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It is rightly said that if the purpose of a thing is unknown, abuse is inevitable. I tell you, my spirit, soul and body agree with this statement. Really, if people knew that trees serve as wind-breaks, prevent erosion, purify the atmosphere blah blah blah, perhaps, earth would have been much greener, but it’s not or is it?
Here on campus, I once lived in a room of over twenty people. Don’t ask me how! Hardly did a day pass without an argument or two on the importance or uselessness of schooling, with more than two-third of the room in support of the latter. Education – useless? SMH.
Majority of our students believe they are just wasting their time studying. Some say they are only schooling as a show off obedience to their parents. It seems our illiterate parents value education more that their so-called educated children. Aren’t we missing something? Some students claim to be in school just to earn a degree. How sad!
The so-called educators too – they don’t help matters. They brainwash us into believing that schools are a pressure cooker for the brain. Who would like that? In this article, I will be limiting our discourse to the circumference of formal education.
First, we may want to ask ourselves, “What is education?” The Longman dictionary of contemporary English defines education as the process of teaching and learning. Indubitably, this is in contrast with what we see in our schools today. Ask an average student to define ‘school’ in his own words. I can assure you, the answers you’ll get may render you unconscious! Something like this: A school is where one’s memory gets tested.

Students have been made to have this grudge for education and school. Our brains have been programmed with this default configuration: READ TO PASS. Some call it “La cram, la pour, la forget,” simple as that.
A condition where what you learn miraculously vanishes after the examination; an atmosphere where an intelligent mind gets a ‘C’ while a good crammer gets an ‘A’ – school! A system where a third-class graduate is actually more qualified than his first-class counterpart for the same job – education!
We have been made fools in schools, crazy folks on campuses. I have seen students walking the campus streets, soliloquizing, reciting formulae and botanical names they would forget (or better put, neglect) after the exam. In fact, I used to do that pretty much because at a point I got tired of reading to know why I kept getting a ‘C’ in my exams.
Another dictionary defines education as a process of giving INTELLECTUAL, MORAL and SOCIAL instructions to people. Succinct!
INTELLECTUAL – yes, we have that, though quite haphazard in structure. But, that’s our only boast.
MORAL – this, we lack! Whether consciously or not, we have been made to believe that the end justifies the means. So, you can cheat to pass, as long as you don’t get caught.
SOCIAL – Selfishness 101 is a major prerequisite we have learnt thus far. No values imparted, no principles taught, no returns to the society! Are we truly being educated? I bet NO!
In an ideal setting, education is supposed to build virtually all the components of the mind – the reasoning, memory, communication, socialization, expression and all. But, what do we have in our schools?
A first-class graduate who still thinks like a village boy; a graduate of mechanical engineering who knows less than an auto-mechanic; a graduate of business administration who keeps recording losses due to business mismanagement – they are all products of “education.”

It is time we find the purpose of education and let it drive our reason for schooling. Build your mind and put less pressure on your brain. The outside world needs brilliant minds, not just some pressure-cooked brains!
Oyeniyi Emmanuel

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