WHAT IS EDUCATION?
Education is the knowledge of basic skills, technical discipline. These skills are associated with the value of knowledge. It’s the most powerful weapon that can be used to change the world. Education is the culmination of facts, experiences, and thought that is gained over a lifetime. It is a useful part of learning. According to Wikipedia definition, Education is said to be the process of facilitating learning, it is also said to be the acquisition of knowledge, skills, values, beliefs, and habits. Simply put; “Education is life”
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF EDUCATION?
- Education helps develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills to make better choices and decisions
- Education increases economic growth and stability.
- Education is an invaluable tool that liberates the minds of individuals to an elevated state of understanding and potential.
- Education enhances the lives of individuals and allows society to develop and flourish.
- Education gives meaning to life. It gives us reasons to be hopeful.
ILLITERACY RATE IN AFRICA
It is common knowledge that learning to read and write is a fundamental right. Yet, 38% of African adults (some 153 million) are illiterates; two-thirds of these are women. Africa is the only continent where more than half of the total number of parents are not able to help their children with homework due to illiteracy. The situation is alarming as literacy is a crucial step to acquire the basic skills needed to cope with the challenges that children, teenagers, youths and adults will face throughout their lives. For many disadvantaged young people and adults, non-formal education is one of the main routes to learning. Non-formal education is like an addition or an alternative to formal education. It reaches people in their own context and ideally in their own local language. It all still boils down to Education.
In Nigeria, the rate of illiteracy is astounding! The number of out of school children alone is about 10.5 million, this is not even including the number of teenagers and youths also adults who are lacking education as well. This in truth is overwhelming because the young ones are supposed to be the future of Nigeria, yet the country is having this staggering number of illiterates. It’s quite unfortunate that the government is rather concerned with filling their bank accounts than investing in the education of the leaders of tomorrow. Education is supposed to be the cheapest scheme any country should offer to its citizens, there should be programs set aside to support these students, sort of a loan support program, as well as a program to help graduates, to keep them busy till they get better jobs to do. But it is quite disheartening that education has been made very difficult to attain in Nigeria. Even the middle-class citizens are struggling to put their children through school, how much more the poor who can not afford to even buy stationaries for their children. The private universities are a no-go area, the state universities, students have to struggle through; as for the federal universities, though the fees are quite affordable, the process to go through to get in is quite tasking and expensive as well. I have one question; how does the poor fit into these categories or level of education I just listed? For this reason, there are also dropouts loitering the streets of every state in Nigeria. If this problem with education continues to persist, the country will keep producing menaces all over.
EFFECTS OF LACK OF EDUCATION:
It is common knowledge that the average educated person is evaluated by the number of certificates he/she has attained and his rate of income along with his long-term plans. His/her perception about life generally is rated strictly based on the standard of education he/she has acquired. This obviously means that an uneducated person doesn’t stand a chance whether in the cooperate world or otherwise. As we all know that the society is the mixture of two categories of people i.e. the educated category and the uneducated category and we get to separate them base on our own observations and conclusions. Listed below are effects of lack of education:
- Lack of education causes ignorance,
- Lack of education is an open window to poverty
- It causes a lack of opportunities, all of which are hindrances to the growth of a society.
- gives room for oppression, deceit causes diffidence i.e, a person has very low self-esteem. Which can be detrimental to the growth of an individual, and society.
- It gives room for discrimination
- It causes jealousy, fuels anger and gives room for hatred.
- It gives room for depression and frustration.
- It diminishes the state of health of an individual
HOW TO OVERCOME ILLITERACY RATE IN AFRICA:
- First of all, we all have to come to the realization that education is one necessity of life: Education is the only thing I can point out to; whose advantages far outweigh the disadvantages. The cost of investing in the education of our children is way cheaper than rearing a battalion of illiterates and having to deal with the damages their lack of education will cost the society at large. Some damages are irredeemable e.g. murder, rape, armed robbery, etc.
- Free education implementation: We all agree that one major limiting factor of education is the issue of financial disability. So many youths and teenagers are illiterates or dropouts today because their parents or guardians lack the resource to put them through school. If there is one way to abolish the stronghold lack of education seems to have on Africa as a whole, free education is definitely a sure way.
- Provision of quality education/study materials: These should be made available for all the students as well as updated teaching materials for the teachers
- Organization of professional skills acquisition program: When youths are empowered through the acquisition of entrepreneurial skills, there is the possibility that they will use the skills to create new avenues for wealth. Empowering the youth to set up businesses involves a proper acquisition of skills through education and training. Such acquisition opens one’s eyes to forecast business opportunities using appropriate entrepreneurial This is an important programme that can help to bridge the gap between school life and the world of works by blending meaningful job experiences with related institutions learned in the classroom. The combination of students acquiring the appropriate entrepreneurial skills and formal education will help them face the challenges of unemployment and economic crises.
- Parental and social responsibility: When students have the support of their schools, parents, and communities, they tend to learn better and earn higher grades, attend school more regularly, stay in school longer, and enroll in higher level programs. Researchers cite parent-family, community involvement as a key to addressing the school dropout crisis and note that strong school-family-community partnerships foster higher educational aspirations and more motivated students. The evidence holds true for students at both the elementary and secondary level, regardless of the parent’s education, family income, or background—and the research shows parent involvement affects minority students’ academic achievement across all races.
We can eradicate the illiteracy rate in our society and can promote our country from economic strains to the next level. As there is no better moment than today for realizing the educational role in exterminating poverty, all the children in the country should have the chance of being educated in other to eradicate poverty, crime, corruption, and unemployment. The effects of a lack of education and the reasons why we should find solutions to this ever-present issue cannot be overemphasized.