[Below: Feature photo of Tanzania’s President Magufuli showing off his sewing skills]
Take a careful look at developed societies (e.g in Europe, Asia, America) and you will notice that possession of income earning (vocational) “skills” is just as valued as acquisition of academic degrees and certifications for paid employment.
Sadly the same cannot be said for Nigeria.
The crazy drive to acquire paper qualification, with little attention to ensuring corresponding real world relevant proficiency has held her, and many other nations in Africa back from developing sustainably.
This is apparent from the massive armies of university products we continue to churn out who often either end up unemployed (even unemployable!) or grossly underemployed.
With this reality facing us, the need for a new educational strategy has been apparent for a long time. But most affected nations out here seem to be at a loss for ideas on what to do and how.
However, a few are gradually narrowing down to doing what matters. And some, with their leaders showing the way.
How many public office holders or politicians in Nigeria possess any income earning vocational skills of this kind?
The truth is very few: and those that do are often NOT proud to show it off like Magufuli is doing here in a SUIT!
This probably explains why many of our political leaders/civil servants have a large appetite for what Fela once described as “Pen Robbery” in one of his hit songs.
We need more “vocationally skilled” leaders (adults/parents/teachers/leaders in politics and business etc) to be raised in Nigeria/Africa, so they can train youths with similar competences, if real sustainable development is to happen.
The report linked below indicates that Tanzania is well on her way to doing just that.
Read: Tanzania starts training tailors as regional ban on second hand clothes loom – By This Is Africa on August 24, 2016
Below are excerpts from a piece I recently sent out via Whatsapp, in which I share ideas based on what I’m doing to give my kids a more balanced exposure to “education”.
Academic education is not enough anymore. Time we spend on it is too much. Half that time is better spent giving income earning vocational education. Unfortunately we have wrong quality of people teaching in our schools.
The best among us who should be involved in teaching feel it is beneath us. So we leave it to the least gifted/competent among us who settle for teaching after failing to secure better options.
Unlike Mrs. Abiola Solagbade, my Montessori trained retired teacher mother, they are NOT motivated. The teaching job is a last resort for them.
They feel no passion to do it – and do it right. Little wonder that they readily cut corners by accepting money to do unethical things like awarding marks not merited. And of course that’s why we have Special Centres and people buying/sell results and certificates.
How can we expect a system like that to produce authentic quality of EDUCATION???
It can’t. It won’t.
Even the child that gets good grades academically without corner cutting suffer major exposure to character deforming display of morals and values by teachers, parents and other adults who openly engage in these shameful acts without suffering any negative consequences.
It would be naïve to assume THAT will not make a lasting impression on the psyche of that child – no matter what lectures you give him/her at home about knowing right from wrong, and the value of honesty, integrity, hard work etc!
What a price to pay!
My kids will learn vocational skills alongside relevant school subjects on a need to know basis based on discussions I’ve had with them about what they would like to do/become in life.
Computer based learning systems with teachers teaching school subjects according to the curriculum for the UK Waec exams equivalent are accessible for interested persons.
People get degrees and other certifications through distance learning. My kids have been trained to leverage technology to acquire Functional Education.
Homeschooling is being embraced worldwide. Wearing school uniform does NOT guarantee learning. Leaving home to attend school is NOT the only way to learn. Especially if you want to get a complete/balanced education.
Kids are being made to spend tooooooo much time in school reading/writing, and tooooooo little time is left for them to Think and Do and make sense/productive use of what they see and are taught.
My kids are being given that balanced mix. Indeed once a child can read and write, the thinking and doing is more important that any other schooling inputs.
That’s why we have many unschooled or poorly schooled people who succeed in life by doing what they are good at. That’s what real education is about: finding out/narrowing down to what you’re good at, then doing it to achieve the success you want in life.
It’s simple. But it works. My life is proof of it. That’s why I’m determined to empower my kids to get a similar kind of education – as against mere (mind-numbing) conventional schooling.
See this Facebook page (https://facebook.com/TemiandOluomasCookies above on which my 2 daughters (supported by their brothers) showcase their baked creations and share insights into the experience based learning they are undergoing.
Finally, the article linked below was published on 27th August 2014 – exactly 2 years ago. We’ve come a LOOOOONG way since then!]
[Note: (a). PMA = Positive Mental Attitude (b). The link to a downloadable PDF version the kids’ project preview]
I share my ideas here to give some insight into what I’m doing.
My kids are getting an important foundation for succeeding anywhere. There’s a lot of verbal coaching and experience sharing that takes place daily, in addition to the experience based learning.
Getting an education is not a competition to see who finishes first or best. Each child’s need will often be unique in some areas.
Parents would be wise to pay attention to what each child needs in this regard. Most teachers/schools don’t. I do – because I have passion and vision to support my kids to overcome the annoyances I’ve encountered in society.
Speaking and writing good English is NOT enough today. Neither is getting 1st Class from the university. Those who are honest with themselves will agree that this is true!
It is said that in order to criticize constructively, one must first of all make genuine effort to understand that which we wish to criticize.
I’ve found that to be quite true.
What I’m doing with my kids with regard to vocational skills development is what all parents today need to do for their kids.
One must NOT wait for schools to come up with money-collecting half baked ones they do. Make out time to find out what appeals to each child and help him/her get started.
It’s never too early to help your child find passion driven purpose in life – and you’ll make your parenting of him/her easier in the process!
Read this article (and watch the video) about how my 13 year old son built his first battery powered toy bike after watching a 3 minute video I downloaded from the web on my Blackberry:
Click here to request a copy of part 3 of the 4 part step by step demonstration video I got my 13 year old son to make, which we plan to sell with a PDF guide online as well as during LIVE workshops I intend to help him organise for interested kids
Click https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TUtfIs0iENE to watch a highlight/promo video I made showing the first battery powered bike he made.
I’m sharing it just to give everyone an idea of the fact that my home IS actually a real world school. We have similar videos for baking bread, pizza, cookies, cakes etc by the kids.
My vision is open my “home-school” (online with short stay on site options) at some point in the future to help other people and their kids learn to use our tried and tested model.
Click here if you would like to be notified when we go LIVE.
You’re reading Vocationally Skilled Population – Key to African Development! by Tayo Solagbade, originally posted on his Daily Self-Development (SD) Nuggets™ blog. If you loved reading this post, be sure to follow Tayo on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.
On 4th May 2014, Tayo’s 9 year old domain (Spontaneousdevelopment dot com), was taken over by Aplus.net. Within a few days however, Tayo used his advanced self-taught web development skills to build (and move his website contents into) a SUPERIOR “reincarnation” at http://www.tayosolagbade.com.
Most URLs bearing the old domain name appearing in search engines should now work if “spontaneousdevelopment.com” is replaced with “tayosolagbade.com”. If you experience any difficulties finding a page or document, email Tayo at tksola dot com.
Click “Tayo, What Happened to SpontaneousDevelopmentDotCom?” to read a detailed narrative about how the above event occurred :-))
Here’s an article Tayo wrote, to inspire others to defy adversity, and bounce back to even greater reckoning at what they do EVERY time:
Succeed by Emerging from Adversity Like a Phoenix (TayoSolagbade.com launches extra Hosting plan with FREE Web Marketing!)
And he wrote the one below, to explain why losing a domain name, no matter how old NO LONGER determines your online success or otherwise: