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Nigeria as a country is a nation well steeped in beliefs. Moving from the Hausas in the north who are
predominantly Muslims to the Igbos in the east who are predominantly christains to the Yorubas in the
southwest who are mixture of all beliefs including the traditional ones. Looking at this, one realizes that
it is impossible for these beliefs not to penetrate and pervade our lives and this they have done.
Education is perceived as a base necessity in this country almost in the league of food clothing and
others. As such, there are some preconceived notions and preset beliefs which everybody assumes
about education and which may or may not be true. Some of these beliefs are outlined below.
First off, education is considered as the surest means of being successful in life. It is believed by most
people especially the elder generation that anybody without a sound educational background cannot be
successful in life. This used to be true in a nation where the population was not yet overwhelming,
where the leaders were still interested in the welfare of the populace, where having a university degree
meant getting a job fast. As all these are no longer true today, it stands to reason that the belief no
longer holds. And the earlier people realize this and start looking for the best alternatives, the better it
will be for everyone.
Next up is the belief that education guarantees common sense. This might sound funny or clichéd but
believe me, its something everyone believes at some level. We all believe that once a person is
educated, such a person should be capable of rational thinking. This is so not true. Education, especially
the form of it being studied in Nigeria focuses on the dissemination of facts and solid knowledge and not
what to think( although there are some parts of it that deal with that), and has in several occasions done
the exact of opposite of the above and drove people to act irrationally. Besides some people are just
plain stupid and education can’t change that. So the next time you see an educated person acting
irrationally, don’t tell him “but you are educated na” as our mums and dads say. His education has
nothing to do with his behavior.
Third on the list is the belief that education, especially higher level education in specialised studies is
for everyone. To credit Nigerians though, a lot of people are becoming disillusioned about this.
However, enough people still believe in it to make it worth mentioning. It would be a waste of time and
frankly, writing space, to start mentioning names of people who have succeeded enormously in ways
that do not require education. So to just say it, it is plain clear that everybody is born different and with
different talents, and forcing oneself or a person to pursue specialised studies when he has neither the
zeal nor the aptitude for it is a waste of time and talent that could have been put to real better use.
Unfortunately, a lot of people still hold to this belief and many a parent have changed their kids’ life in a
way not necessarily for good by insisting on education for them when they have talents in other ways.
The fourth belief is the belief that an educated person has a better chance of being successful than
an uneducated person. This is indeed true. Being educated in this country increases your chances of
success significantly and the uneducated people who succeed are the exception rather than the rule.
Last up on the list is the belief that only education can save this country and take it to better places.
This is indeed very true and while everybody cannot specialize in education, all should have a certain
degree of education to be able to contribute to the development of the nation. Complete ignorance is
no longer acceptable..
In summary, while education is not the only way, it is certainly a very important way. Education is a
very diverse pursuit and all forms and types of it should be explored and harnessed to lift this country
out of the more of decadence it is currently sitting in. The harmful beliefs should be done away with and
the good ones cultivated to lend more energy to the efforts to save the nation.
“Surely this is a good enough cause for you, if only you knew.”