Is Education a Scam?

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“Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.”

-John Dewey

Most people believe the term “education” only applies to the four walls of a school. We fail to realise that it goes beyond schooling as education involves knowledge-sharing or learning which we gain one way or the other with or without schooling.

In my opinion, Education is the ability to face new challenges daily and develop new techniques to conquer them. It is the ability to solve real-times problems with what you know, irregardless of the state of things around you.

Although, the meaning of education in Nigeria has becomes adulterated due to changes in societal values, low government investment/interest in education and a shift in paradigm.

According to reports from a convocation ceremony in a renowned university in Nigeria,one of the executives from a foreign University in his closing remark requested for the Students on 3rd class and Pass downwards and told the university he would retrain these students within 4 years. He was quite certain they would shock the world mightily. And that they did, just like the man said. They were enrolled into a foreign University and they all clinched perfect CGPAs.

It is therefore little or no wonder to hear tales of average Nigerian students doing excellently well when they travel overseas. As a friend of mine once said “In Nigeria at the age of 6, we are taught to look for x and y,whereas our mates abroad & overseas are taught ways to improve themselves and their immediate environment “, and this is the simple truth.

So no, Education is not a scam, Schooling(the educational system) is.

The educational system in Nigeria is, in one word, a repetition of a cycle. No change in the aspects of teaching or learning. A lecturer will sit you down and say “What I am teaching you now is what I was also taught in the year 1979” and the year is 2018!.

Schooling in Nigeria is an encyclopedia of stress – an unbefitting environment to learn. In fact the Nigerian definition of education has lost its essence. There’s a vast difference between putting in efforts and being stressed to the point of malady.

“Education is not just about going to school and getting a degree. It’s about widening your knowledge and absorbing the truth about life”.
– Shakuntala Devi

It is a truism that most of us are in school because our parents sent us to school not because we choose to be here. This is because the mentality of the average Nigerian Parents is “without school we can’t be a person of substance”. Most of us don’t even know what we want to study. Our parents choose them for us.

Studies of the school and its graduates show that the normal, average students become educated through their own volition and exploration, without adult supervision or prodding, and go on to become fulfilled, effective members of the society. Instead of providing direction and prodding, the school is meant to provide a rich setting within which to play, explore, and experience democracy first hand; and should do that at lower expense and with less trouble for all involved.

Schooling as it exists today, only makes sense if we view it from a historical perspective. According to research,it was shown that for hundreds of thousands of years, children educated themselves through self-directed play and exploration. In Nigeria after we had completed the two main stages of education , our teachers tell us a “truthful lie” which states that “after you do well to perform excellently in your WAEC, all is well with the world”. Whereas Tertiary/university is a struggle on its own, an institution made for stress.

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An average Nigerian that believes education to be completing the three tiers of schooling will ask:Is he/she educated?(Meaning did he/she finish schooling). These are the same people who believe that if one does not know how to speak proper English, then one is not truly educated. Whereas there are so many people out there who can speak perfect Queen’s English but don’t have a single problem-solving idea in their brain, and that is not what our society needs.

Our society needs thinkers, problem-solvers and innovators. Its never too late to find that purpose to which you are bound to. To ignite that fire of passion that lives within you. Begin a journey of self rediscovery today before it seems unattainable. Become what society needs.

The goal of education is not to increase the amount of knowledge but to create the possibilities for a child to invent and discover, to create men who are capable of doing new things, as Jane Pieget succintly said:

” The principle goal of education in the schools should be to create men and women who are capable of doing new things, not simply repeating what other generations have done.”

By:Tobi-Makinde Melody and Ojuolape Toheeb.

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