Nigeria: Quality Education Key To Youth Development – Nya-Etok

By (Ruth Natsa)

Politician and Social Housing crusader, Architect Ezekiel Nya-Etok has stressed the need for Nigeria to restrategize their development plan and focus on quality education in the North

He stressed that this was because quality education is the bedrock of every development.

Architect Nya- Etok said the youth in northern Nigeria are extremely technological and very resourceful stressed the need to harness this resourcefulness and lead them to be part of the sustainable development of the country”

He noted that Northern Youths experience difficulties in getting the education and empowerment they deserved noting that one of the most crucial challenges facing the North was preparing her young for the future.

The Architect cum politician stated this during an award ceremony organised by the Northern Youth Council of Nigeria where he was awarded with the Sir Ahmadu Bello Leadership award in Abuja.

He appealed to the Elders and Leaders of the North to give the youth the Level Of Education and empowerment they deserved.

“On a serous note I think the time has come when we want to look at issues affecting northern Nigeria youth and know that whatever happen to one happen to all calling on all leaders and elders in all over Nigeria North, South, East and West to stand up for the youth.”

“ l want to tell the elders in the north that we respect them but the time has come when you need to realised that the youth have something to offer, the time has come when you’ll believe that the youth are in succession planning, the time has come when you will realise that the youth in the Northern Nigeria do not only belong to you, they all belong to all of us because Nigeria is one country whatever happen to one happen to all .

He stressed that “We will not allow the resourcefulness of the youth of Northern Nigeria to lay on tight we are all going to synergies and network to make sure we bring the resourcefulness of the youth out and together we are going to form a country where there is no diversity because I am sick and tired of religion dividing us we have to come to the realisation that if we want to have one Nigeria, we have it indeed.”

He maintained that people did not understand that the youths are enlightened because they go on social media, read about what is happening to their contemporaries.

Mauritius Government Priorities In Students

Mauritius government has reiterated its commitment in ensuring the social and emotional well-being of students in the country.

Addressing Head boys and Head girls of colleges from different zones at the Polytechnics Mauritius in Montagne Blanche earlier on today, Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth, emphasised the importance for the youth to discover their capabilities and unlock their potentials in various fields.

“The Mauritian youth will be called upon to assume major roles in reshaping the nation’s future and contribute to the socio-economic development of the country. It is essential to equip them with life-long learning opportunities and equip them with skills for life,” he said.

Jugnauth noted that career pathways in the fields of Technical and Vocational Education and Training should be highly encouraged in order to keep pace with emerging technologies. He further added that various reforms in the education and training sector were in line with Sustainable Development Goal 4 which aims at ensuring an inclusive and equitable quality education.

“Free tertiary education, Nine-Year Basic Continuous Education Programme, introduction of Holistic Education Programme, Afterschool Sports and Fitness Programme and Emotional and Social Well-being Programme, are few examples of reforms brought in a bid to ensure the positive overall development of learners,” he explained.

The Prime Minister cautioned the students about social ills like juvenile delinquency, drug scourge and the misuse of internet, urging them to seek advice and guidance from their elders and parents and make cautious choices at the different stages of their life.

Source African Daily Voice

What is the great purpose of education? – Part 3

By Francis Onaiyekan

There has been for some time in this country, a contrived but absolutely needless Arts versus Science controversy, including a distracting comparison of their respective value to society. It has become fashionable in recent times that policy makers extol Science and Technology over Liberal Arts.

The Arts to Science admission ratio in higher institutions is embarrassingly, disgracefully, skewed in favor of the latter. And this is official. The National Policy on Education, 2013, (6th edition) says in Section 5 (91) (a) that “A sizeable proportion of expenditure on university education shall be devoted to Science and Technology”. And in the (b) part, the provision stipulates that “Not less than 60% of places shall be allocated to science and science –oriented courses in the conventional universities, and not less than 80% in the universities of technology and agriculture”. The idea is being pushed that the scientists and the technologists have or can eventually produce solutions to all of the world’s problems. The unspoken advice to Nigerian youths it seems is to be a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) student or die trying. This is a silly –and distorted- imitation of western education because, notwithstanding the huge achievements in science and technology educational institutions in Europe and the Unites States still offer degrees in the Humanities and Liberal Arts.

There is no denying that STEM courses have immense value and add unquantifiable benefits to human life. They enable an understanding of how the world works, and these disciplines devise solutions to the physical and other needs of mankind. Yet, I insist that Arts and Science are not at all mutually exclusive; they should not be forced to be intolerant of each other. “All religions, arts, and sciences are branches of the same tree” says Albert Einstein. The genius that he was, he should know.

In response to the rather pervasive pro-STEM mindset, the following opinions are worth quoting. E.F. Schumacher (1983) argued in Small is Beautiful’ that “Science cannot produce ideas by which we could live. […it tells how things work in Nature, but it tells Man nothing about the meaning of Life]. We turn to the Humanities to obtain a clear view of the large and vital ideas of our age”. Michener (1980) counselled a somewhat unhappy student of Philosophy who wished he were a Science student not to despair because…” forty years from now, the scientists in your class will be scientists [whereas] the liberal arts men will be governing the world’.

Bertrand Russell, in a 1935 essay, ‘Useless’ Knowledge, lamented that knowledge everywhere is coming to be regarded not as a good in itself, or as a means of creating a broad and humane outlook on life in general, but merely an ingredient in technical skill”. Decades after Russell’s lament, those immediately visible products of Science and Technology continue to condition the shallow-minded to view these fields of study more ‘useful’ to mankind than the Humanities. In a 1953 essay The Impact of Science on Society, Russell posited that even as Science can abolish poverty and excessive hours of labor, it can achieve this only within an intelligent democracy not misled by some dogmatic creed. I understand this important proviso to mean that, to avoid its use for harmful purposes, the activities of Science must be guided by a humane, Humanities -centered mind. The story of atomic bomb is a good example in this respect; so too, in recent times, are studies in genetics, cloning, and artificial intelligence (AI). Unless guided by non-scientific, moral and spiritual codes, the fear is abroad that science and technology can be taken too far into humanity’s self-destruction.

Prof. Sophie Oluwole, in The Humanities and National Development in Nigeria (Eruvbetine and Mba, eds, 1991) cites historian Will Durant’s observation that Science taught the West how to heal and how to kill; it reduces their death rate in retail and then kills them wholesale in war. In view of this, Oluwole argues in that “[we] need first and foremost a humanistic world-view on which to structure the discoveries of science…[because] the theories of science are impotent in resolving the complex problems of human existence”. So thinks too, Prof. Femi Osofisan. “We learn from Science to be efficient, but only from Literature [human disciplines] how to be humane” he wrote in the June 7, 1987 edition of The Guardian.

Prof. Nurudeen Alao in (Eruvbetine and Mba, eds, (1991) writes that the Humanities constitute the bedrock of liberal education necessary for a civilized society and he considers the touted dichotomy between those disciplines as uncalled for, because “… from a societal point of view, the sciences and the humanities are complementary…and in Nigeria, the problem is not one of the rate of trade-off between the two, but that of harmonious development of both for the good of society”.

Physicist C.P. Snow is quoted to remark in his book The Two Cultures about “Literary intellectuals at one pole, at the other scientists … [and] between the two a gulf of mutual incomprehension”. I would say directly that if and where it exists, it is a needless, avoidable misunderstanding. If only each group would expand its thinking, it would ‘fathom’ the eternal truth that all knowledge exist in a harmonious whole.

The Humanities and Science are aspects of the total body of universal knowledge. It is short-sighted –even foolish- to pursue the separation instead of the synthesis and the convergence of the various strands of knowledge. An analogy may explain this. Apostle Paul writes in 1 Corinthians: “For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body… the body is not one member but many. If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I am not of the body”, is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where would be the smelling? …And if they were all one member, where would the body be? … But now indeed there are many members yet one body. And the eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you”; nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you”…But God composed the body…And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; and if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it”. (NKJV).

It is necessary to state again that, in even those countries from where Nigeria borrowed the Western form of education, the Humanities as a field of study is not at all despised; it is valued and continually applied to analyze, understand, and resolve what I shall describe as the dilemma of the human condition. Alao, a professor of Geography referred in his essay to a certain William Thompson who was formerly Professor of Humanities at MIT and adds, “please note here… the existence of a chair of humanities and the positive cultivation of the humanities at the centre of scientific and technological excellence in the US”. From a Google search, the MITOPEN. COURSEWARE site states that “[although] normally associated with science and engineering, the Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences (HASS) are a thriving and vital part of MIT”. In sum, nothing can be more thoughtless than to separate knowledge into irreconcilable strands.

