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Schooling Is Not Education (Part 2)


Schooling Is Not Education (Part 2)


The real tragedy of the school system is that academic excellence is everything but Life requires much more than your ability to understand a concept, memorize it and reproduce it in an exam.  From childhood, we are programmed to believe that by scoring higher marks we’ll have a brighter future and more likely to be successful. Many of us got up to the rude awakening that mere academic excellence does not necessarily guarantee success or wealth.

Never limit yourself to the classroom. Continue to learn and work on yourself.  Never stop learning just because you graduated from school with a certificate. There are many types of intelligence – like skills, talents, and informal education. Life doesn’t respect certificates. Fortune lies in self-education. While school rewards people for their caution and ability to memorize, life rewards people for their imagination, creativity and daring. Intelligence and excellence in life goes beyond your ability to provide cut and paste answers.

As Prof. Abletor Sedofia rightly puts it “Academic excellence is overrated. Being top of your class does not necessarily guarantee that you will be at the top of life. You could graduate as the best student in Finance but it doesn’t mean you will make more money than everybody else. The best graduating Law student does not necessarily become the best lawyers in the real world.  School hails those who live by the rules. Life celebrate those who break the rules and set new ones”

The school system creates entitlement and promote lazy thinking.  When people are in school, they are entitle to all sorts of allowances, either from family members, the government or whatever institution is sponsoring them. They have text books allowance, food allowance, clothing allowance, entertainment allowance, airtime allowance, emergency allowances, medical allowances and even dating allowance. All these are good but there are no allowances in the real world. Allowances offer comfort and shield the mind from creative thinking. Graduates find it hard to cope in the real world once they’ve completed their courses because there are no allowances. Some students scheme devious means to keep the allowance juice flowing while others go back to school for a 2nd or 3rd Degree. They’ll rather stay in school and have allowances than face the real world that’s demanding them to work for their own food.

Am I discouraging people from having allowances or achieving highest marks?  Certainly not, you definitely should score with distinctions.  But don’t sacrifice every other thing on the altar of your certificates. Don’t limit yourself to the classroom. Do something that makes your heart tick. Do something practical. Join a club or start a club, take a leadership position, start a business even if it fails, enter a contest even if you lose, write a book or an article about a subject close to your heart, learn new skills. You can try designing, try arts, try politics, try farming – try new things. Break rules. Be disruptive and innovative.

Starting a business or doing practical things will teach you more about life and yourself much more than any business school could ever teach you. The best certificate you have is your brain. Use it to create your own reality. Think less of becoming an excellent student but think more of becoming an excellent person. No matter what you major in at the university, there will always be lessons that can only be learned in the University of Life. If learn new skills and try new things even while still in a formal school, you’ll be more than well-prepared for the world outside of college. Money grows on creativity and skills not on tress.

In an era where machines are employable, it goes without saying that the school system is outdated and in urgent need of refurbishment. Graduates have a responsibility to be innovative, creative, and self-reliant. Graduates should be globally and digitally oriented with the mindset to solve problems, contribute to the economy and create their own work. We need new systems of learning for both what to learn, how to learn, how to think creatively and how to prepare for the world that’s fast changing.

– Nicky Verd

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