Thursday, 14 November 2013


Like one wise Mark Twain,I never let my schooling interfere with my education.Education has been dominating my thoughts for a while now.My two little brothers,Brian and Lee,are both sitting their national examinations.Brian is sitting his O-Level exams,while Lee is doing his final primary school exams.Being a daughter of scholars,I have high regard for education,both academic and otherwise.I know the pressure they must both be feeling at this point.But I tell them always,never to put school,and exams,above their education.
I am what my teachers called a bright kid,in primary and high school.But they also said I have a tendancy not to take my schoolwork,and mostly,my examinations,seriously.I never quite looked at exams,as the determinants of my IQ.My parents,like my teachers,thought that it was too free spirited of me!But in earnest,my best and most precious and important lessons,I learnt outside the confines of the classroom.I always have a book in hand.I love knowledge,and I look for it.I dare to go out of the Syllabus,and search for truths that scholars dubbed,unimportant.On the day of my exams,I could comfortably sport a book that is in no way related to the unit I will be tested on.Even here,in campus,I find students cramming stuff on the eve of the examination,or minutes before.If such are the kind of professionals that school yields,I rest my case.I am of the belief,that school is important,but it isnt entirely indispensable.Education is.

So,I was just roaming online the other day,reading what other people thought about education,and schooling.Then,a British poet,one Suli Breaks,caught my eye.He had a whole world of my thoughts,embedded in his words.I could identify with every single word he spoke.Throughout his piece,I found myself unconsciously nodding in agreement.I even fell in love with the title to his piece.There it was,written in bold, "WHY I HATE SCHOOL,BUT LOVE EDUCATION."

It caught my eye,later,my ear,and later,my psyche...So,I decided to get you his lyrics,that you too,may see what amazed me so.Here is that amazing piece,but this gifted British poet,Suli Breaks...


So,you want to get a degree,why?Let me tell you what society would tell you,"Increases your chances of getting a job,provides you with an opportunity to be successful,your life will be a lot less stressful,education is the key."Now,let me tell you what your parents would tell you,"Make me proud,increases your chances of getting a job,provides you with an opportunity to be successful, your life will be a lot less stressful,education is the key."

Now let’s look at the statistics;Steve Jobs’ net worth $7 billion(R.I.P),Richard Branson net worth $4.2 billion,Oprah Winfrey net worth $2.7 billion,Mark Zuckerberg,Henry Ford,Steven Spielberg,Bill Gates....

Now here comes ‘the coup, de grace’.Looking at these individuals, what’s your conclusion?Neither of them,in being successful,ever graduated from a higher learning institution.Now some of you would protest like,"You know money is only the medium by which one measures worldly success."Some of you even have the nerve to say,"I don’t do it for the money."So,what are studying for?To work for a charity?Need more clarity?

Let’s look at the statistics..Jesus,Muhammed,Socrates,Malcolm X,Mother Teresa,Spielberg,Shakespeare,Beethoven,Jesse Owens, Muhammad Ali,Sean Carter,Michael Jeffrey Jordan,Michael Joseph Jackson...were either of these people unsuccessful or uneducated?

All I’m saying is that if there was a family tree,hard work and education would be related,but school would probably be a distant cousin.If education is the key, then school is the lock.Because it rarely ever develops your mind to the point where it can perceive red as green and continue to go when someone else said stop.Because as long as you follow the rules and pass the exams,you’re cool. But are you aware that examiners have a checklist?And if your answer is something outside of the box,the automatic response is a cross!And then they claim that school expands your horizons and your visions.Well, tell that to Malcolm X,who dropped out of school and is world renowned for what he learned in a prison.

Proverbs 17:16->>It does a fool no good to spend money on education,why?Because he has no common sense.George Bush.Need I say more?“Education is about inspiring ones mind not just filling their head.And take this from me,because I’m a educated man myself,who only came to this realization after countless nights in the library with a can of Red Bull keeping me awake til dawn and another can in the morn,falling asleep in between piles of books which probably equates the same amount I’ve spent on my rent. I would memorize equations,facts and dates,write it down to the letter,half of which I’d never remember,and half of which I forgot straight after the exam,and before the start of the next semester,asking anyone if they had notes for the last lecture?I often found myself running to class,just so I could find the spot on which I could rest my head and fall asleep without making a scene. Ironic,because that’s the only time I ever spent in university of chasing my dreams.And then after nights with a dead-mind,identifying myself in the queue of half awake student zombies waiting to hand in an assignment,maybe that’s why they call it a dead line.And then after three years of mental suppression and frustration,my proud mother didn’t even turn up to my graduation.”

Now,I’m not saying that school is evil,and there’s nothing to gain,but all I’m saying is,understand your morals and reassess your aims,because if you want a job working for someone else,then help yourself.But then that would be a contradiction,because you
wouldn’t have really be helping yourself,you’ll be helping somebody else.There’s a saying,which says,“If you don’t build your dream, someone else will hire you to help build theirs.”
 Redefine how you view education.Understand its true meaning.Education is not just about regurgitating facts from a book on someone else’s opinion on a subject to pass an exam.Look at it,Picasso was educated in creating art,Shakespeare was educated in the art of word that was written,Colonel Harland Sanders was educated in the art of creating Kentucky Fried Chicken...

I once saw David Beckham take a free kick.I watched as the side of his Adidas-sponsored boot hit the playing level of the ball at an angle which caused it to travel towards the skies as though it was destined for the heavens.And then as he reached the peak of his momentum,as though it changed its mind,it switched directions.I watched as the goalkeeper froze,as though he recited to himself the laws of physics,and as though his brain was negotiating with his eyes that he was indeed witnessing the spectacle of the level swung that was sweeping towards it,and then reacted.But only a fraction of a millisecond too late.And before the net of the goal embraced the FIFA-sponsored ball,as though it was the prodigal son returning home....And the country that I live in erupted into cheers,I looked to the play,and thought,"Damn!Looking at David Beckham is more than one way in this world to be an educated man."

Suli Breaks has his way with words;I hope he won you over.I hope you are schooled,for all the right reasons.I am a university student.I study what I love.I am passionate about education though,mostly the non-scholarly kind.I believe that we learn,everyday,in school,and away.But like Suli would say," Redefine how you view education.Understand its true meaning.Education is not just about regurgitating facts from a book on someone else’s opinion on a subject to pass an exam."

I keep telling this to Brian and Lee,and I bet,by now,it has sunk,deeply.Nothing would please me more,than to see my two little brothers grow into,not only well schooled and learned young men,but also educated young men!I voice my opinion about education and school,at every chance I get.Because,dilligence is the only thing I see right in schools these days..period!I know there are those that belong to a different school of thought,who would disagree with me,regarding the opinions voiced in this article.And to those,like Suli,I would say,"If there was a family tree,hard work and education would be related,but school would probably be a distant cousin."

Keep your dilligence,alright.But think beyond what they teach you in school.The syllabus is limited,they only let you learn a portion of what is really there to learn.That means that a greater percentage,is what school leaves behind.Plus examinations never test all you learnt,or do they?Be in school,but for all the right reasons.

PS:You can find Suli's piece on youtube.Just search by his name,or the title to his piece.