by Emmanuel Chidiogo
”In this day and age, it’s what you do with your knowledge that stands out; not the certificates you accumulate and hang on your wall.”
Did you ever come across those complex things called equations? If you never did, count yourself lucky. We all (mostly science students) encountered some frustrating moments (mathematics without application) in school, which made us ask one realistic question; “At what point in life will I get to use this knowledge?”
I remember a lecturer of mine telling us that some of these math lessons were used in constructing bridges. Well, I never did agree because I was pretty sure that Julius Berger didn’t write any mathematical formula for the Eko Bridge, neither was any written for the Third Mainland Bridge. If they did, please I would like to know.
Besides students going through lectures that might add nothing to their lives, the educational system which was designed to groom and enlighten the already gifted minds of humans, has fallen short of its purpose in Nigeria.
Although, some might dispute the fact stated above, with an argument that it depends on the choice of institution; still, testimonies from highly rated institutions in the country show this, no need for further ado.
Educating the mind is an essential part of human life that distinguishes a literate from an illiterate. But school is not the only place to learn, although it is most preferred and referred. In Nigeria, crises experienced by students in the educational system might just be the reason why none of our academic institutions are ranked among the world’s top 500 universities.
Just to mention a few of these problems- ‘I get leg’ (you don’t need brilliance to gain admission or pass examinations); special centres (only for those who know their way), ‘Money talks, bullshit walks’ (if you don’t have money please stay at home, education is not for the poor).
These unfair acts have become a routine at almost every level of learning, including primary education, sadly. Most times I’ve asked students (University/College) why they picked their course of study, and 80% answers depicted that they were in school just for the certificate, with an uncertainty for the future.
“I don’t know. It’s all about the certificate. Just get the paper and hustle after school,” a student said. Well, its difficult faulting the student’s statement as we see graduates who studied Biology or Botany working in our banks.
If most students don’t have an idea of what they are doing in school, then what exactly is happening at the Universities?
Below are the laments of some students in the University based on their everyday experiences (for some reasons I decided not to mention the name of the school and the student’s name);
–”I am a 300 level computer science student and we are barely allowed to touch a computer or use the computer laboratory. I owe myself the duty of self-development.”
–”Classrooms are most times over populated and not even conducive for fishes in a tin of sardine. Not to mention the ever shrieking asthmatic engine generator that generates much smoke, leaving you at a point of lethargy.”
–”Some lecturers just come to class, give you a handbook and disappear until examination day. It’s all left to us to study. The handbooks are a compulsory buy if you want to graduate at the stipulated time.”
–”I am tired of school. Some lecturers just give students outrageous projects to work on. One of my friends was asked to build an ATM machine.”
Against all the odds, youths still strive to be enlightened outside the four walls of a school. Why? It’s not like their future is determined by school. Yes, it isn’t; neither are they guaranteed jobs at graduation or a life worth craving for in a country where almost nothing is working except chaos and corruption.
It must be said that success is not entirely associated with your educational level as many have made it big in life without graduating from college; the likes of William Henry “Bill” Gates III, Mark Zuckerberg, Tuface Idibia, Johnny Depp, late Steve Jobs, Albert Einstein, Cosmos Maduka (Coscharis group), Colonel Sanders (KFC), Mary Kay Ash (Mary Kay cosmetics), Orji Uzor Kalu etc.
The above mentioned influential persons may later have gone back to school to complete their education, but that was after attaining success; it can as well be said that it was to fulfil all righteousness and societal dictum.
“I have nothing against education. But at times, education gives people false confidence. It makes people relax, trusting in the power of their certificates rather than in working hard.” – Rasaq Okoya (Eleganza Plaza)
Every human has a gift in which success is embedded. With school or without school, with God and the right people, success is guaranteed. In this day and age, it’s what you do with your knowledge that stands out; not the certificates you accumulate and hang on your wall.
“School is not the true test of success. However, educating your mind is essential.”
Emmanuel Chidiogo is a Social Media Strategist/ Manager, Writer, Blogger, Online PR Strategist, Closet Actor and a lover of the theatre. Twitter: @empexy