Is Excellence In Formal Education Overrated?

The nature of education has changed

EducationEducation, how it is delivered and how it affects human life has changed. What you get from being formally educated does not make you ultimately successful, heading towards an amazing life. Education is still very valuable and crucial to the growth of humanity. But it does not teach and promote the important message of the power of continuous learning from other sources.

Formal education is not the sole provider of knowledge. In times long passed knowledge was held and given by those who where teachers by nature, learning and experience. Teachers today are still worthy of great respect. But they are also restricted and controlled by rules that are often outside educational advantages. The business of education is a different animal. At the removal of discipline and the ability to apply and enforce it and the educational process becomes even weaker.

Building the workforce

EducationIt has been said that all it does is creates and prepares the workforce needed to keep the industrial profit engines running. I don’t think that this is always true. But it has changed our thinking, altered the real achievements that educated humans make.

A prominent Asian businessman once said: “If you put bananas and money in front of monkeys, monkeys will choose bananas because monkeys do not know that ‘Money’ can buy a lot of bananas“. Apply this ideology to humans and offer a job or a business to people. They would choose the job because most people do not think and believe that a business can bring more money than wages.

The extra responsibility and dedication required will also influence this choice. The issue is that the choice to ‘make a difference’ with something personal and new is not widely made. People are not generally taught and inspired to make this choice

Poverty thinking instead of rich thinking

EducationPoverty thinking is a true sickness. It holds people back from within their thinking minds. Those who follow rich thinking form less than 5% of the total population. Robert Kiyosaki, author of the best selling book “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” said “One of the reasons poor are poor, is because they are NOT trained to recognise and take on entrepreneur opportunities. They spend too much time in school and what they have learnt in school, is to work for wages instead of money working for them”. This shows how the trend in popular education has a restricting effect. It actively directs learners to gather knowledge to be used in a future job. It promotes getting a job and working for a living. 

I could keep writing about this subject and never stop. So here is the time to inspire change. In his welcoming speech to freshmen and women during their orientation a Professor (the Acting DVC Academic) at a university in Kenya said: 

Academic excellence is overrated! 

Being top of your class does not necessarily guarantee that you will be at the top of life. You could graduate as the best student in Finance but it doesn’t mean you will make more money than everybody else.

The best graduating Law student does not necessarily become the best lawyer. The fact is, life requires more than the ability to understand a concept, memorise it and reproduce it in an exam.School rewards people for their memory. Life rewards people for their imagination. School rewards caution, life rewards daring.

School hails those who live by the rules. Life exalts those who break the rules and set new ones. So do I mean people shouldn’t study hard in school? Oh, no, you should. But don’t sacrifice every other thing on the altar of First Class.

Live without limits!

Don’t limit yourself to the classroom. Do something practical. Take a leadership position. Start a business and fail. That’s a better Entrepreneurship 101. Join or start a club. Contest an election and lose. It will teach you something Political Science 101 will not teach you.

Attend a seminar. Read books outside the scope of your course. Go on missions and win a soul for eternal rewards. Do something you believe in! Think less of becoming an excellent student but think more of becoming an excellent person.

Don’t make the classroom to be your world but Make the world your classroom. Step forward, try politics, try farming, try business, try an extra thing.

I conclude that we all have so much more to learn. Most of this knowledge exists outside the realms of formal education and its institutions. We are all responsible for making sure our youth appreciate learning more.  Seek knowledge in all places to achieve positive growth and true wealth.

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