Monday, August 27, 2012

Education Can Make People Happier

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. findings (n.) [fahyn-ding] – information gained from the result of a research study

Example: The findings of the study show that Filipinos are one of the happiest people in the world.

2. well-being (n.) [wel-bee-ing] – being in a healthy, happy, and comfortable condition

Example: It is the government’s job to ensure the general well-being of the people.

3. worthwhile (adj.)  [wurth-hwahyl, -wahyl– having value or importance to somebody

Example: Many office workers feel stuck in jobs that they do not think are worthwhile.

4. degree (n.) [dih-gree] – something a person receives upon graduation or completion of a university course

Example: The job required a person with a degree in marketing or business management.

5. twofold (adj.) [too-fohld] – two times as much as something; double

Example: The company reported a twofold increase, from 10% to 20%, in its income.

Read the text below.

Findings from a recent survey conducted by the UK’s Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that education can affect people’s well-being.

According to the report, people who have reached higher levels of education feel more satisfied with their lives. Educated people are also more likely to view their activities as worthwhile.

Researchers involved in the study say that although the findings show that educated people seem happier than less educated people, this does not mean education directly causes happiness. Other factors affect people’s well-being, such as their job, income level, age, and health status.

The figures in the study also reveal that there are now more educated people in the UK than before. The number of uneducated people has gone down, from 27% in 1993, to just 11% in 2011. On the other hand, the number of people with a degree has increased more than twofold, from 11% to 24%.

Among those people with higher education, 81% rated their happiness level as 7 out of 10 or higher. About 85% of highly educated people also said they believed what they were doing was worthwhile.

In contrast, only 64% of people with no educational qualifications gave their happiness level a score of 7 out of 10 or higher.

The study was done by the ONS as part of Prime Minister David Cameron’s £2-million project that aims to measure the nation’s happiness. The prime minister says the  project will help the government create better policies, as well as measure how the policies can impact people’s well-being.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A 

  • Do you agree that education plays a big role in a person’s happiness? Why or why not?
  • Why is it important for the government to measure the happiness of the people? How can knowing the data help regular citizens?

Discussion B

  • Do you believe people in your country are generally happy or generally sad? Why do you think they feel that way?
  • What things in life do you think would make a person truly happy?

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