Nigeria and the matter of education
Human resource is the most important asset of a nation; intellectual capital is the most precious component of that human asset and education is the means to build intellectual capital. Ask Israel, Japan, South Korea, and Singapore that have little natural resources but possess huge intellectual capital and corresponding productive capabilities. These countries wield global influence far beyond their physical sizes. Brain power is forever the name of the game.

If education is so obviously valuable, beneficial and, ipso facto, desirable, one should reasonably expect it to be the topmost item on Nigeria’s investment plan as indeed, it is in development-focused countries. After all, you can reap dividends only from what you invest in. Alas, there is enough evidence to show that Nigeria’s political leadership does not desire to invest in public education that will benefit the greatest number of citizens.

I single out the political leadership for a reason. Government, in the hands of political leaders, is a crucial determinant of the condition, the direction, the progress, and ultimately, the fate of a nation. Chude Jideonwo (2014) writes that “Government is the single most important force for change in any society…because it has the budget, the resources, the reach, the weight, [and] the capacity to affect all levels and all layers of society”. As I have written elsewhere, this is because, political leadership through the structure of government, holds the allocative, legislative, and the persuasive or coercive powers to make and implement policies that affect every facet of the nation. How much premium –if any at all- is placed on education of the citizens, what type, and to what purpose, is decided largely by the policies of government. In an increasingly knowledge-driven world, the levity in which Nigerian leaders hold education is, depressing and shameful; it is simply unbelievable!

I do not think that Nigeria’s political leaders in the past 50 years (since 1966 to be specific when soldier seized political leadership), have been truly ‘educated’. For, they do not show sufficient appreciation of the value and benefits of an educated citizenry, and the positive difference this can make for the leader in the task of governance. Kofi Annan says “on [education‘s] foundation rests the cornerstones of freedom, democracy, and sustainable development” because, says Henry Peter Brougham, “education makes people easy to lead but difficult to drive, easy to govern but impossible to enslave”.

If democracy is, in one sense, all about the highest good of the greatest number in the polity, one should expect that political leaders would do all within their powers to continually themselves as servant-leaders, and also the people they claim to serve. Not so in these parts.

In this country, education of the citizen is not a fundamental and justiciable right in the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended). Section 18 (3) merely offers that “Government shall strive to eradicate illiteracy; and to this end, Government shall, as and when practicable, provide (a) free, compulsory and universal primary education; (b) free university education; and (c) free adult literacy programme”. This certainly goes contrary to the spirit, direction, and the pressing requirements of an increasingly knowledge-driven global society.

Writing, in 1966, the book Thoughts on Nigerian Constitution in his Calabar prison cell D UP2, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, suggested, among other recommendations, that a new constitution for Nigeria should provide that “within two years post-primary and post –secondary education of any kind whatsoever shall be free to all who are capable of pursuing and benefitting from these types of education; [that] free and compulsory primary education shall be introduced throughout the Federation within 5 years…”, and a constitutional provision for “Right to education”. Talk of a visionary!

India made education justiciable in 2002 by force of a Supreme Court ruling. According to media account of the May, 2013 Report of the Special Rapporteur on the right to education that was submitted to the Human Right Council of the UN General Assembly, this landmark decision was justified thus: “What is fundamental, as an enduring value of our polity, is guarantee to each, of the equal opportunity to unfold the full potential of his personality”. The Rapporteur stated in Section C. 51 that “providing education of quality is a responsibility devolving on all providers of education and its justiciability is crucial for upholding quality and standards of education in the face of general deterioration of quality, and widespread concern with it”. It therefore recommends, among others, that “States [of the world] must fully assume their obligation respect, protect, and fulfill the right to education. Their first obligation in this regard is to give effect to the right in their domestic legal order, and ensure its effective enforcement in case of violation, through national, regional, and international judicial and quasi-judicial mechanisms”. It also recommended that “The right to education should be provided the broadest and strongest legal protection possible”. If Nigeria’s leaders truly mean well for the electorate hat entrust them with political high offices, they must, forthwith, amend the constitution to make education justiciable. Education ought to be classified and treated as a ‘common good’! Meanwhile however, the National Policy on Education (NPE) has, in Section 2 (12) of the 6th edition (2013), improved upon the rather lame constitutional provision quoted above to declare that basic education, the first 10 years of education, is free and compulsory.

As earlier stated, the authors of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) do not seem to see a necessary connection between education and leadership, Nigeria’s supreme manual on governance – in its wisdom or ‘unwisdom’, depending on how one views it – states in Section 13 (d) that a person shall be qualified for election to the office of President if “he has been educated up to at least School Certificate level”. This is the educational requirement too for election into the National Assembly (Section 65 (2) (a). That anyone would prescribe only twelve years of formal education is required to preside over the affairs of or make laws for a 180 million-strong country in this 21st century digital, knowledge society boggles the mind! Furthermore, under Part IV, Section 318, Interpretation, Citation, and Commencement of this Constitution, the qualification to be president is even stretched to include in LL162 (d) “any other qualification acceptable by the Independent National Electoral Commission”. It is anybody’s guess what quality of leadership Nigeria will suffer under such ‘limited persons’.

They say that money answers everything. The budgetary allocation to the education sector by the federal government shows that, in utter contrariness to the ways of progressive nations, Nigeria, under successive political leadership attach to matters of education. If this attitude may be excused among the military class, how is it to be explained in a democracy operated by a well-schooled political class?

Vanguard newspaper calculates that the total federal budget in the 10 years from 2009 -2018 was N55.19 trillion. Only N3.90 trillion, or 7.07 per cent of this amount was earmarked for education. Since 2010, according to a Premium Times analysis, only twice has the education budget hit double digits as percentages of the total federal budget. In 2014 it was 10.54 per cent, and 2015 10.78 per cent. Since 2016, education share of the budget has dropped: from 7.92 percent through 7.4 per cent in 2017, to 7.04 per cent in the yet-to-be-concluded 2018 budget. In concrete figures, N550 billion was allocated for education in 2017, in 2018 it is N605.8 billion. These allocations are miserably lower than the UNESCO recommended range of between 15 per cent and 20 per cent (not 26 per cent as popularly held) recommended by the Steering Committee of Education For All (EFA).

In comparison, Ghana allocated 13.76 percent of its 2018 federal budget or the Ghanaian cedi equivalent of N740 billion, as calculated by Nigeria’s Businessday newspaper. In Botswana, notes that “The allocation of the largest share of the budget to education is a long-standing characteristic of expenditure in Botswana”. “Public expenditure on education has been steady over the past years, averaging 22 per cent of total budget between 2014/15 and 2018/19… in the current [2018/2019] fiscal year, the priority of education remains nearly identical, receiving about 22.2 per cent of resources in the total budget. This demonstrates that, on the aggregate, the government has continued to exceed the international spending benchmark of 20 per cent of the national budget for education as put forth by Education for All”.

At a November 2018 workshop where the Education minister spoke Vice President Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, was reported to say that his government has every year increased the capital allocation of the education budget from N35.99 billion in 2016 to N 56.81 billion in 2017, to N102.9 billion. At whatever official exchange rate to a US$ during the year 2018, this would amount to much less than half a billion US dollars, certainly inadequate to equip libraries, laboratories and classrooms, improve infrastructure or build additional ones, fund research, etc. The consequence is that, as UNESCO is reported to state in 2014, Nigeria is one of 37 countries in the world that collectively invest about $129 billion annually in “education without learning”.

The NPE states in Section 1:4 that the “philosophy of Nigerian education is based on the development of the individual into a sound and effective citizen, and the provision of equal opportunities for all citizens of the nation at the basic, secondary, and tertiary levels both inside and outside the formal school system”. In Section 6, the document states that “ the goals of education in Nigeria include development of the individual into a morally sound, patriotic , and effective citizen, total integration of the individual into the immediate community, the Nigerian society and the world, development of appropriate skills, mental, physical, and social abilities and competencies to empower the individual to live in, and contribute positively to society”. These are indeed expressions of lofty intentions; hardly does the goal of education come any better. But Nigeria’s political leadership has, with shameless consistency, acted against the letters and spirit of the NPE.

