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Nigerian Education Today: Useful Or Obsolete?
2 May 2017

Nigerian Education Today: Useful Or Obsolete?

Nelson Mandela in one of his popular quotes said education is the most powerful weapon which one

can use to change the world. How true is this? How feasible could this be?

Education may be defined as the systematic way of gaining knowledge and skills through studies and instructions. Education is almost evenly distributed in the world today and we humans are so learned and educated, yet going undoubtedly useless. Education is supposed to bring the best in individuals since no man is born Stupid, but recently it was discovered that educational system in used is in shambles. In the course of implementing this system, we have lost individuals with a great mind, potential inventors, and intellectual virtuoso, among others. Students of nowadays, especially Graduates, have lost the ability to practicalize to mastering consumption. Before I dive further into the faults or corroborate the uselessness education is becoming, let me reinforce the importance of education in the real sense of its meaning.

Education has quite lots of positive impacts in our lives, It has many benefits. It has even been said that an educated person is an asset for any country. But what type of Educated person? Research indicates that college graduates live longer, have better access to the health center, they are economically more stable and more involved in the community. Education, in the real sense of its meaning, is a systematic way of producing ideal human beings, cultured, wise, and responsible without being dogmatic in dealings or reasoning.

Education helps in the promotion of National interests and citizenship. It helps to create an opportunity for equality and production of individuals with a trained mind and critical intelligence. Education builds character, arouses intellectual curiosity and stimulates a good questioning spirit in humans. Having a sound education provides an edge for an individual in today’s competitive labour market. It helps the learned ones to earn a livelihood, as well as contributing to the society. But I wonder if uneducated individuals are unable to earn a livelihood?

I can go on enumerating both the hidden and the obvious significance of education, Education, no doubt, is useful, but are we making use of it, to promote the aforementioned significances? What has happened to the real education? Why is education becoming obsolete? We were told in school to study hard to have good grades, we were told, good grades will give us an edge and money! But what will money do! What would happen to the society if everyone is busy making money? What would happen to the government and the economy?

We may be learned but in the world, but lately, graduates with distinction in their various courses can not make use of their brain, they are so independent that they cannot do simple things like fixing a hole or tackling a button to their shirt, they would rather call for help from those, usually, mocked as illiterates. Education has become the art of mastering consumption rather than creativity; we cannot create anything by ourselves but consume. We simply buy or import, virtually everything. Little wonder the economy is crawling, in Africa (Nigeria).

Education is faltering and the so called educated are becoming inadvertently useless. Why? Should we say we don’t have enough teachers, Instructors, lecturers? Heck No! It is the educational system, the teaching system is flawed. The system seems to be the issue. In 2004, the federal republic of Nigeria in her policy adopted education as an instrument per excellence. Students are made to compete and focus only on reading to pass and have high grades. Schools grade students on how smart they are, in memorizing, and assessed them by their grades in class and not the way their minds work or by their

uniqueness. This implementation is not fair; it makes others who can barely get average grades look stupid and useless. Einstein crystallized this point when he said:

Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will spend its whole life believing It is stupid — ALBERT EINSTEIN

However, it is disheartening to discover that our current educational system is no longer striving towards intelligence but intellectuality to aggrandize “who can memorize the most”. This stifles and thus has dire consequences on the economy and personal development. It is this kind of education, which promotes “who can memorize the most”, Gardner describes when he said:

Much education today is monumentally ineffective
All too often, we are giving young people cut flowers When we should be teaching them how to grow their own.

— John W. Gardner

There is a poor implementation of educational policies in both tertiary and secondary institutions cum primary school, which is the preliminary stage. In 2006 and 2010 SIR KEN ROBINSON in his Ted talks claimed that the current educational system dislocates people from their natural talents. Without gainsay, this is amazingly true! While some individuals that we call students are too smart, intelligent and creative to be placed into a goal wrecking system. Some are ready for a career and some thirsty for adventures.

A student posted this:

I want to be a video game creator, I have been in school for 9 years and I didn’t learn anything that relates to the job I want, I even asked my teacher and he said “that kind of job is useless”, that I should choose another job that relates to what I am being taught in school. I don’t even have time for my new release because of the stupid assignment they gave us! It is a waste of time to learn stuff that you will not need in the future. A school is a big waste of time!


