January 24, 2019

Education “Key to Many Possibilities” | Definition | Skilled Education

INTERNATIONAL DAY OF EDUCATION 2019: Education; key To Many Possibilities

Education “Key to Many Possibilities” | Definition | Skilled Education

From the words of late Nelson Mandela, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

The present ill-fated misconceptions and misunderstanding on the definition of “Education” is the reason for the ‘epileptic standard’ of Education in many parts of the world. Education is being interpreted by the common man as a mere reading, learning, and writing of test and examinations in the various institutions of learning, thus the common saying “he is ‘uneducated’ “. We need to understand that education goes beyond those. Education embodies the totality of what actually happens in our every day to day activities. However, there are a plethora of definitions of education. This implies the negation of the definition of education as being one. That being said, we’ll look at three (3) definitions of education and make do with them.

Education is a human right, a public good and a public responsibility.

The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 24 January as International Day of Education(link is external), in celebration of the role of education for peace and development.

Without inclusive and equitable quality education and lifelong opportunities for all, countries will not succeed in achieving gender equality and breaking the cycle of poverty that is leaving millions of children, youth and adults behind.

Today, 262 million children and youth still do not attend school; 617 million children and adolescents cannot read and do basic math; less than 40% of girls in sub-Saharan Africa complete lower secondary school and some four million children and youth refugees are out of school. Their right to education is being violated and it is unacceptable.

As the world marks the very first International Education Day, UNESCO calls on governments and all partners to make universal quality education a leading priority.

THREE KEY DEFINITIONS OF EDUCATION

According to the national policy on education (2013), Education is a process of inculcation of appropriate knowledge, attitude, values and skills to enable the individual fit into the society, (Thus we need to draw a line between ‘Education and Literacy’).

Wikipedia renders Education as “the process of facilitating learning, or the acquisition of knowledge, skills, values, beliefs, and habits.”
Prof. Jimoh S. A. posits that “education is the totality of the experience made available to the individual in order to make him/her develop a rounded personality and be useful to himself and his community.”

Also, Babatunde Fafunwa (1974) defines education as the “aggregate of all the process by which a child or young adult develop the abilities, attitudes and other forms of behaviors which are of positive value to the society in which he lives.”
From the definitions above, there is an underlying element of importance, which can, thus, be schematically rendered as EDUCATION = SELF-DEVELOPMENT = PURPOSEFUL/MEANINGFUL COMMUNAL EXISTENCE. It is against this backdrop that the words of Martin Luther King Jr. come to light. He said, “the function of education is to teach one to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.” How true that is!

The common phrase, “education is key”, emphasizes that it [education] unlocks the padlocks to the future, the padlocks to potentials, possibilities and to opportunities. It is the ultimate weapon which not only puts you in charge of your uncertain circumstances but also enables you to protect yourself against challenges, secure your interests and be safe. Indeed, Education as the key to life enables each and every one of us to decide who we want to be in life, how useful we want to be and what values we impact into the lives of others.

NIGERIA: A CASE STUDY

In Nigeria, there are nearly two hundred million people. Unfortunately, a good number of these people are illiterates (Schooled Education)! Perhaps this explains most of the ills plaguing our society because when you have such vast amount of people, that means there are several numbers of persons who are yet to discover the keys to their potentials and better possibilities to optimize their chances to succeed and as such are letting said potentials waste away. These people, though valuable nonetheless, are unable to contribute their deepest worth to the development of society. In most cases, they are impoverished even as their futures are uncertain; bleak. Surprisingly, the fact that these uneducated [illiterates] cut across ages; the old and the young. But then this surprises me why any young person in 2019 should be without education. There is absolutely no excuse for this; not even the most abject of impoverishment can make a person in this our generation not to get at least the basic education. It is very correct and certain that we have inequalities in the capacity to which one can be educated but there are the most basic which everyone has to acquire, this leaves one with no other option but to agree with Chidi C. Chilaka, that Nigeria Problem isn’t Corruption, but our Education System, he further buttressed that it is needless fighting Corruption while the educational institutions remain in a comatose state.

UNICEF STATISTICS ON EDUCATION IN NIGERIA

However, in Nigeria, the Education sector has most been traduced. According to UNICEF statistics on Education in Nigeria, about 10.5million children are out of school. The highest population of out-of-school children in the world. And about 60% of out-of-school are girls. These statistics say of little levity accorded Education.
In the discourse of Education, the first thing that should strike anyone is knowledge gain. Education gives us a knowledge of the world around us and changes it to something better. It develops in us a perspective of looking at life. It helps us build opinions and have points of view on things of life. Education helps us interpret things among things. The list goes on. This translates to the imperativeness of Education. For John Dewey, a profound educationist, “Education is life, not a preparation for life.”

SKILLED BASED EDUCATION; AN IMPORTANT MIX

A salient aspect of education that must not be trifled with (but has been) is that of skill-based education. In defining education, there’s a mention of acquisition of skill(s). Acquisition of skill, thus, becomes integral a facet of education and an important mix.
Be that as it may, in the Nigerian situation, skill acquisition proves to be just as important. Though the Federal Government of Nigeria is making great but unsupervised effort on requisite skill acquisition. For example, the mandatory NYSC Scheme harbours within its programmes, the mandatory participation of Corps members in Skill Acquisition and Entrepreneurial Development (SAED) classes and agricultural scheme. The emphasis only serves to highlight the element that represents the goal of Education: Purposeful Communal Existence.

ROUNDING UP

Thus, with job finding a hard crack in Nigeria, the acquiring and honing of requisite skills become invariably worthy. In any case, it’s a win-win. Youths can engage in acquiring many different skills and be passionate about them. It will prop them to embrace the opportunities copiously open to them. It will help shape their lives into one of purpose; a sense of responsibility caves in then. At that point, the future of the Nigerian youth should breathe a sigh of relief. This is because there would be a change from one of bleakness to one of light. Hence, “Change is the result of all true learning.” _ Leo Buscaglia
With that said, there’s just about one thing left to reiterate. “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the World and enhance greater possibilities. ” It’s no wonder why we say, Education is Key to Many Possibilities

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