The last few days for me have been very interesting because I have spent most of those days in the mechanic’s workshop. That’s not because it should be like that but because I have had a terrible experience with some automobile engineers and that has changed a few things. While all of that was going on, I saw a few things that I think we all should pay attention to regarding the education of our country.
Because of the terrible experience with one automobile engineer, I had to tow my vehicle to another person’s workshop. While waiting and watching as they fixed my vehicle, I observed that some of the apprentices that were learning from the main man will not show up until around noon. Sometimes they would only show up around 3 or 4pm. When I asked a few questions, I found out that these young chaps would go to school first thing every day and return to the workshop to learn.
Now that is very interesting and I think that is what our education should be. Several years ago when I was a student at Mayflower School, Ikenne in Ogun State, Nigeria, we weren’t just students in schools. We had clubs and societies that taught us how to do practical things. We had clubs for snails, piggery, plumbing, bakery, road mending and several other things. We always had a day out of the week when we would put the class education aside and learn from the societies. The societies gave us practical skills.
You need to get to that level where you or your children will have a class education and as well get a vocational skill. Those young chaps in the automobile engineer’s workshop should be well grounded by the time they are done with their education. They will have the education that basically gives them literacy and the vocational educational that gives them a job which their certificate cannot offer.
I have also seen a young lady, and I know several other people are doing that, who returns from school to learn how to sew. So in the morning she is a student in a primary school and in the afternoon, she is an apprentice learning how to sew. I expect that if she takes this seriously, she just might turn out to be a world class fashion designer who combines practical education with the literacy education an exposure that she gets.
One of the major challenges that a lot of people have today is that they simply have school certificates and outside that certificate, there is nothing they can do. I dare say that if you have a certificate and you cannot do anything if your certificate is rejected then you do not have an education.
To get a proper education, you must get yourself to that level where you can obtain a certificate from school but with or without that certificate, you must be able to do something with your life. Over the years, I have joined other professional public speakers to tell graduates to get more practical skills apart from their education.
There are people who go to learn as apprentices in some local shops. When they finish learning, most of them start their own businesses. They don’t go about looking for someone else to employ them. Now graduates who think they are better because they have gone to school will use all their education to look for jobs and only turn to starting a business when they become frustrated. As expected, many of those businesses don’t last because they were borne out of frustration and not passion.
Don’t get any education that will be useless to you. Don’t just get an education just because you want a certificate. Get a useful education with practical skills and be useful to yourself and to the society.