The acquisition of knowledge, attitude, skills, values and attitudes is of utmost importance to the growth and development of an individual. This process contributes immensely to the overall progression and relevance of individuals to themselves and to the society. However, is the formal infrastructure or institution called school the only medium through which knowledge, skills, values and attitudes can be acquired?
Overtime, the formal infrastructure has been characterized as the sole institution to facilitate knowledge, values and beliefs by the society. The older generation has come to cherish this institution due to the limited access they had, hence, their determination to provide the younger generation with access to this institution which is highly commendable actually. However, the formal infrastructure they had access to isn’t the same as the present formal infrastructure.
The formal infrastructure of learning they had access to isn’t the same as the present day institution. I had the privilege of discussing this issue with a number of random individuals (engagements) and their opinions are shared below.
Education in Nigeria has transcended beyond the formal institution called school. We learn everyday through experiences, our interactions with other people, in our work place and most essentially through books, the mirror of life. However, when asked, “Why did you go to school”, the first response gotten from almost all of them was “I don’t know”.
Some of my engagements said that they went to school to get a degree they believe is necessary for that dream job whilst some claimed it was due to the society’s standard or expectations but then again, what is the society’s standard? And is the formal institution a prerequisite for success given the great number of witnesses like Mr. Maduka Cosmos?
Mr. Maduka Cosmos dropped out of school to become an apprentice where he learnt fundamental business skills and later became the founder of Coscharis Group; the sole distributor for BMW and Ford cars in Nigeria and most of West Africa. Also, Mr. Vincent Obianodo, a renowned vulcanizer in the Northern part of Nigeria, founded The Young Shall Grow Motors)
These guys attest to the fact that success is not a product of the formal institution, but then again, it is important to bear in mind that THIS IS NIGERIA…
It can be argued that schools give individuals the option of security i.e. getting a white collar job (a 9 – 5), but there are millions of people in this country with good degree without a job. I dare say then, that, schooling makes you employable and not employed.
It can also be argued that schools are the only medium of learning available in this part of the world but thanks to the emerging trends, we now have the option of being home tutored, professional trainings, internships, learning on YouTube and reading books.
All the individuals whose opinion was sought attested to the fact that the present formal institution (school) doesn’t prepare individuals for the reality of life. One even gave an example of how they were being taught computer languages that were in use a decade prior in 2013. What? ?.
Again, why are we still going to school? A young computer programmer stated that his school helped him with integration and relationships because one of his lecturers introduced him to programming. This is an essential part of living no doubt but again, there are other places where we get to form relationships like churches, mosques, social media, hangouts etc.
What then is the solution to this menace? Should school be scrapped or reformed? I remember growing up, I’m always elated at the thought of public holidays. But as one of my engagements opined, if a system isn’t working, the solution is not in the development of another system but the restructuring of the former system because chances are the reason behind the failure of the first system hasn’t been discovered yet.
In the light of this, schools should not be scrapped in its entirety but should be reformed i.e. the curriculum should be thoroughly revised to cater to the changing trends in the society.
In the developed world, students are taught with the real situations in almost every sector to encourage inclusive participation in the real world which will inadvertently spur innovative thinking that can solve real life challenges. Internships in every industry should be encouraged and inculcated in the curriculum to allow for exposure and practical knowledge.
Read also: WHY EDUCATION IS CONSIDERED TO BE A SCAM
Law, for example, doesn’t provide for internships except during the law school program but a large number of law students took the initiative of interning with various law firms at any available opportunity. This, in part, is due to the rather obscure knowledge they’re being taught and would rather learn the rudiments of the industry whilst in school in preparation for the outside world.
The habit of reading books should also be encouraged. Many people are of the opinion that the habit of reading is only meant for students but then leaders are readers right, youths are encouraged to join book clubs.
Some people are also of the opinion that the foundational educational institution i.e. the primary and secondary schools should be mandatory as it provides the basics, but then again, it’s curriculum should be revised nationwide.
However, not everyone desires a university degree or even wants to be employed, some would rather be in business. They prefer learning and developing a skill and then starting a company around it. Hence, they should rather be encouraged to go to a skill acquisition centre.
In this generation, individuals should be given the free will to choose to either get a degree or learn and develop skills. What’s the use of a university degree if you’re unemployed? The country needs to produce individuals who will provide jobs both in the formal and informal sector. Schools are not the primary or should not be the sole medium of Education. Let’s encourage diversity…