The gap between Government expressed intention and the implementation is, characteristically, more than a gap; it is a chasm. Consider the 1-6-3 years of early child basic education. According to Section 2(12) of the NPE, it is “to be provided by Government, [and] shall be compulsory, free, universal, and qualitative”. 60 years into self-government, UNICEF calculates that Nigeria still has 10.5 million out-of-school children and this is the highest for any country in the world. 60 percent of these are in the northern part of Nigeria.

Take the Tertiary Education. The seven-point goal as spelt out in Section (81) of the NPE include to “contribute to national development through high level manpower training” and reduce skill shortages through the production of skilled manpower relevant to the needs of the labor market”. To these ends, Section 5(82) lists 15 goals that tertiary educational institutions shall “pursue including “generation and dissemination of knowledge, skills, and competencies that contribute to national and local economic goals which enable students to succeed in a knowledge-based economy”.

Has federal and state governments fulfilled these noble ideals? I would say “No”. This failure explains the incessant strikes by academic and non-academic staff of tertiary institutions. Premium Times reports that “Between 1999 and 2018…checks reveal [that] ASUU (Academic Staff Union of Universities) had gone on strike for over 40 months …”. The joke is that ASUU strike is, arguably, as regular as the Christmas!

If the Nigerian government followed the UNESCO 15 -20 percent of annual budget recommendation, at least N 1.29 trillion (15 per cent) ( or N1.72 trillion at 20 percent) from the 2018 federal budget would be available to improve the education sector at the federal level. And if the states emulated such responsible and progressive example, certainly, the education sector would begin to transform tremendously –provided of course that the funds were judiciously and transparently spent.

In 2006, the High Level Group of EFA (Education for All) proposed that nations devote between 4 per cent and 6 per cent of GDP to education. Nigeria’s GDP in 2017 is reported to be $375.8 billion. By this advice, a minimum of $ 15 billion would be available to the education sector in that year alone. That is a huge sum that would, even with the inevitable factor of corruption, make a big difference.

“Education”, says George Peabody, “is the debt the present generation owes future generations”. What endures and sustains society are the moral and intellectual qualities of the citizens. As all reasonable men and women know, the quality of education makes or mars the fortune and future of a nation. The better educated the people, the better a nation for, it is trite to say, people make a nation. And a cultivated human capital is crucial in this context. It is often said, for example, that there is no problem with Nigeria, only with Nigerians.

A wealthy nation is not necessarily a prosperous nation; the one is a material possession, the other is the product of a state of mind of a developed people. Whereas Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), are wealthy countries, Japan, Israel, Singapore are prosperous countries. On Singapore, Daniel Goleman (2013) in his book FOCUS writes as follows: “Singapore has no natural resources, no great army, no special political sway. Its secret lies in its people – and the government has intentionally cultivated [this human resource] as the driver of the ec0onomy. Schools are the incubator for Singapore’s outstanding workforce”.

Ian Vasquez of the Cato Institute posits that you can transfer wealth, but you cannot transfer prosperity. He is right. Wealth is a dispensable good; prosperity is an attitude, a state of mind. So, no matter how much foreign direct investments (FDI), and technology transfer come into Nigeria, the DRC, and similar-minded countries, the peoples must first imbibe a holistic attitude of ‘development orientation’ if they are to key into the modern global progress.

In this country, we worry about food security, energy security, and national security. But there is not enough concern about knowledge security. I believe that every form of security must be built upon knowledge security. In a knowledge –driven world, what you know – or do not know – can be the death of you, literally and metaphorically. Besides, it is so clear that knowledge superiority is essentially the foundation on which rest the advancement of some nations as well as their capability to outwit -and colonize – other nations. He who outthinks you will outsmart you, goes the saying.

The Teacher factor in Education
There is a general decay of the nation’s intellectual infrastructure as exemplified by dilapidated class rooms with broken furniture –or none at all-, near empty libraries and laboratories, and repeatedly inconsistent policies that disorient both the educator and the educated. Most important of all, the ‘teacher factor’ is not given the deserved consideration as the most crucial in quality of education. “Teacher growth” notes Roland S. Barth (1990), is most closely related to pupil growth”. In utter disregard for this truism, Nigerian teachers at all school levels are mistreated to the point of contempt. This is a violation of the letter and spirit of the NPE.

On Teacher Education, Section 5 (B) of the National Policy on Education (NPE) policy document aims to, “in recognition of the pivotal role of quality teachers in the provision of quality education at all levels “provide teachers with the intellectual and professional background adequate for their assignment… enhance teachers’ commitment to the teaching profession”. But all that is on paper. Nigerian teachers are owed many months of salaries while some state governments pay fractions of these just remunerations with a ‘you should be grateful to get something at all’ attitude.

There was a time in this environment when the teacher was revered; she rubbed shoulders with the chiefs and other high-ranking personalities in the community. That was in the days of yore. Today, Nigerian teachers are not at all treated with appropriate considerations. Barth cautions that poorly remunerated, ill-equipped, dispirited teachers cannot raise enthusiastic students and he advocates that an education system must provide every necessary resource for teachers to replenish themselves in order that they can replenish others. Sadly, Nigerian leaders do not seem to think that the quality of the teachers is a key determinant of the quality of education.

Taking a cue from its leaders; the Nigerian society so flagrantly disrespects its teachers to the point that hardly can one find a young man or woman who makes education her first choice to study, or to make a career. Even the higher institutions have, for years, offered Education as only the last option to applicants not admitted for other courses. Low and delayed wages, and the generally poor treatment of educators have devalued teachers and the teaching profession. Whereas elsewhere, teaching is considered “the most important profession in the world” (William G. Carr), in Nigeria, “the regard for teaching is becoming a lost tradition”, in the words Jacques Barzun.

If anyone is in doubt about the reverence accorded teachers in decent societies -ancient and modern- we should note that the great sages of the world are teachers who are remembered not for their material wealth, but because of the enduring value of their teachings. The death of a teacher, goes an Arab saying, is more painful than the death of an entire village because he gives knowledge. “A teacher affects eternity; no one can tell where his influence stops” says Henry Adams. In the New Testament, Jesus Christ is repeatedly referred to as ‘teacher’ by His questioning audiences.

The inevitable and sad conclusion to draw from the Nigerian story is that Nigeria’s political elite, through successive governments, is willfully and demonstrably anti-public education. This is outrageous and shameful because, this largest country of black people should be a leading light in what is arguably the most important means of human development. This attitude was put in a context by my best friend, Pita Onaiyekan.

Except for a few, the story of education in most African continent countries are depressing. Nigeria, is just one, albeit an inexcusable disappointing example of the state of education on the continent. The 2018 Mo Ibrahim Index on African Governance (IIAG) reports that, whereas “all three underlying governance dimensions of Human Development (Welfare, Education, and Health) have improved over the last 10 years, worryingly, progress is slowing in all of them”. Further, it says: “In Education, progress in the last 5 years has almost ground to a halt, with almost half of the continent showing deterioration in this area. [Indeed], over the last 5 years, Education Provision, which assesses the extent to which the public are satisfied with how their government is addressing educational needs, is the most deteriorated indicator in the Human Development category, and the 3rd most deteriorated in the entire IIAG”.

How much education is enough?
No amount of education in whatever form, is enough because no one can know enough live by. Continuous learning should be a way of life. “The education of a man is never complete until he dies” says Robert E. Lee. I would say that the sorry state of Nigeria and even the world generally, can be attributed to what George Seldes laments as “the rather small minority of civilized people who read books”.

It bears repeating: one can ever have enough education. Every new experience with people, in places, in time, is a form of education. The ‘School of Life’ is full of complex surprises and there is never the same answer to any two ‘life questions’. Each question poses its unique challenge to our thinking capacity and our problem-solving capability. The better educated one is, the better is the ability to discern both obvious and hidden meanings. James A. Michener (1962) warned in ‘When Does Education Stop?’ that “adults who are unwilling to reeducate themselves periodically are doomed to mediocrity”. To avoid mediocrity and even ossification therefore, as long as we live, we must keep learning how to live, advises the Roman statesman and philosopher Seneca. Even Albert Einstein has been quoted to say that once you stop learning, you start dying.

Education and the Reading Habit
Most people are simply not reading at all; some read their Holy Books only, some read only newspapers, many read the stuffs on the social media. I am of the regretful impression that in Nigeria today, there is a “rather small minority of civilized people who read books” to use the words of George Seldes. Some would even say this applies to the Black race. There is a joke on the social media that if you want to hide a thing from the black people, put it in a book. It may sound funny but alas, there may be some truth to it.

