When school certificates are no longer goldmines

By EveEden

In my undergraduate days, the thoughts of when I would finally be tagged a graduate was one of the many thoughts that pre-occupied my mind. Each time I think about it; my face radiates with smiles that takes days to fade off.  I was presumptuous that after that academic stage I can be certified ‘okay’ if not above average in the academic scene. Almost a year after graduation, I was heartbroken to the realities that my four-year academic programme is inadequate to position me where I want to be.  Society had plans for another certificate- masters; which is like icing on a cake. Without it I would ordinarily be a baked cake with no beauty to lure anyone; even if I may taste great and better than most cakes with icing which merely entice our eyes but a gall to the taste buds. In essence, obtaining a masters certificate should be my next academic pursuit if I want to magnet companies just as cakes with icing magnet a customer’s purse.

On the other hand, the chant of high unemployment rate in Nigeria is increasing everyday and our country’s leaders are not arresting such menace. So what hope is there that when I get back to the classroom for a higher certificate, employment is assured?  Good enough, I have observed that due to the fissure in employment; Nigerian citizens have taken the issue in their hands. Astonishingly, almost everyone is doing something.  We get more publicity on the need to learn a skill and be your own boss than any job vacancies. Let’s just say we have eaten the forbidden fruit and we can see now. I don’t know if the serpent of our own time is the internet. Possibly, we have become wise in proffering antidotes to our yester years of lamenting due to unemployment and penury.

On the other hand, the chant of high unemployment rate in Nigeria is increasing everyday and our country’s leaders are not arresting such menace. So what hope is there that when I get back to the classroom for a higher certificate, employment is assured?

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Be that as it may, whatever instigated such revolution should be thanked.  The new trend is questioning what we can offer beyond our academic knowledge. This era bids farewell to our parents’ generation. When job offers chased them with laudable benefits. Being a graduate then is as winning a lottery. Obtaining a degree or any post degree certificate was glorified with all relish.  While I was awaiting my National Youth Service Corp call, a late Uncle of mine before his demise kept on lamenting that in his own time before NYSC; jobs were already secured for graduates by the federal government.  He gloomily uttered that is so sad things have gotten so messy in Nigeria that both the learned and unlearned struggle to survive. He summed up his sober sermon that these days, it is those with no or less formal education that are revenue generators providing employment to the highly learned.

To my dismay, I realized that many parents are yet to grasp this revoluntary change. They still raise us up as their parents did; chasing us off to school to recycle the same process; even when our interest is otherwise.  Go to school, graduate, get a job and wait for retirement. They weed off any distractions that could keep them off from being a parent to a graduate if not graduates.  A parent’s nightmare is having a child who spontaneously does not value tertiary education. Even when the child decodes such to them by failing needed exams to enroll in an institution, they would pay bribe to avail the child the opportunity.  Funny as it may read, in Nigeria we don’t get to make such choice, enrolling in a tertiary institution after secondary school is as a law enshrined in a constitution. We perceive people who lack such level of education as poor, less privileged, brainless and any adjective you may suggest. Despondently, most parents thwart or neglect their children’s skill over education. Schooling is the only praise worthy enterprise for the youth in Nigeria. There is so much glory in certificates but such glory is diminishing presently and we need to recognize that.

In this era, certificate alone without skill is zero. Every year, the value of our academic pursuit is degenerating because we have witnessed that today’s world need more than a certificate. We do not need a bunch of humans who would be shuffling papers in the office. We need hands and minds who can offer a societal need.  The ability to offer a need is what’s relevant today.  Such secrets are not found in any chemistry books and don’t come by with any academic qualification and tiles. It is earned with pragmatic hands that endeavour to fashion out things or add value to existing things. We all can’t be professors, doctors’ engineers and other academic professions out there. Never has life decreed that we can’t be wealth creators, build legacies and impact the world positively, if we did not pile up certificates for ourselves.

In this era, certificate alone without skill is zero. Every year, the value of our academic pursuit is degenerating because we have witnessed that today’s world need more than a certificate. We do not need a bunch of humans who would be shuffling papers in the office. We need hands and minds who can offer a societal need.

The English tribe that offered us education do not pride in it as we do. They entertain youths who wants only to quit formal education after high school. College is not mandatory. They get the opportunity to diversify into numerous fields of skill development other than attending lectures and passing exams. Culinary schools, musical classes, arts, designs, automobile workshops, technology skills, production and manufacturing classes are areas they proudly venture into. Doing such doesn’t make you less a human over someone who attended a varsity. Blue collar skills are branded and dignified as someone who works in World Bank. Don’t argue with me here, it is not the kind of job or the certificate that landed such job that they are concerned with rather they are concerned with the value you are contributing to the society. This is a key secret to their national growth and we should copy such since we almost copy everything from them. This part should be number one on our copy and paste list.

Let’s learn something extra other than what formal education taught us. Let’s desist from going at any length just to have a piece of paper endorse us legible to be placed on a stipend as salary. Let’s strip our certificate the monopoly of being the only thing to determine how successful we should be.

Let’s learn something extra other than what formal education taught us. Let’s desist from going at any length just to have a piece of paper endorse us legible to be placed on a stipend as salary. Let’s strip our certificate the monopoly of being the only thing to determine how successful we should be.

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