It is 7.00 am. A peep through a window of an elevation provides a panoramic view of four schools in a location. Mothers, wards, fathers with children don with backpacks moving apace to get to school early before opening. Despite their tight work schedules, one can appreciate the struggles and desires of these wise parents to get children to school.
This effort to acquire some type of education is obvious. It is also noticeable that school session comes with heavy vehicular traffic in many cities of the world. Dropping off children at school and picking them up thereafter in “school runs” is not a lullaby for children or a joke for parents. The eagerness to ensure children being at school to learn seems normal to many.
However, there are some societies where the desire to learn in the school system and elsewhere is vitiated by cultural and religious padded behaviors, seeped in suspicion. It is agreed learning is not limited to formal education systems. But our overview is drawn towards the formal systems for reasons not limited to the under-listed.
– Aggregation of young people given same education at the same time.
– Formal learning system convenient for governments and individuals.
– Uniform syllabus.
– Entrenchment and efficient management of limited resources by operators.
– Meeting political and other socialization demands not largely met by other system.
– Set of measurement of outcome usable in broad systems across the world.
– There are others you may know.
Despite apparent shortfalls and
variegated ideas on this type of learning and education, it is a fact that various governments and peoples seem to choose it.
Apparently, the fulcrum of this discourse should not veer off the observable desire in some to learn. Then, one may want to know if this desire to learn is always there in all of us all the time? How can learning both inside the school and nonschool systems be encouraged and sustained through life?
The issues in education philosophy, pedagogy and kindred spirit are always on interminable swirl. We are aware of them even a school of thought which sees the mind as a clean slate. It encourages that the mind should be filled and refilled. Another sees learning and education as basically a means to an end. Any of the many schools could have a way depending on their avowals. Yet, we are conscious not join in their usual up-man-ship game.
Let us move.
At the early stages of life, efforts are geared towards learning. In time, things that work against it start to emerge. Little by little the desire gets shortchanged. The level of attainment in a particular learning may not be thorough or complete. This shortfall may be seen by understanding minds. The effort to take it to a good level may be there. But individual and environmental factors may hamper it. Over time that desire is killed in some persons. What looks like stagnancy is taking place. Expressions like “the one we have is enough” could be heard. If one is in the group that supports this idea, surely incentive not to learn more is canvassed and bought. A gradual but endless descent could start and overtime the desire is killed.
Older ones among us can right away take their minds to many things they have tried to learn – try outs. This reminds one of five teenagers in the 1980s who enrolled in a piano lesson taught by an American house wife married to a Nigerian. After they began, one after the other they dropped. They could not continue their learning. No serious reasons were adduced. Over the years, they lost little skills acquired. None of them can play the piano today. Whenever one of them sees someone on keyboard doing some good stuff, he sighs. His sigh tells many stories of lack of continuity.
As we discuss, there are areas of learning that many young people have their hands both in the formal and informal systems. Let take for example the learning of a new language. Are you on cause? Are there things causing distractions. Do you have any incentive? Can you create one for yourself? Far from the immediate monetary gains, learning a new language at early age into teenage years can expand opportunities. Aside from the benefits of easy interactions and understanding of cultural nuances of a language it can open a life and journeys of achievements.
Are you at a school now where Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba, French, German or other European languages are taught? How are you treating the opportunity? Are you putting your head deep down to it without minding whether you will leave the shores of your residence? Perhaps, a brief story can be a reminder that some things being learned should not be treated casually.
A young man in a university was studying mechanical engineering. He has a friend studying French language. He took interest in introductory French. He did two semesters elective course work on the subject. The student continues his engineering course but kept his interest aglow by sparing time to learn the French language.
After graduation, he attended engineering job interview. In the course of the interview, he indicated his knowledge of the French language, exhibiting remarkable mastery. It was the winning spell for his selection. The panel sees additional value in him for their operations in a French-speaking territory.
How many youths have tried to learn a new language but left it after a while without any cogent reason? After some time they come to a painful realization that it was an error of judgment! At this point, it becomes a sigh!
Continuing education is an asset for all. It may not be formal, yet it can go a long way. Do not play with it. Many have given narratives how a little learning of common and neglected things have changed the course of their history.
In learning as well as in other things do not take sides with excuse.
Let’s recount a few new ways continued learning and education have helped. A diabetic learning of new life style changes has helped himself or meaningfully extended his life by the application of what he learned. A grasp of new technology is helping some senior citizens while others are looking towards a dinosaur! A listening to a chef has improved family culinary and dishes. Adopting new safety procedures has saved lives and properties. The list is endless.
Now, can we get practical? Name one thing you are learning right now that you are almost dropping because of time, money, or other pressures real or imagined? Identify the forces at work and deal squarely to overcome them.
Educators know that learning is not easy. They try to provide incentives. At elementary school, pictures and other visuals are incentives to learning. Big and colored marks of “Good” on scripts soars the mind to a higher level. Prizes big and small lift learners’ spirit. Great and cheerful words of motivation can come handy too. The end result it is hoped will justify the means – the rounder for many.
Perhaps, you can reflect on other reasons to work on your desire to learn.
Continued learning helps you to improve your skills to navigate vast waters of life.
Learning improves your asset. Some of the things acquired can be so personal that it cannot be bequeathed. It becomes your signature.
The reality of life is that we must learn in one way or the other.
Refusal to learn could bring sighs at some point in life.
Why not learn now in a way that will come with fewer sighs tomorrow.
School of life (experience) continually suggests that one cannot fully comprehend or capture all the benefits of learning – “daily mining.
There are serendipitous outcomes from continued learning.
Sometimes the road to learning could blur its beauty. It makes it harder to continue on the journey.
Life is learning. It is to your benefit and to all who encounters you. You could make them happy, sad or indifferent by what you have learned.
You are your incentive to learn and other things are additions.
Keep improving your desire to learn. You are not too young, old or lazy to learn.
What do you think?