I believe that the human mind is wired to inquire. We are drawn inexorably to an investigation of the unknown (Gallup Jr. & Proctor, 1984). To not read –and read incessantly too – is to deny oneself the unquantifiable benefit of continuous education. It is, in a sense, what James F. Welles (1986) terms as the “epistemological” definition of ‘stupidity’ meaning “the failure to gather and use information efficiently”. “Reading is to the mind, as exercise is to the body “says Sir Richard Steele; Jeremy Collier admonishes that a man may as well expect to grow stronger by always eating, as wiser by always reading”. The short and long term gains of reading is summed up by philosopher Francis Bacon that “Reading maketh a full man…” and by Aldous Huxley thus : “Every man who knows how to read has it in his power to magnify himself; to multiply the ways in which he exists; to make his life full, significant, and interesting” And Prof. Niyi Osundare, on the need for leaders to read, says that he can tell the type of leader a man will make from the books he reads – or does not read. Indeed so. “A man”, writes Samuel Smiles in his 1987 book Character, may usually be known by the books he reads, as well as by the company he keeps. For, there is companionship of books, as well as companionship of men”. In this age of the Internet of [almost] Everything (IoE), no one has the moral right to remain ignorant. Absolutely no one.

Because we can never know enough, because we must, as Seneca said, keep learning how to live as long as we live, because we can never travel enough, the cheapest and shortest means to, in the words of St. Paul, “continually renew our minds” is by reading. No wonder that in 2 Timothy, he asked that books and parchments be brought to him along with some clothes. Of course, Paul knew too well the spiritual value of reading and the thinking power that a reading habit enables. Indeed, if he was not a reading man, how could this messenger of Christ to the Gentiles explain his new found faith with such erudition to Greeks and Romans not a few of them intellectuals of no mean standing? Paul certainly could not have so lucidly, and confidently justified Christ to intellectually sophisticated Greeks, Romans, and non-Jews if he did not possess knowledge, understanding, and wisdom.

With knowledge from reading comes understanding; from understanding, we distil wisdom. The Book of Proverbs has much to say on the clear, definite connections between knowledge, understanding, and wisdom .A man must get knowledge, and he must seek understanding. If he does not go beyond these, he can, I should think, make a living. But rising beyond understanding into wisdom assures that he will make a life.

I recommend that one should read, besides the holy books, all types of literature; each has a way of deepening one’s understanding of and respect for this unfathomably complex world. Every author has some new knowledge to share that cannot but enrich the reader’s repository of knowledge. There is a saying that nothing is so complicated that is not, fundamentally, simple. From reading wide and deep (a little learning is a dangerous thing, says Pope), we make an eye-opening discovery: the inherent simplicity of the fundamental truths. In the words of T.S. Eliot, “we shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started, and to know the place for the first time…”

What, then, is the great purpose of education?
I cannot answer this better than to quote three of the fine minds that have pondered this question. “The supreme end of education is expert discernment in all things; the power to tell the good from the bad, the genuine from the counterfeit; and to prefer the genuine to the bad and the counterfeit’ posits English author Samuel Johnson. Thomas Henry Huxley argues that a “ Perhaps the most valuable result of education is the ability to make yourself do the things you have to do, when it ought to be done, whether you like it or not”. And Kenneth L. Woodward says “To know the best of what has been taught and written, to be able to think critically, to be morally discerning and aesthetically discriminating, [these are] the marks of an educated man” (Newsweek, October, 1980.

A great purpose implies a worthy end higher than self. An educated person pursues an end that is larger than his personal desires, and narrow interest, that is nobler than self-interest. He aims to and works for what J.B. Priestley sums up as “the greatest happiness of the greatest number” in society.

Action is to our education as work is to our faith; active knowledge is akin to active faith. James advises in James 1: “…be doers of the word and not hearers only…” “What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works…faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. This ‘Faith in action’ should produce such fruits as excellence, integrity, and selflessness. At the risk of stretching comparison too far, I say that education that does not result in communally beneficial action is worse than ineffective, it is dead.

The great purpose of a man’s education would be seen and felt in his action. Awolowo, Soyinka, Achebe, Dangote, Einstein, Davidson, and Gates: these men did indeed receive formal education. But they have in their respective ways gone beyond what they know to act on it in the service of humanity. They have created tangible and intangible products – knowledge, software, consumer goods, etc. – that expand human thinking and productive capabilities.

What action of an educated man will qualify as serving ‘a great purpose?’
I would say that the action of an educated man will, every time, be ‘good’. As an effect of his enlightenment, refinement, and lofty thinking, he feels, irresistibly, a necessity upon him, as Paul would put it, to seek the public good, to be what Dr. Martín Luther King, Jr. terms ‘a good neighbor’. In ‘On Being a Good Neighbor’, he writes that ‘a good neighbor looks beyond the external accidents [such as clan, tribe, class, race, and nation] and discerns those inner qualities that make all men human and therefore, brothers’. “In nothing do men more nearly approach the gods, than by doing good to their fellow men” says Cicero.

To do what we ought, as a moral obligation, to take the broad view, to courageously stand up for what, to the best of judgment we believe to be true and fair, in sum, to be a good neighbor: these are choices before us each every day. God has given man the freewill to make his choice –and to bear whatever consequence comes with it. Says the Book of Ecclesiasticus : “He has set and water before you;/ put your hand to whichever you prefer./ Man has life and death before him;/ whichever a man likes better will be given him”. (The Jerusalem Bible) Doing good, in the sense of doing what we ought is even its own reward. The book of Proverbs puts it thus: “The merciful man does good for his own soul…” (NKJV). One derives emotional and psychological satisfaction from doing ‘good’ or ‘the right thing’.

Myles Munroe is reported to say that [we] were not born to make a living but to make a difference. We can make this difference only by a commitment to and pursuit of a purpose larger and higher than just living. To this end, the great purpose of education includes providing solutions to problems. If this is granted, we reasonably should expect Nigerian higher institutions to develop and implement solutions to some of the urgent problems society. We should expect and therefore demand that the polytechnics, the universities generate their own electricity and produce their own clean water first, for the school community, and then for the adjoining community- if only in fulfillment of corporate social responsibility.

A university, as a place of knowledge -and of light -, ought to be demonstrably better governed than the rest of society: a community of the enlightened should be light to the world and salt to the earth. And, against the backdrop of the link between education and leadership stated above, good governance should be obviously reflected in institutions and organizations headed by intellectuals in the Humanities. The enlightened – in the sense of one armed with knowledge, understanding, wisdom, and discernment – ought to (can it be otherwise?) act as ‘lights’ of integrity, humaneness, and equity and, I should add, courage to stand up for these qualities for, the man dies in him who fails to defend his beliefs. The world will not get better unless its leading lights shine brightly enough to overcome darkness, and to light a path to a purpose higher than self.

Olufemi Taiwo (2011) in Africa Must Be Modern argues that society should not mandatorily require that “its scholars do research that relates one way or another to practical problems [of society]” because such scholars “ are unlikely to display their rich, fecund imagination that reaches out to ideas, issues and problems that have neo been apprehended”. I do not agree. At a particular stage of its development, a society must harness all its resources – tangible and intangible- to address those immediate and urgent challenges to its survival and continued existence. Then can it be free to concern itself with rarefied ideas. Pray, why a country should confronted with food insecurity, energy insufficiency, insecurity of life and property support research into space travel, the age of the Universe, or speculative thinking of what type of beings inhabit Pluto? Of course there are, even now nations that engage in these kind of studies. But that is because, they have largely, but not completely, taken care of basic issues such as food security, energy security, and national security. Maslow’s ‘Hierarchy of Needs’ is still a valid guide to human priorities.

St. Augustine’s College and the great purpose of education
Now I bring the original question home. As alumni of St. Augustine’s, what should be the great purpose of the education that we received from this iconic college? This is a question for every alumnus to ponder, even to worry about. And for good reason we should worry.

Our response has been very poor to the celebration plans of the Diamond anniversary of the school that gave us so much. The facts are there on the SACKOBA Worldwide platform. Notwithstanding the concerns, effort, and contributions in various ways (Chief Babayemi, Mike Lewu, and members of the Planning Committee I salute you in this respect), our collective response does not at all indicate that we have imbibed sufficiently the great purpose for which this college educated us.

