One won’t look much further to see that about 70% of our leadership positions are occupied by individuals with nothing less than three degrees. Many of them schooled at the top universities in the world. One would think that with these degrees and the fact that top universities were attended then a flourishing environment would be built. But it’s very disheartening that despite our big degrees, we have less or no innovations in our country. However, lack of scientific and technological innovations can’t be due to lack of “educated people”, but the problem lies, fundamentally, I think, in our misunderstanding of education.
Sure, we don’t have well equipped laboratories and facilities to encourage scientific researches and technological innovations, but could we have advanced in innovations and scientific discoveries with our understanding of education as a means or ticket to gain social prestige or occupy positions? I doubt it! It’s no surprise that many graduates can’t defend their certificates. These are guys who could have performed better if education hadn’t been misunderstood. If education in term of more degrees wasn’t the default means of being a C.E.O or the means to occupying important positions, examination malpractices might not be on the rise. We younger children are living in and by the story that intelligence means having good grades rather than the imaginative capacity to connect the dots into a whole with values .
One doesn’t need an expert to tell one that even the awarded to be the most educated state has no infrastructure built by Nigerians. We speak big vocabularies to show others that we are educated. In our academic world, there are professors of sciences and engineering, but since our independence we can’t still construct equipments and machines which our farmers could use. It might not be as a result of political mismanagement, but the problem lies in misunderstanding of education. Despite the bulky curriculum from primary level to secondary, having the wrong interpretation of education, we’ve only advanced in speaking big Englishes.
We may not have any technology of our own as long as we continue to see education as the passport to gain social prestige in forms of speaking big vocabularies and a means to occupying big positions rather than a process of learning understanding which brings about creativity. The distinction between informal and formal education shouldn’t be taken to an extreme. The latter makes learning more structurised, but it doesn’t mean the former is devoid of creativity. Our advancement in science and technology lies in our reinterpretation of education as a process of learning understanding which brings about creativity. God bless our leaders, God bless Nigerians.