Monday, September 20, 2010

What is Education?

I'm 12, uneducated, and wish I was.
I'm sitting with a book that my mom,
saved me when she was younger.
But she never got to read it.
She never knew how.
She said: "when you go to school,
come, and read to me, I want to know.
"I never got to read it...
Our school got locked up, and we all left.
Barefoot through the prickled field,
All sad, and uneducated for life.
And I will be just like my mom,
When she was younger,
and She was poor, uneducated,
and lived with hunger.
Read for me, young and kind citizen,
what about is that precious book,
that my mom gave to me...
I am 12, uneducated and I wish I was
somehow educated, and somehow more free.
(Poem by Tetyana Shabanu Klymko culled from Article 2 NEWS, 14, USA).

So many people are in school and do not even know why! Isn’t that so infuriating? An article on Taking IT Global portal themed “Understanding learning & education” read: “When we think about education, we often view school in a traditional, formal sense. Many people believe that true learning can only take place in a formal classroom setting. Others feel education occurs in many different forms and environments. There may not be a definitive answer to the question of, ‘What is Education?’ However, we can start thinking about the purpose of education. Is it to educate youth to be responsible citizens? Is it to develop individuals, as well as society, in order to ensure a society’s economic success? Or is the purpose of education to simply focus on developing individual talents and intelligence? Perhaps it is the balance of all three that defines education?“

Education, in the society we live in, seems to have lost its essence. Now, you hear people saying Nigerian graduates are unemployable and you wonder what they are talking about…

Olumide Idowu, in his article “Nigerian graduates and overfed academic theories” proffer solutions to ameliorate the decaying education system: “…An overhaul of the infrastructure, teaching methods, teachers and curriculum needs urgent attention to make the product of the system not only employable in Nigeria, but also across the globe. Infrastructural turnaround includes decongesting overcrowded classrooms, stocking laboratories that are quickly becoming scientific museums and organizing field trips and corporate visits which are becoming nonexistent. Internships and scholarships ought to be properly managed by Nigerian government board with endowments from corporate and international organizations. Online classes using advanced e-learning techniques have to be available through the Internet access present in our higher learning institutions. Academic teaching needs to focus on how education and theories translate into practical forms, steering student minds towards creativity and innovation… Vocational centers and after-school business training centers should be in place to imbue workplace ethics and managerial skills before being pushed to the corporate environment.”

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