Education is the right weapon to empower the people and illuminate the society. As said by Malcolm X, “Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.”
The Importance Of Education
I grew in Uromi, Nigeria where I first understood the importance of education from early on and I have always loved to be around all that have to do with education and books. Even before I could understand, I already believed that there was something powerful about books and knowledge and I still do today. I have a lot of respect for those who make an investment in education.
Uche is a Nigerian who is currently living in the United States with his family and despite that, he has not forgotten his homeland and the right investment to make towards the future, in education. Being in the US with his family, he could have simply lived his life there but he did not and that is one of the things that really fascinated me about his school, “Collins America International Academy”, in Nigeria
“Every school has its own vision and purpose”, he told me in response to my question on his school’s vision and he continues, “We are there to develop the total child”.
I don’t know about you, but that sort of get my attention and my follow up questions were closely related to that.
Nigeria Has a Poor Educational System
Like many other things that have gone wrong in Nigeria, the country used to have a good educational system and a bright future too, if the post-independence infatuation should be referred to as such, but not anymore.
A lot of present generations of Nigerians have not only lost faith in the Nigerian political experiment, but also in their ability to affect a real change in the system. There is nowhere this is more evident than in the educational system, a section of the society that continues to pump out graduates, preferable number of people without the quality the system used to be known for.
That is why innovative educational projects like that of Uche are of urgent importance for Nigeria because there is no other alternative that preparing the children for a different kind of future. To borrow the words of Mr. Uche, “developing the total child”.
In my quest to better understand the powerful phrase, “developing the total child” by Mr. Uche, I asked him for an explanation and he told me that the Nigerian schools only develop the academy circle of the child and sometimes, some children are left behind.
Now, this is the thinking: many parents, though completely ignorant of where the world is heading and what the future market will demand of their children, they think they know what their children should become and therefore what they should study in school.
Well, that thinking may have been relevant in the past, but not anymore. It’s now an old judgment because the reality of today demands that children become more innovative if they want to survive the challenges of the 21-century economy, which is in a continuous transformation.
Every now and then, new forms of technologies crop up and the ones we have known until yesterday become obsolete in our very eyes. New and different kinds of industries are coming up and the old ones we used to know are disappearing?
Do you remember the old VHS cassette? What about the CD/DVD? Video and other multimedia contents are now consumed through online streaming, with YouTube and Netflix as the two dominant players in the industry. This is the nature of our current economy and as the old saying goes, the market place now has a new rule: “you either innovate or you die”.
So, we evidently cannot rely on the current model of public education in Nigeria, a rather obsolete system that cannot serve the need of the current economy.
Surely, education is the key but a different kind of education and few Nigerians, like Mr. Uche Idubisi are showing the way to go for a different kind of future.
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