At the last edition of Meet the Emeritus, a monthly hangout for educators, organised by Edusko, Mr Alex Goma, Managing Director, Family Care SBU, PZ Cussons, was the special guest. He helped us gain some insights into how education prepares us for life.
Below are 6 nuggets gleaned from him at the hangout:
1. Verbal reasoning and numerical analysis are very important skills that should be learned from childhood.
It's not new to say that basic maths skills and ability to communicate verbally are necessary for problem solving even as adults; and these skills are best ingrained from early education. Sadly, lots of people didn't have a solid foundation at the grassroots education. That's because our school system (especially the public sector) is not something to pride in when it comes to solidly grounding children in these two all important angles - verbal reasoning and numerical analysis.
As adults, these incompetencies, one way or the other, affect their everyday life including business, personal relationships, etc.
It, therefore, behooves on parents to ensure that their wards get the best of these from early on. Something as 'little' as ensuring that your child is enrolled in a good school can mean the difference between him/her becoming truly successful or not in the future. That's what you get at Edusko. Parents who really care about their children's education are linked up with schools that deliver per excellence.
2. The educated person is not the one who knows facts about yesterday.
Clearly, active and dynamic knowledge is the hallmark of an educated individual. You need to understand and follow the pace at which the information age is moving so as not to be left behind; you can't get the best out of your education if you lag behind. We can't be in the Android era but you're still stuck with Java.
3. True education is not about being certificated but when your education helps you add practical value to your life and to society.
From experience, you and I know that there are lots of opportunities that won't even come your way if you don't have a degree or something similar. But the worst is when you still can't create value even with your academic qualifications.
That's why you need life skills to survive and thrive. Skills like effective communication, problem solving, collaborative abilities, critical thinking etc.
4. The world will not pay for your knowledge but how you use it.
This basically means that you're ineffective if all you have is knowledge but can't apply such knowledge to real life situations or problems. Fela Anikolapo Kuti said "Carpenter wey no know him work na swegbe" and "Doctor wey no sabi him work na pako". When applied in our education context, a gradaute who can't apply what he's learning (or has learned), is that one really a graduate?
Ask yourself, besides reading and passing very well on paper, what exactly can I actually do in a real work environment. Apart from brandishing your certificate, try to identify at least three things you can function superbly at.
5. Try to strike a balance between certificate and life skills.
We all know that not all graduates become successful entrepreneurs or employees. But it's a fact that most companies wouldn't even consider you eligible if you don't present a certificate - preferably a degree. This begs the question, if certification is not necessarily a success tool, how can an individual handle the desideratum of being a graduate before being considered for a job? Simply put; you need to understand the system in which you find yourself. While you develop your skills independent of certification, be conscious of the limitations of focusing solely on that and you should also realize that the environment favours having a certificate - so why don't you achieve both?
I've heard people say "person no need be graduate to make am" or "no be everybody wey go school dey succeed". My question is: What do you stand to lose if you acquire both your personal skills and a certificate? We can only hope that, someday, a change will come when companies will make room for skilled non graduates.
6. We need to create more opportunities for special needs graduates
Have you ever wondered what opportunities exist for the disadvantaged in our society? Well, this is one aspect the government and companies really need to look into. Truth is that these ones are not being included in the picture. "Disadvantaged" here means those with disabilities such as Downs', Dyslexia, etc. Government can make policies to protect these ones or ensure that a percentage of them gets slots in major companies. These companies can also do their part by including these "special talents" in their diversity outlook - even if this means doing it as a community service.
In conclusion, all hands must be on deck to ensure our kids are better prepared for future opportunities.
- Imoh Udoh Iniekpo
If you missed the July edition of the hangout, join us in August. Learn more HERE!