Although, Some essential things are being taught in colleges and university. However in preliminary schools, it is irrelevances, the best thing is to develop children into people that do not only think for themselves but are also able to act for themselves. Let them get their hands on real things; experience so as to prepare for their future ambition. Studies show that 80% of learning is informal and is usually outside the four walls of the classroom. Technically, students get bored listening for long hours without getting their hands on something adventurous. They don’t have

to be fed with unnecessary information. Students should be allowed to have some ownership of their own. Human Minds and brains work differently, while some student like history others want to be an inventor.

In 1921 ALBERT EINSTEIN when asked “what is the speed of sound” he said “I don’t know, I don’t burden my memory with such facts that I can easily find in any textbook.

“The value of an education in a liberal arts college Is not the learning of many facts but the training Of the mind to think something that cannot be Learned from textbooks.”

Humans are not perfect if you look at the way humans are designed to learn. We learn by making mistakes. We learn to walk by falling severally. If we never fell down, we would never walk. Contrary to this, In school, we learned that mistakes are bad and we get punished for making them. Education nowadays is creating anxiety and fear in students; fear of failure, a fear of being ridiculed. And this drives students away from learning; it ruins their ability to understand. More so, it makes learning a strategy for fooling teachers into thinking they know what they really don’t know.

If the Educational system is faltering and the true meaning of education is becoming obsolete, what should be the way out? How do we recreate and implement a systematic educational system?

SETH GODIN gave an opinion: He suggested alternatives to the 4-5 college, such gap years, research internships and entrepreneurial or social ventures after high school. He believes that there are tons of ways to get a cheap liberal education, the one that exposes you to the world, permits you to have significant interactions with people who matters and teaches you to make a difference.

A retired technical teacher said, If I had a student for 4 semesters, one each year from grade 9-12, he would not know what he would have known after 6weeks as an apprentice working in a production shop!

The principle goal of education should be; creating individuals who are inventive, capable of doing new things and not memorizing or repeating what others have done. Our educational system should be the one that would bring creativity and critical thinking in individuals. An educated person should be able to understand, verify and not accept everything he is been offered. Learning and teaching should be natural.

Nature teaches a lesson. In life, you are given a test that teaches you a lesson which will be part of you forever. This natural system should be adopted by schools and colleges as it does not only open humans mind but create a more fully individuals in their respective path of knowledge. In

Addition to formal education, vocational degrees should also be implemented. This will give everyone a sense of importance and will drive them to make a very good use of their minds. Clearly, there is a need for rapid growth in the educational system that accentuates people’s unique talents and brings to live individual real world, beyond the walls of lecture rooms. The aim of education should not be to develop one single virtue but to produce healthy normal individuals who understand the meaning of life, the importance of society and what it demands from them.

Most of our troubles will be at the end if students are intellectually and morally brought upon cooperation and not on competition. It should be understood that recurrent teaching methodology has neither worked nor effective to the societal or economical wants or demands. Students should be taught the basic fundamental laws of life, not some useless cock and bull story. One can be very intelligent without school. It is not everyone that would be rich because of school. Students should be allowed to choose what they want to learn, so that they can continue to bask in the pleasure of their choice and thus be productive, enthusiastically.

The government should pay more attention to the educational sector, society should impart and teach students on how to interact and behave. We can bring education to students even on gold plates, right in front of them, but if they don’t want it, it is useless. How can we make students crave for education, how can we get them motivated? The solution is to get back to the basics and remember what education really is. We must shift our strategy, combat this problem and make the students thirsty. But if it continues like this, I bet it, it will reach a stage in which education will be totally screwed. It is only when we bring purpose and creativity back to education, coupled with training and utility, only then we will have the students back and restores the importance of education.

We are not Stupid,

We are not Dumb,

We are not leaders of tomorrow,

We are leaders now!

And we want to be more than that

Because we are unique!

Together let’s save the coming generation and set down good legacies of a useful and renovated education system.

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