I can bet a million bucks that I am not the only one who thinks that our Education System is largely a sham, it is literally fucked up. And am going to tell you why. No! No! Am not going to go that philosophical, armchair expertise rhetoric route, am going to tell it like a typical Kenyan, who has technically gone through the whole process.
First, it’s the teachers. As we start the Education journey, it’s the teachers. God Bless most teachers out there but there are others whom I blame and I fully think should carry the blame why we haven’t made a breakthrough in finding a cure for HIV and all terminal illnesses. Yes, they literally killed many career gynaecologists, research scientists, litigators, artists e.t.c. And I’m not talking about all the teachers, nah. We all know that there are “good teachers” out there, and if you by any chance got assigned to their classroom, well Hallelujah, don’t tell me why you are still complaining about matatu woes, hizo tuwachie, you should be worrying about #MiddleClass problems like why Starbucks hasn’t set shop in Kenya yet.
Then High School checks in, and with it comes the age problem. It has been proven that societies without the concept of “teenager” do not experience what we do: the rebellion, the uncertainty, the generation of ducklings struggling to either accept their ugliness as beauty or else become swans, we haven’t yet quite figured out which we ought to teach them. It’s the age, and some of the parents, the ones who send their children off to school and then wash their hands of teaching their kids anything, such as how to be a functioning member of society, or even just a decent human being, and then when they get those calls, they cry “where did I go wrong?”, which we know is far too little and far too late. That blend of increased hormones and decreased guidance, it’s no wonder high school is such a shit show.
If you survive High School and luckily end up in University brace yourself for the real Shit Show. Here it’s the Institution. It’s the students packed into a lecture hall with a professor at the front, worked out in the scientifically optimized ratio of one-thousand students to one teacher. It’s the interesting courses that have no value to your real-world career path, and then the boring ones that do. It’s the mechanical machinery of: cash and student in, debt and graduate out. When Pink Floyd said “we don’t need no education,” well, that’s a double-negative, son, so we really do need school to get an education – just not the kind of school we’ve been getting. Am I right? And that’s why we have disillusioned graduates with useless degrees.
I’ll tell you what’s wrong with the education system, you who have been nodding in agreement.
“Education” is not just defined as “school and textbooks and homework and tests.”
“Education” is not just Baby class…to PhD…and done.
“Education” is not enclosed to the prison of any one building, is not the responsibility of the lecturer way up at the front of the class.
Education is knowledge – not the thoughtless accumulation of knowledge, but knowing what to make of what you see. It is watching the news and thinking “hold up – that’s really biased”; it is reading an article and thinking “hold up – there’s a better way to make that point”; it is listening to your friend debate and thinking “hold up – that’s not a sound argument.” It is living life as you think it ought to be lived, and when you slip up, thinking – “hold up – am I happy here?”
Education is progress – not a process of progressing point A to point B along lines delineated by a race to graduation, but a process of progressing towards self-improvement. It is becoming competent in what makes you happy, whatever that may be – because a stay-at-home mom who raises three upright children and a shop attendant who never accepts anything less than polished efficiency are arguably more educated than a mediocre lawyer who lives for his weekends and rots in a listless stupor the other five days of the week.
So even if you graduated, you are about to or you might never…remember Education is curiosity – it is looking at the world around you with the eyes of the child you buried long ago, of always asking “why” and never taking “it just is” as an answer.
Now for the bastards who just graduated welcome to ZEE REAL GRIND!