Dealing with the topic 'The stand of education to success'. I wouldn't want to define what education is. Since it's definition varies depending on when, how and where it's been used.
Whenever I ponder on this 'Education As A Scam' notion, I do remember an incidence that happened when I just got into the university, in my 200 level second semester, I usually read at civil engineering department. During that period, their faculty do host a science exhibition program called EPEX.
One of the competitors was always at the block I do study during the night, designing a mini robot he named mexobot. He hardly sleeps,when most of us were asleep he'll still be with the model he was designing, I was amazed at his innovative idea and brilliancy .
On the day of the final competition I saw many innovations, a girl from another University even built an anti-kidnapping bag. Finally, the boy won the competition and claimed the prize of 150K. We were all happy for him and hailing him for the stress and his successful sleepless nights.
Later that night when I got home, my hostel people were all noisy and shouting. It was coincidentally the day BB naija was completed and the winner got away with about 40 million. I was surprised and wondered what they do in BB naija that someone would be giving 40 million.
After finding out I was dissapointed. I sat down and thought, why would anyone want to go through the stress of thinking, spending lots of money on materials and many other things and win 150k, when you can just partake in a show, do some stuffs and win about 40 million. Why would people not think education and your certificate is useless ???
It was saddening and heartbreaking, within seconds I wondered, "wait a minute, Is my education a scam?" should I start to sing, dance or get popular rather than study to have A's which on the long run may look useless". I asked again, "Is education really a scam?"
Now, most of us are used to the slang or term "book na scam" that many people use. Actually, many students ask themselves "is this my education even useful??", "Do I have to study hard to be successful?, most student's have come to the conclusion that they don't really need their certificate to be successful. And funny enough, even some motivational speakers nowadays will say school is a waste of time.
Well, I wouldn't blame them, since myriads of factors have contributed to this, of which are:
(1) THE NIGERIAN SCHOOL SYSTEM
Education in Nigeria has gone through a rapid revolution. Gone are those days when your education can define your status in your family or even town. The Nigerian school system has become so terrible, they sometimes portray what is contrary out there. Schools have made us foolishly believe your success depends on your grades.
The school system is now so competitive, that it has also been politicized. How will you explain how a child who scores about 180 in jamb is given admission with preferred course, and the one who scores above 200 is denied admission. It has become worse that getting admission depends well on your "connection", how well you or your parents know people.
Since there are no jobs, we have been made to believe that you have to study medicine, engineering or law to make it through education. And thus, when you ask students what they want to study, they chant medicine, engineering or law. Therefore, those studying other courses especially courses like mathematics, don't have a glimpse of what they want to use it for.
Another factor is the people's attitude towards education. Nowadays, people especially students don't value education. We ourselves have made education look useless. We seem to be so interested in other things other than education and propagate them. Youngsters nowadays are so engrossed with the latest songs, latest movie, latest celebrity, latest show, latest fashion and so on. But when it comes to education, they scroll away.
Humorously, if you use some people's likes on social media as grades, it is enough for them to graduate with 5.0. Where the level of yahoo guys have increased in folds. Many are not ready to learn, when you ask, they begin to narrate stories of those successful without education, and give excuses like the economy.
Sometimes you hear "lemme sha just pass and graduate, it's kukuma not useful". We've lost the value of education, we will rather be interested in watching entertainment shows for hours than a science exhibition program in which the media itself is not helping.
Imagine, a dance or music show will be shown live every week and the winner will be compensated with prizes ranging from 10 to 150 million naira with cars, and will still be publicized in different magazine and newspapers. While best graduating students are rewarded with ridiculous prizes. There are hundreds of entertainment news sites, but I can count the number of educational news sites, which are not even functioning well.
The winner of BB naija will be headline in different news and news papers, but best graduating students will not be seen in any part of the news or newspapers. Many students don't even know there are many scholarship opportunities that can help in education. Why? This is because media never displays them.
News of celebrities doing this and that, but inventions of Nigerians will never be seen. They seem to propagate politics, sports and entertainment and many youths have resolve to entertainment simply because media have portray celebrities as the successful ones.
(3) THE NIGERIA ECONOMY
This is in fact the biggest and by far the largest factor, from the non yielding government to the corrupt individuals. Everything in Nigeria have been politicized. You can't get a well to do job without you or your family knowing someone who knows someone who knows someone.
Getting a good job now is not by your degree or certificate, but your "connection", and graduates been exploited. With few jobs and thousands of graduates yearly, the problem is like filling a bag of rice into few cups. It's definitely impossible.
Unemployment smells everywhere like the smell of drugs in a hospital, with graduates and no jobs. And even the best students can't beat their chest that they'll get job once they graduate. This alone discourages students.
Many students have lost hope in education, since there are many sad stories of graduates. Most graduates don't end up working with what they studied in school. I've seen someone who studied petroleum engineering and ended up a banker.
The only guaranteed job I know for graduates is teaching. Teaching and been paid about 15 to 20 thousand naira. It is worse to the extent that you'll never see any graduate say "don't worry it's easy when you face your studies"
The definition of education has been misconstrued. We believe formal education is by sitting in the four walls of a classroom and a lecturer teaching you. No, if that is education we should all be computers.
What really is education, is what you've gained, what you've experienced, and what you've learnt. Not just books, but what has been instilled in you during your 4, 5 or 6 years in school.
Many employers don't really care about the number of theorems you've memorized. But what you've learned, what you know. Many graduates and undergraduates ask themselves pessimistic questions like "is my education useful?", "isn't this a waste of time?", which on the long run makes the education useless.
As graduates or undergraduates, we are supposed to ask ourselves "How can I be successful with my education".
Questions like this will definitely build an innovative mind, rather than a depressed or detached mind.
So Now, how can education be a link to success?
To be continued in the next post, Is Education really A Scam 2.0.
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