Notion Behind School is a Scam Mantra

We are in a generation that celebrates quick results, not minding what was done. It is common now to see a 19-year-old boy or girl with cars and an iPhone worth millions of naira without passing through any tertiary institution. Also, it is common to see graduates with no job living under their parents’ roof. Because these two scenarios are rampant, people started thinking about the essence of going to school. Some thought I could do well without it and make it big. Some who believe school is a scam are those who have graduated from university but are still struggling with life or those whose brothers or sisters face the same challenge.

A friend told me a story of a man who used to make jest of him. He said the man has a housing property in his area. The man detests schooling to the extent that he isn’t willing to send his son to one. He always asks his son – do you want to end up like them? They went to school without securing any good jobs. In a nutshell, the man sees schooling as a waste of time because there won’t be a job at the end of the day.

Also, I watched a heartbreaking video of a man who tore his university and NYSC certificates. He gave up because he couldn’t secure a decent job with his certificates. He said the job he is doing now requires no certificate. This further shows that the information sold to people back then was half true.

While we were growing up, the song was that if you read your books, you will be ahead. But they failed to tell us that if you do excellently well and sharpen your skills along the way, that is when you will be ahead. The idea has always been to go to school, and you will find a job. We are told that jobs wait for graduates in the 60s and 70s, not the opposite. So, people go to school with the idea that jobs will await them once they graduate. This is the root cause of the problem for many graduates. The information is half true and not beneficial in Nigeria at present.

As the population keeps increasing, people keep getting the awareness that school is the way to escape poverty into a life of affluence. But the country’s economy started declining, making it difficult for businesses to thrive, and the unemployment rate soared. The inability of businesses to grow and replicate made people think, “What is the essence of schooling?” The education system in Nigeria is 6-3-3-4, which means, on average, one should be out of school at the of 21. So, if a person cannot get a decent job, he or she will think that 21 years of his/her life was devoted to chasing unrealistic dreams. The sole purpose of going to school shouldn’t be to get a job; there should have been more to it. Skill acquisition, personal development, and self-realization were missing in the information on the essence of schooling that was passed across.

The school curriculum is also not helping because it is tailored towards the old ideology and not the present situation. It should have been developed to equip and sharpen students’ skills to prepare them for what lies ahead. The truth is that the days of going to school to get jobs are over. It is the time for everyone to think of how they could solve societal problems. Our curriculum should be on building a holistic student who has all it takes to excel, irrespective of the current situation in the country.

Dysfunctional leadership in Nigeria has been a major factor that contributed to the “school is a scam” mantra. Our leaders must provide basic social amenities and an enabling environment for businesses to thrive and graduates to reach heights. Great nations of the world are ahead because of their knowledge, which has been a driving force across the globe. We can’t grow beyond the level of our knowledge as a nation. This is why education is key and shouldn’t be handled recklessly.

To wrap it up, education is not a scam; the information we were told about schooling was wrong. Education is an investment in oneself and society. At its core, it provides individuals with the necessary tools and skills to navigate an ever-changing world, fostering intellectual curiosity and problem-solving abilities.

Bolarinwa Olajire

A tutor with a demonstrated history of working in the education industry. Skilled in analytical skills. Strong education professional with a M. SC focused in condensed matter. You can follow me on Twitter by clicking on the icon below to ask questions.

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