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5 Stereotyped Beliefs Of The Average Nigerian About Education
1 Jun 2017

5 Stereotyped Beliefs Of The Average Nigerian About Education


Nigeria as a country is a nation well steeped in beliefs. Moving from the Hausas in the north who are

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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

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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.

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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.”

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