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Educate yourself and enjoy a better life

So I'm done with xenophobia. It's passé. Played out. Moving now to education. I've often said that education is the solution to most of the problems we have in our society. Statistics show that the higher one's education level the less likely they are to engage in crime, antisocial behaviour, premature pregnancy, etc, etc. Last week I happened upon a study by the US Census Bureau, which concludes that education is the biggest factor in determining earnings. More on this after the top 20.

Still at #1 is

Good Feeling by Florida, the same song as Levels by Avicii, a monster dance track. Halting its advance at #2 is

Ni**as in Paris by Jay Z featuring Kanye West. I know, I don't like the words either.

Jumping to #3 is

Turn Me On by David Guetta featuring Nicki Minaj, a monster dance hit which is tearing up charts worldwide. This track has some powerful and catchy lyrics and a big beat, a signature of David Guetta. Falling to #4 is

The One That Got Away by Katy Perry. Falling to #5 is

We Found Love by Rihanna featuring Calvin Harris.

Improving to #6 is

Rack City by Tyga, a former essential new tune. Improving to #7 it's

Hangover by Taio Cruz featuring Florida. Up to #8 is

Dance (A$$) by Big Sean featuring Nicki Minaj. Falling to #9 is

Rain Over Me, by Marc Anthony and Pitbull.

Shifting gears back to dance music, climbing to #10 is

Hotel Nacional by the original Latina diva, Gloria Estefan. Slipping to #11 is

Without You by David Guetta featuring Usher.

Improving to #12 is

Someone Like You by Adele. A former essential new tune,

International Love by Pitbull featuring Chris Brown, improves to #13. Falling to #14 is

Sexy And I Know It by LMFAO.

Back up to #15 is

Love On Top by Beyonce. Improving to #16 is

The Motto by Drake featuring L'il Wayne. Slipping to #17 is

Mr Saxobeat by Alexandra Stan, which has had a good run in the charts. Down to #18 is

Lotus Flower Bomb by Wale featuring Miguel.

Up to #19 is last week's essential new tune,

Stronger, by Kelly Clarkson. She was one of the first artists to enjoy success as a result of being on American Idol and has been consistent for the past few years. Tumbling to #20 is

Moves Like Jagger by Maroon 5 featuring Christina Aguilera

Now back to this week's topic: Education being the biggest factor in determining earnings. Don't get it twisted; earnings and money are not everything but let's be real, you need a bit of cash to get by in this world.

Education affects earnings more than any other demographic factor, a US Census Bureau study found. The study, released recently, looked at earnings over a 40-year career and found education had a greater impact than other factors including gender, race, citizenship, English-speaking ability and geographic location. Those with a professional degree could expect median annual earnings of about $72,000, compared with $13,000 for those with an eighth-grade education, the study said.

“This analysis shows that there is a clear and well-defined relationship between education and earnings,” Tiffany Julian, an analyst in the Census Bureau's Housing and Household Economic Statistics Division, said in a news release. Among other findings, based on median annual earnings estimates:

l White males had higher earnings than any other group at every education level except master's degrees, for which Asian males had the highest;

l A white female with a master's degree is expected to earn $2.4 million over a 40-year work life, compared with $2.8 million for a Hispanic male with a master's;

l Asian men and women with a bachelor's degree reaped greater returns from their education than blacks or Hispanics of either gender.

Now critics chill and slow your role. Again, don't shoot the messenger! Yes, the survey was based in America but if you think the same rules don't apply in Bermuda you're dreaming.

The moral of the story is that if you want to be able to earn enough money to feed, clothe, house and educate your family and loved ones you have to maximise your education. It really is as simple as that.

Many people without much in the way of formal education have major issues with this. Well, go get an education! Get a GED, take a course the Department of Labour and Training offers free courses. It's never too late.

I detest the notion that an employer should pay for staff to take courses to better themselves. Here we go again developing a sense of entitlement. Everybody is responsible for their own career. Those who take responsibility for their own career take courses, do professional development usually perform better and advance in organisations. Those who don't and who wait for the company to suggest training or courses and for the company to pay for these courses usually are lesser performers and usually don't advance.

It's up to the employer; they can do it or they can refuse to do it. During good times, and when companies are making profit, most employers are inclined to invest in employee training but, right or wrong, when profits drop or losses begin to appear on the books, training and professional development is usually one of the first expenses to be cut.

Some employers expect people to come in with certain skill sets and if you don't have them you won't be eligible for certain jobs. All employers expect people to have the basic skills of reading, writing and arithmetic at a high school level of proficiency.

Don't get caught up in the statistic that even with a degree, blacks earn less than whites. We will always have to work at that and still have much work to do on it. But in the meantime, we should all use our best efforts to take as many courses, professional development opportunities and training that we can find. Many times free courses are offered online. For those who don't have a computer or access to the internet, the library, post offices and a few other places offer free internet access. Restating the statistic will not address the problem. Action and time will.

My final comment on education is to congratulate Dame Jennifer Smith and the Ministry of Education on what's happening with education. We don't hear too much about education in the news these days because the word on the street is that things are improving. I've learned in Bermuda that not being in the news too often means things are okay. She is using a logical approach to the challenges with education and help seems to be on the way. I believe that things will improve.

We should congratulate CedarBridge and the Berkeley Institute on their recent successes and for holding their own against the private schools in various instances. This is proof that a child can learn in any structure as long as there is the appropriate support and assistance at home. More than anything, that has been the biggest problem with our education system lack of parental or guardian support; with kids being left to their own devices, unsupervised, with no rules, discipline, structure or order in their lives.

You cannot expect the Government, teachers and the 'system' to educate and raise your child whilst you do nothing. Former National Security Minister David Burch used to say that 'the Government wasn't in the bedroom when the children were being made' and he is right. The Government is doing its part. Parents and the 'village' need to step it up, take control of the village and all the kids in the village; and cause our kids to get the best education that they can possibly obtain. Peace ...….DJLT.

FILE - In this Jan. 19, 2012 file photo, Jay-Z attends the grand re-opening of his 40/40 Club, in New York. Jay-Z will kick off the South By Southwest festival with a performance on Monday, March 12, in Austin, Texas. (AP Photo/Charles Sykes, file)

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Published March 16, 2012 at 2:00 am (Updated March 16, 2012 at 9:24 am)

Educate yourself and enjoy a better life

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