It bears repeating: the great purpose of any education should be to add value to self and to the world, wherever we find ourselves. Toward St. Augustine’s College, Kabba, I would say that most of us have failed to meet this expectation as indeed we ought. I believe we can, we should, and we must.

We owe so much to this college, but except for a few among us, most have done little for it. We must increase our commitments as well as improve on them. Examples: let those with the money put it down; let who have books donate them to the library, let retirees and those on leave from the hurly burly of the city donate time, knowledge, and experience to teach subjects in their areas of competence.
Quality time spent by a new face of an old boy, sharing knowledge and experience with young students can make a difference in their understanding of a topic. Let us hold periodically, career talks, seminars on History, and Current Affairs; let those among us who have foreign connections arrange to twin our college with similar schools abroad in order to attract assistance and exchange students and programmes.

An educational institution can –nay must- catalyze development in its host community. In other words, a school must serve a general good beyond its immediate, community. I suppose this is part of what is meant by the ‘common good’ in the Social Doctrine of the Catholic Church that “ The common good therefore involves all members of society , no one is exempt from cooperating, according to each one’s possibilities, in attaining and developing it…it requires the constant ability and effort to seek the good others as though it were one’s own good”.

Beyond nurturing human resource, we must think up ways that this school can contribute to the physical development of the Kabba and neighboring communities. Can we create a St. Augustine’s College Public Library open to non-student general readers? Can we periodically stage plays for public audience as the school once did in the ‘70s? I recollect with pride and nostalgia that in 1972/73, Mr. Akanbi, our teacher in Literature and an outstanding dramaturge, brought together students of our school and St. Monica’s College to stage for public viewing in Kabba and colleges in nearby towns the play Arms and the Man by George Bernard Shaw.

I was Sanitation Prefect in 1973. As an act of corporate social responsibility, (CSR), can St. Augustine’s College students periodically carry out community service such as cleaning the streets and gutters, as a way to encourage public awareness on sanitation and the keeping of a healthy environment? If we think creatively, there are countless ways we can, and should put our education to the great purpose of making St. Augustine’s College an institution of excellence it deserves to be. This way, we can confidently, proudly, enroll our children and grandchildren in our alma mater. Surely, such a measure will bond us more strongly to this school.

I now speak for myself. Having received the best tradition of Catholic education and the Catholic faith here, I see the great purpose of my education is multidimensional. First, it is to be a proud and worthy ambassador of St. Augustine’s College wherever I go. Second, it is to give back to every school that has nurtured me as much and in as many ways as I can. Third, it is to choose what I ought above what I will in moments of critical decisions. Fourth, it is to courageously, but not rashly, stand for what is, to the best of my knowledge and judgment, right, true, and fair. Fifth, it is to be “a good neighbor” who “looks beyond the external accidents and discerns those inner qualities that, make all men human, and therefore, brothers”. Sixth, it is to live as a citizen of the world not of a clan, a town, or a country. Seventh I believe that the great purpose of my education in this school and elsewhere, is to leave wherever I find myself better than I met it.

I conclude this lecture by asserting that every time an alumnus fails to meet the great purpose of his education, he fails this college. I pray that God grants us the wisdom and the will to act the great purpose of our education.

Except from the guest lecture on the 60TH anniversary of St. Augustine’s College, Kabba, Onaiyekan is a member of The Guardian Editorial Board

Source The Guardian

Namibia: Student urges youth to contribute to development


Mental independence is the basis of independent thinking, independent decision-making, and leads to independent actions and behaviour, says youth activist and a student at the University of Namibia (Unam) Alexis Wimmerth.

In an interview Wimmerth spoke about mental independence, highlighting the role it plays in achieving economic independence and eventually political independence. “Twenty-nine years of independence, as a Namibian country and a nation that is how far we have come. We are proud of our nation and proud of our achievements thus far on all different levels. The way we are using our time and on what we are focusing our minds will determine the future of this country,” says Wimmerth. She says Namibian students and youths have to invest in all things that will advance the country towards prosperity. “This is regardless of our political affiliations – the focus right now is bigger. It is on the Namibian nation. It is bigger than our ethnicity and our tribes, it is bigger than our upbringing and our culture, and it is about the development of this country.”

Wimmerth adds that for young people to be independent thinkers, they need a high level of self-sufficiency, meaning that they have to regulate their actions and own thoughts. “We have to think for ourselves and no one can claim on how we have to think, what we have to think and how we have to do it. It’s important to try to question why we think about certain things and act in certain ways,” she explains.

She also said that behavioral independence is based on mental independence, because it’s only after one can think independently that one can make independent choices in life. “We need to guide our values and our actions, and accept that we might make mistakes. If we are intellectually independent we will contribute to the social economic development of this country. Independence of thought can lead to incredible discoveries and innovations; such innovations can not only help us and our sense of self-confidence, but can also further the state of our Namibian nation.”

According to her, mental independence is the place of continuous recreation and innovation so, when youth have an idea, they should not sit on that idea. “We need to use it towards the development of this independent Namibia for us to reach economic development. Volunteer to bring a change at an old age home, volunteer to help out at a health centre, visit an orphanage and see the day-to-day activities, every small contribution will add towards a better developed Namibia,” she advises the

Source NEL

Kenya: Big 4 Agenda presents great opportunities for youth, says President Kenyatta

President Uhuru Kenyatta on Wednesday told the youth they stand to benefit from the many employment, job creation and economic empowerment opportunities presented by the Big 4 Agenda projects.

He told Kenyan youth that the transformative development blueprint presents a strong enabling platform to enable them to secure a bright future and maximize their potential.

“The Big Four Agenda provides young persons with multiple avenues for self-fulfillment, economic empowerment, dignified living and service to Kenya,” said the President when he addressed hundreds of youth at State House, Nairobi, during celebrations to honour the 2019 awardees of the President’s Award Kenya

A total of 1601 students drawn from various institutions across the country received their Gold Awards under the President’s Award Kenya Programme whose role is to nurture key values of teamwork, resilience, hard work, determination, leadership, perseverance, community service, discipline, self-reliance and pragmatic thoughts for tangible solutions.

The winners were drawn from national institutions which included academies, secondary schools and universities (both private and public), Borstal institutions, technical institutes and the National Youth Service.

The President said the Big-4 agenda programmes are structured to support the development of education, infrastructure, Information Communication Technology, the arts, culture and sports among other sectors, all aimed at benefiting the youth.

“It is the most exciting and rewarding time to be a young person in our nation’s history,” the President told the over 2000 youths.

He added: “You are fortunate to be living in an exciting time, full of opportunities that previous generations could not even have dreamed of.”

The President challenged young people to avoid falling for the lures of modern life by wasting their youth and vigour in pursuits and actions that add no value to their lives.

“Use your time, energy and effort well; take advantage of the facilitative measures that the government has put in place, be dedicated and diligent, and you will prosper beyond your wildest dreams,” he said

President Kenya enumerated other opportunities that the government has recently tapped into and which are highly beneficial for the youth.

“The digital era and my government’s commitment to fostering the innovations and creativity of young Kenyans is bound to open up new frontiers for you and your peers,” he told the youth.

The President said the decisive action to reinvigorate the education system through a new curriculum, government focus on digital learning and the development of ICT infrastructure and equipment, the ongoing connection of all public schools to the electricity grid and the seamless 100 percent transition for all learners to secondary school marks a new era for Kenya’s youth.

“These interventions are intended to ensure that our young persons are provided with the positive and enabling environment to excel inside and outside the classroom, to acquire the skills and know-how to navigate the modern world, to be self-reliant and innovative and to have a holistic learning experience,” he said.

The President urged the awardees to be the country’s brand ambassadors for courtesy, civic responsibility, community service and action, integrity, hard work and excellence.

Other speakers at the ceremony included sports CS Ambassador Amina Mohammed and the President’s Award Kenya Executive Director Nellie Munala.

Source KBC

Ghana: Youth Want SDGs Taught In JHS, SHS

By Modern Ghana

The convener for Youth Coalition for promotion of the Sustainable Development Goals in Northern Ghana, Mr. Gaeten Agbaam has called on government to initiate steps aimed at mainstreaming the SDGs into the curriculum of basic and senior high schools.

This according to Mr. Agbaam will enable young people to become exposed to the SDGs at a very early stage in life and therefore be more willing to take action for the realization of the global goals.

Speaking to both students and teachers of the Tamale Senior High School in Tamale at the commencement of his maiden SDG Tour to Senior High Schools in Ghana, Mr. Agbaam explained that the adoption of sustainable development goals represents a strong commitment by both national governments and the international community at ensuring a better world for all humanity.

