Our interest in Nigerian literature makes us delight in several literary works by Nigerian writers and this one by an exclusive communication scholar on Nigerian Educational System is not left out.
Six Important Skills Omitted in Today’s Nigeria Educational system.
Over the years, our learning institutions have been probed for not impacting enough practical knowledge into the students. Although higher institutions and post primary education syllabus are excellent in introducing valuable skills, our current academic curriculum doesn’t focus on many vital aspects necessary to attain success in the general aspect of life. These include knowledge on personal finance and investment, logical thinking in lieu of memorising information, and the application of these items in real-life scenarios.
A quality educational scheme should involve teaching life skills that are needful to individuals especially after school, to help them navigate their way through life, become a well-rounded and successful person. In this article, I compiled a list of life skills that should be taught in schools to enhance individuals productivity in life.
Finding a Job
The goal of education is primarily in twofold; to educate for it’s own intrinsic reward of being knowledgeable, and secondly to prepare students for the workforce and become self sufficient, productive and contributive members of society.
As such, finding a job is crucial to the latter and, of course, for the sake of supporting oneself and family. Students would benefit from being taught how to go about finding a job successfully, application for particular offices, writing a resume and cover letter, the interview process, understanding and negotiating employment contracts. For instance, There could be mock interviews in classes in which students go through the simulated interview process, learn what is beneficial and detrimental for a particular interview while benefiting from the each other.
Schools teach financial accounting and the likes but fail to emphasize the importance of realistically saving, owning a budget, managing money at hand, and the process of Nigeria’s tax system. Also, there are required in depth courses on building a personal/Company budget, negotiating contracts, reading financial statements, budget creation geared towards longterm savings, investing in companies and stocks buying. Above all, we underestimate the importance of learning the value of money. Although all of these can be found in bits in finance and business courses, but the importance of maintaining a self-budget and managing your personal money should be fully required educational courses in all schools and emphasized on as required comprehension for life’s journey.
Popular financial author Dave Ramsey’s book, Total Money Makeover is a good place to start on your financial literacy journey.
The Art of Thinking
The stakes are high in our carrying out our life duties and responsibilities. Every decision made we make has its consequences – this is either an instant or delayed result- that will affect not only our lives but others too. In situations like this, Making the right choices could mean the difference between happiness and remorse, success and failure, progress and drawbacks etc. As a result of this, one needs to be well equipped with the ability to think positively through scenarios and situations which inevitably arise in our day to day life, not only for the sake of successful endeavors, but also for the sake of attaining wisdom and avoiding traumatic experiences that can be avoided.
Education is generally pragmatic, wherein the educators test students on specific data, and as such students will learn the specific data just for the test, often by rote memorization. Too often, then, students are not taught how to think through to solutions; even in math, formulas are memorized and the numbers plugged in to the formula without an understanding of the formula’s formation, what it is meant to solve, and what realistic scenarios it is applicable to.
In this category books by renowned author Napoleon Hill can help you get started when it comes to deep reflection and analytical thinking.
Communication plays a very vital role in our day to day activities. Communication skills are regularly listed among the top soft skills employers look for. What’s more, you’ll find that life becomes much easier once you’ve learned how to listen, manage conflict, and express yourself. Conversing with coworkers, bosses, loved ones, dates, friends, spouses, neighbors, acquaintances, etc., all require certain social norms and boundaries to be observed — such as mutual respect/give-and-take —whether it’s face to face, by email, social media, or telephone.
Knowing how to connect with others, being empathetic, when to speak and when to listen, is of great value in the workplace and in interpersonal relationships. To learn the art of conversation is to actually do it, with peers and other varied and diverse people.
Professional Etiquettes / Manners
There are so many people in the work place who are clueless on basic things like how to write good emails. Some are terrible at handling themselves in a formal or professional setting coupled with being a poor communicator.
Communication is critical to so many aspects of life, therefore courses implementing professional work etiquette would extremely be beneficial. It can be as simple as writing a thank you card after a job interview to using proper notation in a professional correspondence.
We’ve lost our connection to manners and common etiquette. Showing appreciation to others in formal and informal settings brings out positive qualities amongst individuals. Positive reinforcement and support is an essential human need, and professional etiquette is a subtext of this. Particularly in the last few decades, we have lost some of our connection to common etiquette. Schools should start putting more efforts in emphasizing manners so that the future generations will revitalize them.
While assignments, test papers, exams, and the likes are expected to be studied for and taken in certain time constraints by students, educators do not really teach these students how to manage their time effectively. Time efficiency is not only helpful in schools, it is increasingly valuable as we get older, time becomes more of essence as we tend to age, until retirement.
It is important to timely navigate our career, family and other activities as our schedules will become increasingly essential in these regard. Also, sleep becomes less required for productivity to come to life. The advent of calendars and alerts on our mobile smart phones has made keeping up with schedules much easier. Recently, a lot of helpful time management applications can be downloaded on smart phones for this purpose.
Finally, while we work towards achieving this, the concepts of continuous self-discovery and life-long learning should be encouraged in all schools, because education is a journey not a destination. The world is moving at a fast pace and the only way to keep up is through constant self reinvention.
About the author
Edwin Okorocha is a graduate of Delta State University, Abraka. Where he studied Mass Communication in the Faculty of Social Sciences. He currently lives in Lagos Nigeria.
Edwin Okorocha is an avid reader and a life long learner. Among his favorite books are; ‘Think and grow rich’ by the renowned Napoleon Hill and ‘The Richest man in Babylon’.