OUR EDUCATION IS IN NEED OF REVIVED ILLUMINATION
One of the most powerful tool in any age is education, and its power lies in its object: the human mind. Many societies accept its ability to turn a pauper into a rich fellow, only as such a person embraces its ideas, specific skills and knowledge. This is true of the formal kind, and equally true of the informal. But should this “magical” potential, viz: making the poor rich and the rich richer be the reason for going to school?
In my time out with children and the energetic young, I had always demonstrated interest in what their career focus is like, and the pendulum does not swing perfectly with their many responses. Their answers suggest a “give-me-money-first profession”. The glamorous and not necessarily the grandeur, the recklessly sophisticated and not the simple yet lofty services seem to be at the heart of profession choices of the few I had communicated with. This, somewhat is a reflection of societal spirit and mind, one not healthy.
Our society should move gradually, if not spontaneously, away from the thick web of one-end personal wealth that slows progress and embrace community wealth. In this lies the ultimate good of education, pure and powerful! We should see education as an investment into now and future leaders who are expected to contribute to economic empowerment of locals and all communities. One lesson I drew from the Bills and Melinda Gates Foundation attitude to education in the United States is restoration of value and leadership, this in my opinion is instructive for African leaders and wealthy individuals.
Investment into education of children and young people with emphasis on lofty values, pursuit of great dreams and acquisition of life skills for peaceful coexistence, and community empowerment should be the theme of African leadership. The effective funding for educating the African child is paramount, whether in the aspect of pure skills acquisition or knowledge-skill certification. Embracing thorough education is a viable in-road to entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship creates wealth, not just for the entrepreneur, but also for other persons involved in the production or service process, thus pushing down the number of economic-dependence and cutting low on poverty.
Two aspects (based on my sincere diagnosis of the situation in my environment) of illumination is necessary for education in the Africa context: Adequate funding and redirecting the essence of education. By the latter, I mean, the goal, the emphasis on the community: Doctors and medical professionals should identify ways of making health care for the locals accessible and affordable, researchers in all areas of study should plow in their intellects, expertise and available resources in addressing diseases, poverty, environmental challenges, security and the economy, teachers should be mentors and life-givers, hope and examples, and we can go on, almost ad infinitum. Obviously, these things are happening in some few dotted areas, however, it should be a force infused into the minds of the educated and advantaged. Also implied is leadership, with education we can “achieve” more than the government (government is limited by budget and corruption, among others), and we are to begin to see ourselves as the government. We need to take initiatives as “educated” Africans to drive the wheel of progress, to grow a nation whose communities are self-sufficient, economically buoyant and contributing to world growth as a whole! Send the light into our education. Lit the torch of progress!