He, therefore, opined that as part of measures to operationalize this commitment the government of Ghana should consider mainstreaming teaching of the SDGs into the national curriculum for basic and senior high schools so as to enhance broad base education on these goals amongst the youth of the country who inevitably represent its future.

Mr. Agbaam also called on the student themselves to develop an interest in extra curricular activities that contribute to enhancing environmental sustainability since the effect of climate change and vulnerability are fast becoming so real and well seen in the three northern regions of Ghana.

Mr. Gaeten Agbaam also used the occasion to announce the coalitions maiden SDG conference for Northern Ghana which is scheduled to take place in Tamale on the 20th April 2019.

He explained that the conference was aimed at raising awareness and educating the youth about the Sustainable Development Goals and the need to strive towards achieving them.

He, therefore, called on all students and young people between the ages of 18-30 years to register for the conference since it represents the very first of its kind in the region.

Mr. Agbaam also applauded the Headmistress and staff of the Tamale Senior High school for buying into the SDG agenda and for giving him the chance to talk to the student body.

Other members of the coalition who were also present at the tour included Mr. David Baako Larweh, Miss. Sandra Tom Dery, Mr.Hyginus Laari and Mr. Fuseini Farouk Lamin.

The next phase of the SDG tour is expected to take place in the Bono region.

Source Modern Ghana

Why Education is Important?

By Azugbene Solomon

President & CEO All Africa Youths Platform

Education is not just to read and write. It is about using education for their own advantages and to utilize the knowledge for their growth.

Also one can lead their own life without depending on others. It is not about making people literate, literacy is entirely different education.

Literacy is meant for ability to read and write, whereas education is finding out the reason behind everything and using the reading writing skills to improve their lives. It helps the countries to grow economically and cherish with prosperity.

To live flawless life, education is very important for every individual. Lets discuss what is education and the importance of education.

What is Education:

Education is nothing but studying different kinds of subjects to gain knowledge and understanding and trying to apply it in daily life.

Education is not only the book knowledge also learning something practically. Education doesn’t mean to just go schools and colleges daily and attend exams, it is meant for gathering knowledge relating it to our lives.

Even a robot can read and write, but human being uses the knowledge wisely. It makes a human being, something more than actually he was provided with. Education is not only for utilizing ourselves, but also it can be used to improve other peoples’ lives.

1. Other definitions on educations:

Education is knowing about the facts of life. In every part of our life we learn in different forms.

Education is not to mug up, but just to understand how to create the world around us and how to sustain it for future generations and how to develop relations for existence.

The role of education is meant for developing something new rather than relying on the old innovations. One should be able to identify what he knows and what he doesn’t know.

Education is the only way to win the world. It is to think deeply about something till its roots and understand the intention behind it.

2. Great people define education as:

Education is the ability to think, apply it in the world and to know the value of life. It doesn’t limit with self education, but also to spread it to every human around us. There is no end for education in each and every stage of human life we learn something.

It is not about learning life, but education itself is a life. It is the key to finding great characters hidden in every individual.

It will help us to know what harm we are doing to the world and guide us to protect the world from all dangers which are caused by human beings. This is the wealth which can be transformed from ages to ages.

Importance of Education in our Lives:

To gain respect from the society one should be educated. To lead a happy and prosperous life one need to study and can obtain a great job to be successful in life.

It helps in earning money and fulfilling the basic needs of life. Also education will help to gain reputation by being in a great position. One can grow in their career and fulfill their dreams.

Education is irrespective of cast, creed and gender, by gaining knowledge people can stand out as equal with all the other persons from different caste and creed. It is a platform to prove the equity by defeating all barriers.

1. Other advantages:

The importance of education for every person is to live independently and to gain freedom. In any way education will protect a person both financially and also to live their life on their foot.

It allows to set standards of life. It will provide wise knowledge to understand the results of wrong decisions and help to find alternative ways.

It will rule the uneducated persons and protect the world from the dangers caused by them and help them to improve the life style by implementing laws to control them in case of any misbehavior. It will help to understand each and every individual roles and responsibility to build the society.

Why Education is Important for Children?

Education is important for children because they are the future of the world and they should be updated with current affairs. They are the pillars of the nation, to develop a country and the world the future should be secure and the children are the weapons to build the nation with all their knowledge and education.

We should inculcate the past generation’s values and carry them with huge current innovations. It helps to break the social evils like racism and poverty line, so each and every child must be educated.

The children will stand out as future leaders to develop the nation from all the issues, the hurdles stopping to grow.

1. Education at childhood:

Education is necessary at childhood stage, this is the period where it provides them a chance to develop mentally, physically and develop social awareness in them.

It gives them experience to start facing the world. It is a stage to explore themselves. The importance of education for children are many. It is the parent’s responsibility to provide them the right education at the right level of age.

Also, they have to find out children’s interests and accordingly have to provide education. This is a crucial stage, which will impact them very effectively either in a positive way or in a negative way, it is dangerous if they went in a wrong path. So it is the responsibility of parents and children to take care of them.

2. Play an important role:

The role of education in our life doesn’t only mean to give bookish knowledge to students, but also to provide different kinds of knowledge in different kinds of skills like painting, drawing, singing morals.

The mental status of children before joining the school will be different, once they step in they will try to grab more knowledge of lifestyle, it is the stage to motivate themselves into a new human being, they will start identifying what is good and what is bad for them.

They will start analyzing, questioning and reasoning for every task. They will understand to learn something from mistakes. They will start fixing themselves in the competitive world.

3. Children start building goals:

If a child is joined in a school, he will start learning, playing and enjoy with friends. While learning he will understand what position he is in acquiring knowledge and he will learn slowly to grab the top position.

While playing he will understand what is the logic to win it, this way they start building goals at an early stage. But parents should understand whether their children are working only for ranks and grades or acquiring some wisdom or not.

It is important that they are aware of the purpose of education and how it works in real life. They start maintaining a structured life.

Why Education is Important to Life:

Education imparts benefits like:

1. Ability to read & write:

Education helps a person to be able to read and write. Most of the information is communicated by writing. Hence, it is the key to many daily activities. A man who has this ability to read is literate.


He can read books, newspapers and signs and symbols. He can understand others views and experiences to add to his knowledge.

It also helps read signboards in the street, at shops, bus, train and air stations. It also helps in day to day activities like banking, shopping and money transaction. Without primary education, one has to rely on others for all the above basic needs.

2. Opportunity to make a decent livelihood:

Education provides a platform for a decent livelihood. One can take up a job in industry or another professional service if he is educated.

Education vs income statistics

Many people of middle and lower income groups have a better lifestyle through proper education. They can meet the technical skills required to land a high pay job.

Some of the professional education courses include healthcare, engineering, law etc.

Hence, education can guarantee a better lifestyle.

3. Helps to communicate better:

A good education helps one communicate better. Communication includes speech, signs, gestures and even body language. A person with better education has refined speech and other ways of communication. Even his body language sounds confident and optimistic due to education.

Without basic education, it would be difficult to write an email, letter or even use a smartphone.

Even if a person travels to a foreign country, he can live there by learning that countries language. He can do it with ease as there are books available to learn that language.

Also, it helps us to communicate better. By speaking in a proper language like the use of correct grammar, pronunciation, etc.

4. Express views and opinions:

Education helps a person to express his opinions in a better manner. He can communicate with the large audience by writing in newspapers, letters and video recordings.

Many poets, authors are renowned and famous worldwide due to their ability to influence people. This ability though is an inherent talent and education enhances their skill.

One can even communicate professional and personal issues in written form. They can do by email, letters, books, etc. Many people write novels, poems, stories due to their education.

5. Ability to serve the society:

Education also helped in the rise in the number of medical experts, engineers, teachers, etc. To provide services to such a vast population of the world we need many medical and other experts. Through education, we can generate the skilled personnel. This has lead to better health and also an improvement in lifestyle.

6. Use of technology:

The food production, medicine, electronic gadgets, automobiles and other luxury items were developed due to the spread of science and technology among the professionals through studies.

So, without basic education, it would be difficult for one to use gadgets of modern technology.

Even use of social networking sites requires minimal basic education. So education helps us use technology in the better way.

7. Support to the economy:

The means of economy and money making have changed with education. It is the primary cause of rising in the employment opportunities all over the world. Without education, a person can only perform lay jobs using his hands and legs. But due to education, he can work using his brain.

