Education, Population And The Society.

Dear esteemed readers, I want us to critically look into some issues needed to be addressed in our present day society.

Just as a nation goes through stages of development in response to technological advancement, the goals and objectives of educational practices of a country changes from time to time in response to population growth. These changes may not be documented but its something that is bound to happen. And you shouldn’t expect the government or education officials to come on air to declare that there are now changes in the national goals of education before realising it as a citizen. How these changes are tackled is what make a nation either improve or slow down in development. In respect to this, I will be expressing my view on the relationship between population and education by analyzing the motives for education.

Education For Literacy

There was a time when Nigeria was in total darkness, that was the time we were wallowing in ignorance. When we started having contact with the western world, our leaders saw the need for the citizens to be enlightened so as to ease means of communication. At this time, the motive for education was just to train individuals to read, write, and interpret the white man’s ideas.

Education For White Collar Job

At a point in our society, education became very relevant as job opportunities were wasting because there were no individuals with technical know how to take up and execute these jobs for our leaders. So the need to train interested candidates was the interest of our leaders. Even as the offers were made, it was few candidates who had courage attended school. Because they were few in numbers, the government were ready to sacrifice for their comfort. They were given good accommodation, food was not a problem. As they were graduating, good jobs with official car and apartment were waiting for them. How nice it felt then to be a graduate. One can say that this era of education to some extent was in line with the national goals of Nigeria education.

Education For Entrepreneurship

As more people become aware on the need to be educated, and as the the population of Nigeria continue to rise, the table of the purpose of education in our society turned around. Getting a job in your field of study became difficult as thousands of graduates are released into the labour market yearly. This issue has led many frustrated and lazy youths into dubious act just to earn a living. In order to solve this problem caused by overpopulation, the government decided to include entrepreneurship in the education system to help individuals acquire skill outside of their profession so as to make them self employed and employer of labour after schooling. By this, the pressure for white collar jobs which are barely available will be drastically reduced. With this system, it is either your certificate gives you a job or you earn through your acquired skill.

Education As Life Process

Education as a life process is my major focus on this piece. Many people neither know nor sensed that our education system has progressed into another level with uncontrollable growth in population of the country. I stated earlier that it is population that determines the progression of education system. Now, if you had carefully analyzed the three points highlighted above, you must have noticed that the motive for education changes with increased population. We are operating at the stage where many graduates roam the street in search for jobs which they never get to find at the end of the day. Those who managed to find one accept the offer not because they are pleased with it but due to the fact that they need to hold on to something for immediate survival. We are at the stage where few available firms pay employed graduates 20,000 naira or less. The ones that pay higher than this, will use and sap you off your energy, because to them, you are nothing but a robot. Graduates will continue to suffer until the society begin to see education as a life process. How do I mean? By life process, I simply refer to education as an integral phase of life. That is, it should be seen as part of the process you must pass through as you undergo stages of development. So being educated shouldn’t be seen any more as entitlement for getting a good job. Rather, utilize your literacy appropriately to fit in well into the society. I am not emphasizing on this point to criticize education but trying to address the current misconception about education among Nigerian youths, especially the young graduates and undergraduates. Many graduates roaming the street searching for white collar jobs have at one point or the other had cause to ask; is the certificate gradually losing its place value? For me, the question would have been; where is the place value of your certificate in your life? The certificate is only an evidence that you have been rebranded. Frustration have even made some to agree with the popular street slang “last last school na scam”. That you’ve not gotten your professionally dreamed job does not give you the right to conclude that education have no role to play in life. If you think the time and resources you or your sponsors spent on your studies are wastage, you are simply saying you would rather prefer to have taken the place of that your age mate who is now a notorious tout in your village. You may decide to throw away your certificate after fixing yourself in a business idea which offers you more than what you think your certificate worths. Well, it is important too you understand that the level of the success of your business idea is being packaged by experiences you gained in the course of your study. Yes, in educational philosophy, I recall where the term ‘wisdom’ was described as the application of knowledge. The value of your certificate is defined when you compare a street tailor (obioma) with an educated fashion designer. My dear readers, your certificate may not have offered you your dreamed jobs but it has shaped so many areas of your life that even money can never buy. The society have given you education. By now, the question you should be asking yourself is, What can you give back to the society? This question is what I viewed as the true definition of our present day education system. Things can only get back to normal when population grow less than the country’s resources. It is only education that would help us actualize this. I have only expressed my thoughts. If you think otherwise, feel free to air your opinion or contribution using the comment box.

Gloria Ogunbor.

This might also interest you: COVID 19 Pandemic And Education System; Way Forward.