I saw a post of a young Nigerian lady, carrying a placard to advertise her “vacancy”. It’s brave for someone to boldly declare that she is unemployed and needs a job. It is braver when this is done in the public. But the bravest thing here is that she gave herself the opportunity to trend on the internet. This is a good marketing strategy that should be adopted by everyone. However, her action showed the deep gap between being educated and being schooled.
The young lady in question has a BSc in Mass Communication and an MSc in Marketing Communication. These two qualifications, in today’s world, can take her anywhere if she knows her onions. As much as I don’t know this lady, I can tell you, from what happened today, that she went back to school for masters because she believed it would give her an added advantage in job hunting. This is the misinformation most Nigerians have that hits them immediately they leave school with a certificate they know not what to do with.
But back to the main theme of the day, what is the difference between education and schooling? Understanding this will help every Nigerian discover himself and how he can make a living without depending totally on the government.
Schooling, according to Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, is “education received at school” while education, from the same source, is “a process of teaching, training and learning, especially in schools or colleges, to improve knowledge and develop skills.” Hence, schooling only takes place in school while education can occur anywhere. Further, for education to take place, there must be a process, which must be completed for knowledge and skills development to take place. If this process is in any way broken, or if one its stages is omitted, knowledge and skills development become incomplete and incompetency results. In the case of the lady described above, it is possible some stages in the process of her education were omitted while she was in school. As a result, what she did was going to school and not getting educated.
A person that is educated would have been taught what to do with the knowledge passed to him and the skills he acquired. In the instance given above, there are many private freelance jobs and businesses someone with such marvellous qualifications could set up without requiring much capital. One good thing the government has done for Nigerian graduates before throwing them into the harsh reality of the labour market is sending them on one year compulsory youth service. Most corps members have accommodations provided for them by their recruiters. Some live with their relatives. Many have even redeployed to stay with their parents’ or husbands’, and hence, do not need to spend their “allowee” on accommodation or feeding. This would have provided them, if they know what they are doing, with the opportunity to save up money as seed capital to start up business of their own when they pass out. Many do this; but most don’t. This comes to prove that many Nigerians go to school without becoming educated.
I used to blame Nigerian education system that does not prepare graduates for the harsh reality of life after school. I used to hold the system responsible for the confusion Nigerians face when searching for jobs. But then, as much as I still blame the system, I also blame the students for failing to educate themselves despite having access to the best source of informal education: internet and social media.
It is good that many young Nigerians are learning what their schools didn’t teach them through the internet and social media. But the majority don’t. Some Nigerian youths think the internet and social media are for gossip, “hyping”, and “catching cruise”. They fail to see positive uses of these sources and refuse to be directed by those that know better. However, many are utilising their free time in school to educate themselves informally in addition to the ones their teachers/lecturers do. This way, they do not only go to school but are also educated.