The advent of the internet, software and other technology could perform well due to education. This makes us generate colossal income and employment opportunities.

Maybe if people are not educated, these technologies would be of no use to anyone. So such vast income generation is possible due to educated humans.

8. Safe and secure transactions:

Nowadays all the money related transactions happen through bank cheques, credit cards, etc. Without education, it would be difficult to understand the terms and processes and depend on others. This can give a chance for misuse to others. Having education would help one rely on to himself and make safer transactions.

9.Mind maturity:

The mind gets matured by proper education and training. A person can judge what is right and what is not. Education makes a person independent and helps him abide by the rules of the land.

He can earn his bread anywhere in the world without being dependent on family or his native state.

It also helps us to improve our discipline, self-control and even a sense of responsibility. Proper education of masses can cut the crime rate and other sorts of social violence.

Why Education is Important to Society:

For a modern society, education is very important. The old values of education and ethics have been sweeping slowly so it is the right time to get educated with inculcating the history to the students.

There is nowhere one can teach culture, education in the right process to transform the culture to modern society. It is the perfect stage to mold a person into a complete leader with all the human emotions, values and heritage.

These days students are influenced by some of the bad events that are happening around the world, so it is necessary to develop them in a perfect path.

1. Propagation of knowledge:

Transfer of knowledge from one generation to other or from country to other is possible through education.

For example, Newton’s laws which first came to the scientific world in 1700. These are still taught in schools and colleges through books and teachers. These essential laws can be spread to masses to a complete extent with education.

Similarly, the history of countries and the world can be explained to the current society. This helps them learn from the previous mistakes and experiences.

Thus education is a crucial method to pass knowledge of the past to the people of the present.

2.Improvement of technology:

Advances in medicine, war equipment, technology were possible due to constant exploration and research. People of current age carry this exploration. They could do so due to their education and knowledge about the past technology. Since they knew how the previous methods work, they could explore more. People with higher education in science, mathematics, and technology can do this.

Even findings and discoveries are published in magazines and journals to reach the masses. This spread is possible because masses are educated. Without education, they could not read or understand the technological improvements. Once followed, they can try for more betterment.

3. Better Social harmony:

Education is a way by which people of different cultures, religions; sects come together during schooling, college, etc. Thus it helps them understand each other better and stay in mutual harmony. Therefore education can improve social harmony.

Why Education is Important for a Country:

1. People will become better citizens with education

2. You will see the importance if voting only through education.

3. It will help you to get a job.

4. Education will support mother who are single or alone.

Why Education is Important Quotes:

1. Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world. Nelson Mandela

2. Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today. Malcolm X

3. An investment in knowledge pays the best interest. Benjamin Franklin

4. Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself. John Dewey

5. Develop a passion for learning. If you do, you will never cease to grow. Anthony J. D’Angelo

6. The roots of education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet. Aristotle

7. Change is the end result of all true learning. Leo Buscaglia

8. Education is the movement from darkness to light. Allan Bloom

9. Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school. Albert Einstein

10. The aim of education is the knowledge, not of facts, but of values. William S. Burroughs

11. Education is the foundation upon which we build our future. Christine Gregoire.

Reasons Why Education is Important:

It gives an opportunity to learn different languages other than the mother tongue and the ability to survive anywhere in the entire world.

It makes us to develop as good citizens of the society. It helps to protect ourselves from the other harmful events and helps you keep educating of current dangers, diseases and how to face or prevent them.

Also, it will make us know what may cause danger to others and make us aware of not causing trouble to others. We are provided with a beautiful resources naturally so education will help how to reserve them, how to sustain them and gives ideas for creating alternatives.

1. Comfortable and stable life:

It is expected by most of everyone that they need to live a life of comfort and luxury, but to make that happen either the person need to be stable or educated.

To earn a better life and live a comfortable life, a person needs to understand the value of education. Most of the people think education is a waste of time, as they are just a material fact with no relative connection practically.

But if a person has even a small portion of knowledge, then it is possible that they can handle such situation better than uneducated people.

2. Improvement in standard of living:

Most of people think education can lead a person to a position where he / she can fulfill all of their dreams and expectations. But most of them doesn’t believe in such thinking that education creates such difference in one’s life.

And it is true that just education can’t get one a successful position unless he / she work really hard to get that position. If a person starts dedicating himself / herself for a quality of education then it is possible that the result of such dedication will be fruitful.

3. Provides safety and security:

If a person needs a life with safety and security, then he / she need to understand the value of education in our daily life.

To lead a life of safety and security the person need to take active participation in educational activities. These educational activities will provide them the knowledge which can help them live a better life. These kind of drastic change can be initiated with the help of education in one’s life.

4. Equality:

This is the only way where a person of any caste and region will maintain a respectable position with the help of an education. There are different kinds of personalities who have different opinions but still acquire the success holding their respect.

All these can take place with the help of an education. It maintains an equality between people even if they are holders of different sets of opinions.

5. Provides confidence:

An education is only a matter of thinking which can provide change in one’s level of confidence. Sometimes it happens that people experience embarrassment because of lack of education.

And to overcome such embarrassment people need to come forward and accept the benefits of education which can change their life with full of confidence. Eventually, it changes the opinions among people’s work and their stability.

6. Prevents unlikely events:

Sometimes when we are unaware of things it can create a certain level of change in our life.

Therefore, it would be advisable that a person need to educate himself / herself about the things which they are unaware of. And eventually, education can make us self reliant and confident enough to face such unlikely situations.

Living in a society, one should have knowledge of their rights, laws and regulations. This knowledge will help to build boundaries around us to follow the rules so that we have a peaceful life. Education will help to interact with different kinds of persons and exchange knowledge and ideas and live in harmony. To be a active participant in society and to gain respect from the world one should always learn new things.

Featured photo credit: Aga Khan via AKDN


1. Wise Step
2. Study Read

Education quality and the youth skills gap are marring progress in Africa

By David E Kiwuwa

Education has a great bearing on sustainable economic opportunities because skilled workers feed the market.

The Ibrahim Index of African Governance measures and monitors Africa’s governance performance. It produces an impartial picture of governance performance in every country on the continent. David E Kiwuwa, associate professor of international studies at the University of Nottingham, asked Mandipa Ndlovu, a Zimbabwean academic, researcher and 2017/18 Ibrahim Scholar to unpack some of the findings from the 2018 report.

Where do you see progress in Africa in terms of good governance and leadership over the past decade?

The Index defines governance as the provision of the political, social and economic goods and services that every citizen has the right to expect from their government. Governments have a responsibility to deliver these services to their citizens.

The 2018 Index shows that countries that have done well in overall governance have also seen improvements in transparency and accountability. These improvements fall under the broad category of “safety and rule of law”. Here, the continent is in a better position than it was five years ago. For this trend to continue national security needs to be reinforced.

The health measure has improved in 47 countries over the past ten years. Countries like Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Burkina Faso have taken great strides. This is thanks to improvements in several areas like the provision of antiretroviral treatment, a drop in child mortality and better management of communicable diseases. Maternal mortality rates have also stabilised and immunisation has become more common.

Inspite of this progress, Africans are not satisfied with their governments’ handling of basic health services.

Where is progress slowest?

Gender is one area of concern. The 2018 report notes that gender representation in leadership had the largest improvement over the last five years. However, the empowerment of women in general registered the biggest slowdown. Gender representation therefore, must not be conflated with gender empowerment.

The data also shows that policies and representation do not always translate into action. South Africa, for example, continues to face high rates of femicide and patriarchal ideals within its judicial structures. This is despite its liberal constitution.

While the country shows great improvements under “women’s political participation” and “representation of women in the judiciary” there is a decline in “women’s political empowerment”. Women are well represented in the country’s cabinet, for instance, but there’s been a marked deterioration in how empowered ordinary women feel to participate in politics.

Such disconnects are concerning.

However, countries like Rwanda must be commended for their deliberate inclusion of women in places of influence. Interventions like these are still too rare on the continent.

Also worrying is the lack of progress under “sustainable economic opportunity”, the worst performing measure. Almost half of the continent’s citizens (43.2%) live in a country that’s seen a decline of sustainable economic opportunities in the last 10 years.

Why have African governments struggled to translate economic growth into improved sustainable economic opportunities for their citizens?

Trends indicate that transparency and accountability are vital for sustainable economic opportunity in the long term. Greater accountability and transparency is needed on national expenditure, for example. Protectionist systems that allow for the abuse of power and inhibit the levelling out of socio-economic disparities must be exposed. Only then can these systems be reformed to open up more opportunities for all.

