as having ideas about making life fairer. And yet, what does this translate to in reality?
What does social mobility even mean?
The movement across social strata? Or access to opportunity for all, regardless of perceived or actual demographic?
For me, there are several elements that I see with clarity:
- As someone who has transitioned social strata, I believe everyone who is prepared to work for it should have the same opportunity
- If we don’t make the tools available, how are they to be utilised to kick-start one’s journey? Or maybe that’s the point!
- Education is the bedrock of social mobility for all but the lucky few who break through by happenchance
- Everyone who is in a position to help, should do so
It’s that last point where I think the wheels fall off for many. Social mobility’s a great idea when discussed in the abstract. Politicians and social commentators all talk in terms of ‘we’ when it comes to making things happen and to elicit change.
Who are these ‘we’ of which they speak?
Why of course, it can only be me and thee. That’s right: Us.
We are the ‘we’ to whom they refer. If we don’t each do our bit, who will? The government? The reality is they have other battles to fight on many fronts. Such as paying for today, and not worrying about who will be paying for tomorrow.
It is with this in mind that I have chosen to do my bit and to play my part. I am but one man, however there is one place I know I can make a difference. I am making education as accessible as possible. There are so many children whose parents don’t see the latent potential that lies within them.
Who knows where the next generation of great minds can come from? Can we unearth the next technological innovator who will lead us to a brave new world, taking over the likes of Elon Musk? Or the next Edison, Einstein or Hawking?
If you boil it down to a numbers game, the genii of the future may be at risk of being overlooked, of not being given a chance to shine. All because of a lack of opportunity or a misguided perception.
As I write this article, I am in the process of writing to local schools, offering ‘Lunch and Learn’ sessions, where I can help bring Maths and Science to life. To show it as more than numbers and formulae, and to show applications in the real world.
I hope to inspire, to draw interest and questions and to show what can be possible. To be able to demonstrate the options one has when one has the knowledge and qualifications, and what doors can be opened. To show that there’s a path to follow and help along the way.
I learned at an early age that life isn’t fair. But I think it could be fairer, don’t you?
I’m doing my bit and will continue to do so.
Who’s with me?