The Right to Education!
The IYSSE believes that a free and quality education is a basic social right of all people. We call for billions to be allocated to fund the public education system. We demand that the universities be turned into intellectual centers dedicated to the advancement of society as a whole, not think tanks for the ruling class and military establishments of each country.
All discussion of equality in a society where access to education is largely determined by income is a fraud. A public works program must include a plan to hire tens of thousands of teachers and staff at quality wages and benefits, reduce class sizes, repair older schools and build new ones, and equip all schools with the most up-to-date books and learning technology. Higher education, including continuing education for adult workers, is a necessity in modern society and must be guaranteed to all free of charge.
The the United States more than $1.45 trillion is owed in student loans by about 44 million people. That’s $620 billion more than the total U.S. credit card debt. The average Class of 2016 graduate has $37,172 in student loan debt a 70 percent increase from just 10 years ago. These figures correlate with the rising cost of tuition, up $2,790 on average at public four-year colleges over the last decade, and $7,100 on average at private nonprofit four-year institutions.
Thousands demonstrate against run-down of the education system across Germany
The combined wealth of those on Forbes’ billionaires list rose 18 percent in 2016, to $7.67 trillion, enough to foot the total student debt bill in the US nearly six times over.
An 18-year-old working class youth, upon high school graduation, is left with two options: attend university and take on massive amounts of student debt, accepting the risk of living through four years of food insecurity and even homelessness, or, enter the job market where the unemployment rate among youth is at 10.4 percent and the majority of the jobs available pay no more than minimum wage. Alternatively, some choose to enter the military, an even deadlier risk, as a way of paying for an education.
The psychological effect that accompanies living with the burden of thousands of dollars of debt is incalculable. Even the fear of being unable to earn a liveable income after graduation compels students to discard any aspirations of a career in fields such as art, music, film and the humanities. All critical questions of social life become subordinate to the looming cloud of student debt.
These conditions, created by the failure of the capitalist system, are crippling the development of an entire generation. The rising student debt crisis is just one of many indices that reveal the dire state of this generation.