Increasing access to sustainable economic opportunities improves human development. This in turn allows for innovation in health, technology and other spaces that increase the overall functionality of good governance.

What role can education play in improving governance?

The gaps in African governance are twofold: socio-economic inclusion and education. It is important to focus on both areas to bring about overall improvement. Although improvements have been recorded in the sub-category of “participation” in the last 10 years, student and youth resistance movements belie the progress.

The rise of populist movements coupled with the lack of voter registration within the youth dividend must not be misconstrued as political apathy.

In South Africa for example – where the 2018 index was launched – there is a critical skills gap that has not been adequately addressed. The quality of education in South Africa is worrying.

Also in South Africa, as well as the rest of the continent, youth enrolment in schools is improving. But “education quality”, “satisfaction with education provision”, and “alignment of education with market needs” are persistent causes for concern.

Education has a great bearing on sustainable economic opportunities because skilled workers feed the market. Africa is currently experiencing a skills gap deficit. With 27 countries registering deteriorating education scores in the last five years there is a further decline to already fragile sustainable economic opportunities.

Source The Conversation

Life After School: The Nigerian Perspective

By Edikan Udoibuot

What are your plans after school? Almost every finalist has been asked this question in one way or the other. But unfortunately, only a few have a concrete answer to such questions. The transition from being an undergraduate to becoming a graduate is kinder funny and scary to most students. The thought of being independent, no more frequent pocket money from Daddy and Mummy, Uncles and Aunts, Brothers and Sisters… is something we all have to deal with. It is a period when every decision you make counts and are very vital to your future because everybody now looks up to you.

After spending four, five to six years in school studying one course or the other, the question is what did you gain? What did you achieve? To some, those years were years of reformation, to others, they were years of purpose discovery, while some see the years as wasted years borne out of frustration or disappointments, no thanks to the education system of the country. Particularly in Nigeria and Africa at large, we have poor orientation of career choice, most students choose courses either because of the name or because they were forced by parents to study such courses (living another man’s dream). Also, some study because they want to work in big firms. For instance, back in our secondary school days, the three major courses most recurring among the science student were “medicine, engineering and pharmacy” while those in the commercial and arts are more concerned with “law, mass communication and accountancy”. These are nice courses per se but there are many other great courses to study which students don’t know about or neglect thinking that such courses won’t be of relevance to them.

Back to our question “what next after graduation?” the truth is that many students don’t have plans for life after school because they were either carried away by activities of their studies or didn’t just bother to plan ahead thinking that every plans made initially will fall in place. Most students’ mindset is to graduate, go for NYSC, get a good and safe job and life a happy life, but there is more to life. Unfortunately, we find ourselves in a country where the economy is dwindling; there is no job security, and many other challenging things happening in the country. To survive in an economy like Nigeria’s, one has to be independent, not waiting or depending on the government to feed you, it is only one without skill that cries out “no job”. To this effect, some questions pops up, what skills do you have? What’s your passion? What do you have to offer? If you have concrete answers to these questions, then you are good to go.

John F. Kennedy the 35th President of the United States of America once said, “ask not of what your country can do for you ask of what you can do for your country”. After graduation it would be time to give out what you’ve learned so far. Think of something to do; be different, be innovative, be creative, be industrious, and be versatile, surely you will be able to sail through the stormy sea outside school.

Perhaps you never had concrete plans while in school, the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) should be seen as a blessing in disguise because it should be a period where you can sit down and plan your life for the future within a year. It fully transits you from life as a student to life as a graduate. The government on their part should help matters by making the environment conducive while it is our duty to create opportunities. But if the government is doing nothing about it, that shouldn’t warrant us to sit idle and keep blaming the government.

God created every man in a unique way, lying inside of you are great potentials yet to be unleashed which by discipline, doggedness, and determination you can make a difference. We should bear in mind that the era of civil service is over. Before as a civil servant, you are entitled to a car and house but that is not the case in our own generation. That is why one has to be versatile. If you were not able to learn one or two skills aside your chosen discipline, there is still an opportunity to do so during the one year of NYSC. In our generation three things will push you to the top, they are your talents, your skills and your discipline.

Always remember, your network apparently determines your net-worth. You can study medicine in the university and become a stylist later in life; that doesn’t mean you wasted your time in school. Rather, your being educated exposed you to many things and also changed your way of thinking. Your packaging will be totally different from the normal stylist because you’ll think in a more modified way.

Finally, you were born to win, to dominate and to explore nature. Key into nature and life will be easy for you. Remember education is the key! It is not just about the certificate; there is more to it.

Take a bold step!

Make a wise decision and stand out of the crowd!!

God bless your efforts.

This article was first published at

Nigerian youths need mentors with values to become competitive

By Benjamin Alade

Founder, Thinkation, Ubong King, in this interview with BENJAMIN ALADE, speaks on how Nigerian youths can explore their potentials through creative thinking while giving insights on its second edition of Thinkation. Excerpts:

Can you tell us about Thinkation?

Thinkation is an event positioned to change the paradigm of the mindsets of people, particularly the young people of Africa and especially Nigeria.

It is a word coined out two words, Thinking and Education.

Nigerians are very educated both local and internally but they do not excise themselves in Thinking which leaves them being dependent on others when they have all it takes to attract the world to them.

What propelled the concept ‘Thinkation’ and who are your target audience?

The indices regarding youth growth/population in the country against productivity is not good.

75 per cent of our populations are youths under 45 years, which computes about 135,000,000 youth in a population of 180,000,000 as at 2006 census.

It is reported that 40 per cent of the youth population cannot be employed because they don’t have skill – Please note that there is a difference between education and skill.

So we have so many young people who are educated and not thinking. The target audiences are young people between 18 and 45 years.

Nigeria ranks highest in out of school leavers in the world, what efforts are in place through Thinkation to tackle this?

Entrepreneurship education is the way out. Our curriculum needs to be overhauled to accept that the worlds trend have change.

To keep them in school, we need to give them direction to show them where the world is going and they will be ready to learn.

We also need to improve the quality of our teachers and what they teach to our young minds.

Being the second edition, what sustainability processes are in place to retain the programme?

Content is continually shared on all our platforms and mentoring sessions also hold. Those who show interest grow into mentoring from our platforms and they attend master classes and Mastermind meetings.

Youths are easily carried away especially with social media, which sometimes corrupt their thoughts, how would this forum change the mindset of participants?
Youth follow what you give them, either good or bad.

The attention span of a youth now is nine seconds only so you need to engage then in ways that you can keep them hungry for more.

We need to pass more value content messages to them via this same social networks that they live daily on.

This event will have a lot of stories that they can relate with and also real life scenarios they can hear. The facilitators are not the textbook type.

Even with the ‘Not Too Young To Run’ bill being passed into law, active participation of youths in politics is still low. How would this initiative change the narrative?

It is one thing for a bill to be passed into law and another thing for the actualisation of the activity of the bill.

The question to ask is that are we ready for the responsibility it comes with, have we prepared ourselves to do politics as it should be done. I think we are only 30 per cent ready.

We need to push our understanding of how politics should be done or we will be doing politics like the people we are fighting to leave office.

What were the significant achievements recorded after the first edition?

Many young minds were challenged and some started some progressive activities for themselves. The hunger rate to win in life is more now and it will show for the long term.

What do you see as the greatest challenge confronting youths, especially in Nigeria?

The dependency mindset being fed to us from wrong models and wrong educations techniques.

There are no jobs out there, we should change the curricula to teach our team how to create Jobs and reduce the unemployment quotient. Our youth need mentors with values.

In what ways can the government help in making this dream come to reality?

I believe the government needs to be sincere with their decisions when it comes to strategic development of the community for the mid and long term.

Constant reviews of the Global Competitive index reports should be reviewed and look at areas where we can grow competitively. Then we challenge ourselves to it for a better enabling environment.

Compared to other parts of the globe, would you say youths in these parts have become competitive?

We are way behind but we have more values than youths outside.

How best can youths achieve their potential in this forum?

Through the discipline of mentorship and it must be intentional.

Going forward, what is the future of Thinkation?

I hope it turns into a movement that will drive the soul of our youth to protecting the integrity of our own Nigeria that our fore fathers fought to keep.

What is your expectation for the second edition?

It will be educational and Fun.

Source Guardian Nigeria