My Biggest Challenge with Education Today

Recently, someone asked me, “What concerns or disappoints you about education and learning today?”

Simply, it’s this: Education isn’t tied to economic activity, one of the strongest motivators especially for low-income families. Heck, school-based “education” even costs money! And the ROI over the foreseeable future isn’t clear. After age 18, school’s pointless.

Well, if that’s the problem, could I make schools allow youth to work and study at the same time like I did in college in the US? That’d be tough here in Africa — youth usually don’t have relevant skills for existing jobs.

Or could I lobby workplaces to employ youth and make provision for school? Typically, the regimen of school discourages employers.

Better still, could I create a workplace where literally school-type learning is built into the career path, quite like KPMG where I worked or McKinsey where Clara and Lily, my co-founders worked?

Over the next 10 days, I’ll be exploring this frustration with more than 200 other strong change agents from across the world at #UNLEASHLAB2017. In the Education & ICT stream, we’ll be exploring how to improve:

  • Access — opportunities for women & girls, people with disabilities, learning (e.g. dyslexia) and physical (e.g. paralysis)
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Personalized learning and STEM

I hope to push the idea that for tertiary education, we need to do away with schools and build education into businesses so that we can utilize our workforce earlier and more efficiently.

I’m not oblivious of risk and professionalism, but here’s a thought: who would you entrust with your life — a 27 year old who just graduated from medical school (after 10 years) or a 27 year old who started medicine at 17?