Today marks the first time I will be attending lectures as a Part time Masters Student of University of Lagos.
All these while I have not attended class nor have a clue as to what is going on.
Interestingly, my friends have been wondering what the heck was wrong with me that I have not been coming.:) and today that I attended…made some interesting observations.
It was a late evening lecture and the course Econometrics. This will be the second time the lectures will be holding so was quite eager to learn and understand the concept of econometrics.
But the moment the lecturer walked into the class and started, I asked myself one question, “is this bringing money to my pocket now or not?” Because he was speaking technical terms that he himself could not understand not to talk of pronouncing it at all! Coupled with that, there was no light and we were using torchlight to see the board! (Mercifully light was restored later on).
At a point I was studying the man and sizing him up…how has this turned into extra cash for him?
Pardon me for that thought but been in a series of meetings that has to deal with earning extra income and been financially intelligent, and aside from that had a financial planning meeting in the office this morning and had to leave another one to be in class!
Ok let’s leave that aside for the time been, all what the guy was saying I just could not flow. At a point he asked, “are you with me?” And a minute fraction of the class answered with a barely audible murmur. And in my mind, am thinking, if I was a lecturer and I get this cold reception, I would stop the lectures immediately and look for ways to make it interactive, fun and simply clear to understand.
It goes a long way to show the way our educational system is. We the students don’t understand what he the lecturer is saying. He asks, and we give him a blanket reply knowing we do not understand and he too knowing we don’t understand but just want to go through the motions, merely continues with what he is saying knowing in the back of his mind, “these guys no understand oooo na dem sabi…na make I teach collect my pay”.
And the labour market says we have half-baked graduates in the market…fruits of a perverse system that allows for mediocrity and accepting the status quo.
You know, as I sat in that class my mind drifted to the movie, “The three Idiots” and I marvel at what the principal character achieved by challenging the status quo and creating a different paradigm for his friends and for the school.
Learning should be fun and not a bore. Education should be worthwhile and not frustrating.
What we have in our country today is a frustrating educational system that breeds mediocrity and sponsors necessity. We go to school to get white collar jobs and live strait-jacketed lives for 35 to 40yrs and we retire and wonder….how have I lived my life?
Our educational system trains us to speak English….to learn how to catch a fish but never how to breed fishes in order to continue to fish!
Tonight opened my eyes to the necessity of financial literacy to whatever you are doing, if you are speaking greek and aramaic or teaching whatever and it is not bringing the extra cash nor do you have other streams of income…the passive, unworked for income to take care of your daily expenses, then you are stupidly poor.
While I won’t want to digress to much but focus on the educational system of our country, I strongly believe that there is the need for a paradigm shift in our thinking of education in our country. The paradigm of the lecturer and the student need be changed radically. It must be seen as a mutually beneficial relationship…not a cat and mouse game. In the words of the artiste, Sound Sultan,”one day bush meat go catch the hunter..” Who is the bush meat, who is the hunter you might ask? Its me and you. We will ultimately become vicious victims of the system we have encouraged to do “photo shop” to its education system and permit mediocre in its highest echelons.
The bottom line is this, the brain drain occurring in our country is not by chance. Its a systemic collapse fuelled and energised by us allowing things to go unchallenged and unproven.
Until we rise collectively and damn mediocrity in our midst and not see education as a necessity to just get by in life, as an end in itself but as a means to an end, then we won’t take garbage in and produce garbage as well. We will learn to do research to elevate our country to enviable heights. In the words of J.F Kennedy,”ask what you can do for your country and not what your country can do for you”. We must realize that the government does not have the answer. We are the government and we ought to have the answer to make our lives better and worthwhile.
Abraham Lincoln say,”Education makes people easy to lead but difficult to ride. Easy to govern but impossible to en slave”. That should be our watchword for education in Nigeria.
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