Several months ago a press release was sent to the Rafu Shimpo office indicating that the Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent John Deasy’s proposal was to eliminate adult education in Los Angeles beginning in the 2012-13 school year. There was also a massive exhibition of LAUSD adult education supporters on Feb. 14 in downtown Los Angeles, which I witnessed.
Why is it that whenever the economic situation is threatening, education and everything pertaining to it such as teachers, classroom classes, etc., seem to be the first ones “to go” or eliminating thoughts come to mind?
At the Rafu Shimpo office, we receive some letters, articles and Vox Populi that have poor grammar, incorrect punctuation, and “doesn’t make sense” sentences to the point where I really want to cry. I say to myself, “If only these people would take an adult education class in English, they would improve themselves to a great extent.”
Attending adult education classes opens up new horizons and becomes a challenge and a “stick-to-it” purpose in life. Life becomes more meaningful and more responsible. One may want to learn a new language such as Italian, Japanese or Spanish, etc. One may learn a new hobby such as photography or something else of interest. Adult education stimulates the mind and keeps the body active, and it doesn’t give way to becoming bored.
By attending adult education classes, one can meet new friends and some eventually become like family. I have met such friends by attending evening adult education classes.
Adult education should never be eliminated under any circumstances. I firmly believe that people who are in the upper echelon of society and/or community are the ones who really need to become more humane and become aware of the less fortunate. Without adult education, there would be no means of obtaining resources for adults to better themselves. I realize, too, that it is up to the individual to choose to attend or not attend adult classes, but isn’t it wonderful to have that choice?
I am a product of adult education. I would not have had the privilege or opportunity to obtain my college degree in English or an Adult Education Teaching Credential at age 57 were it not for adult education. I thank God for these accomplishments and the Los Angeles Unified School District’s adult education system. Meow.
Maggie Ishino is a Rafu typist. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of The Rafu Shimpo.