During a general philosophy class in my freshman year, the lecturer asked a question. The whole class was so noisy at first but when the import of the question hit home, you could gradually hear the silence ripple through the class of almost 500 students. The silence breezed through from the front seats where the question was really heard, to the middle and then the whole class. Then, in the graveyard silence, the philosopher reiterated his question: "Why Are You Here?"
It is a grim reality that most students do not know why they are in school, especially secondary school. When it comes to education, parents should note that it is like a building: Primary school equals the foundation, Secondary school is the walls/pillars while Tertiary education is the roofing. Each level is very important in the overall picture.
With this realization, it is necessary to state that there is a thread of cankerworm which eats through all these levels of education: NFA students. By NFA, we do not refer to the Nigeria Football Association but it means No Future Ambition. Sadly, unsuspecting diligent students do not realize the obnoxious effects NFA students can have on their academic life. To parents, how well do you know the calibre of students your wards spend time with? This article considers four composite signs with which to identify an NFA student.
1. Poor Reading Culture
Reading makes a human complete. NFAs view reading as serious waste of time. They just do not understand why they should sit down looking at a book for hours, even minutes. This is different from students who have a short reading/concentration span, rather, an NFA almost does not make any effort to read, not to mention understand. It is also different from the genius students who only have to put in little effort reading but thoroughly understand what they read. Even if they can read and understand, NFAs just do not want to read. Simple. Accordingly, they are found begging for assistance in examination hall.
2. Social Freak
There is almost no event in (or outside) school an NFA will miss; social events of course. Attending social events is not intrinsically bad, in fact, you will need some social distraction at some point in school to help you ease on the academic life. The problem is having a steadfast attitude towards social life: this inordinate zest is manifested in such things as partying, sitting out, missing classes to go have fun, overindulgence in after school activities, addiction to computer games, and the 21st century distraction - social media.
3. Ignoramus Nature
You would think that NFAs only lag behind academically but they are generally ignorant of a lot of common things. Sometimes, they do not even know their grades, examination dates, class schedules, names of their teachers, etc. They are not up to date on lots of current affairs.
4. Passing the Buck
NFAs are masterful at blaming others for their woes. Due to their lazy nature, they expectedly do not perform well academically. It is either their parents, friends, teachers or just about anyone else that makes them fail - never their fault. This lazy demeanor drives them away from any leadership role, they can not take blames. They are Machiavellian; not confident in themselves but wanting to manipulate others to favour themselves.
Obviously, each point is a few habits rolled up into one; they are not factors you determine at face value. It's a reminder not to judge a book by its cover; you can not just see NFA written on the forehead. As earlier stated, diligent students may not realize the potential damage such classmates can have on them. This is where it behoves on parents or guardians to pay keen attention to the children's academic life and environment. Enrolling kids in reputable schools where high standards of excellence are maintained is a fine way to start.
All in all, if you are a student, it is imperative you know that your reason for being in school is to shine a bright light into your future. Remember the philosophy lecturer? The import of his question was: Know why you are in school and act accordingly. After your school days, you will probably never see most of the people you now know in school; why allow the NFAs set you off on a bad course? Just know that each level of school is a once-in-a-lifetime experience; make the best of it by avoiding students who: have terribly poor reading culture, are social freaks, tend to know nothing about anything and do not take responsibility for anything.
Written by Imoh Udoh
Content Executive @EduskoAfrica
An excellent piece