Tuesday, July 5, 2011

30 Day Challenge : Day 9 - How Important you think Education is

Like most Nigerians, i think education is very important. I see education as the key to a better life. I mean, i wasn't born with a silver spoon in my mouth so if i want to make something of my life and live comfortably then it goes without saying that i get an education so that i would have more opportunities in life. Shikena.

I was really baffled when i came to this country and saw how big a deal it was to graduate from high school aka secondary school. People are proud and feel like they have accomplished this big thing after graduating from high school. I still don't get it. I guess because in Nigeria, most people aspire to be at least college educated so a high school diploma isn't that great an achievement. These days a lot of Nigerian parents don't even consider a Bachelors degree to be that great of an achievement. I'm not saying i agree with that or not, i'm just saying that with that mentality, a lot is expected of you in terms of getting an education.

I had a lady ask me how my mom motivated us to go to school because her daughters were not too keen on the whole school thing. I didn't know how to answer her at first because in my house it went without saying that you would go to school and make something of your life. Finally, i told her my mom was very supportive and provided us with the means to succeed. We had private tutors (whether we needed them or not), I started having private tutors as early as Primary 2, we went to after school lesson (as did most of my classmates). Summer wasn't spent chilling 24/7, we went to summer lesson to prepare us for the upcoming grade (as the most kids). Most of us took GCE after SS2 and i made every paper except Physics. My younger brother in his time took the GCE after SS1 and he made all his papers. How did that happen? Private tutors. I even had my school physics teacher as my private Physics tutor (i wasn't too hot in that class) and he would teach me and a couple of other students after school on certain days and he was well paid by my mother too. Then i still had to go to lessons after that.When my brother was struggling in primary school, my mom requested they hold him back and the school headmistress refused and kept promoting him even though it was evident the dude wasn't learning anything. So after failing all his classing first term of primary 5, my mom pulled him out of that school, took him to a less "posh" school and made them demote him to primary 3. Then she got him 3 private tutors, one for each subject. When he took the common entrance in pri 5, he ended up scoring higher than everyone else has ever scored in my family.

I spent a year in Uniben before i came here and my mom still paid for private tutors in organic chemistry, general chem and phys if i remember correctly and no, i was not the only one attending these sessions. There were about 20-30 students and it was expensive too. Unlike here where people attend tutoring if they are not doing well, i think in Nigeria it's the opposite, you attend tutoring to ensure you do well. So there's no way you can be from an average home in Nigeria and not be surrounded by education.

Long story short, i think education is very important. I don't have a choice, it was pretty much shoved down my throat. lol. Just kidding.


  1. I remember all the private tutors. Right from primary one till SS3! Not to mention summer school, extension classes for Common Entrance, Junior WAEC, SSCE and JAMB and even tutorials during undergrad years. Mehn, passing classes was by force!

    And i find it so weird that people don't take education so seriously in the US because here, u can't really consider urself well educated till you at least have a master's degree.

    I was going to say a bit more, but maybe I should save that for my own post. ;-)

  2. I agree with you. I made my JAMB at once, was on the merit list straight from JAMB office, no begging, no catchment area nonsense and I owe that to my parents. Private tutors were a regular part of my life back in Nigeria. I have a Masters degree in Law and graduated near the top of my class in both degrees (except for NLS :(. It has always been expected of me.

    Americans, I just don't understand this system. Why is going to college such a big deal? Well, the system encourages it. For most Africans, getting a solid education is a way to get out of poverty. Even if you aren't going to practice what you learned in school, the college experience is invaluable. Its weird that getting a GED is so celebrated here. Isn't that getting WAEC certificate or something?

  3. Education is pretty important cos it gives u an edge and a finesse over your illiterate counterparts. I dnt think it's a do or die affair though, i feel like it's good to get your elementary and high school education covered but college shld be more optional. Not everyone needs to go to college to succeed in their career paths. jst look at beyonce and bill gates lol.

  4. @Kitkat: Beyonce and Bill Gates are the exception. You can ask Michelle and Kelly or the other two founding members of Destiny's child :)

    I think college is a huge plus and yes not everyone needs college to succeed.

  5. Omo, na true o. The average Nigerian family don't play with education s. Just like you, I have private teachers from Primary 1 till I entered university. It was even worse for our last born, she had hers from Nursery 1


  6. The Nig first lady is now screaming - GIRL CHILD EDUCATION, the recent killings in the north is point accusing fingers on lack of education for the young murderers, who would ever say that educaton is not importance.
    An individuals chances for succeeding increases with more education in any part of the world. for nigerians, education is a magic pill for survival - you can research on this.

  7. say no more...as always, the future does create a demarcation between those who endure the strains of early education, and those who decide to study late.

    sometimes, too late if you ask me.

  8. hahahaha i dont think I have come across any naija person that dint go for lessons during the holidays. LoL--i dreaded them so much!!

  9. I never had tutors oo. My mom just never believed in them and she thought I was doing well all by myself :). I did attend once but cause all my friends were attending it so it was more of a social outing for me.

    We over rate degrees in Nigeria cos the employment landscape doesnt have opportunities for those without it. Like a friend of mine said, the call center jobs that Nigerian Master degree holders do, can be done competently by a GED holder.


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