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The missing piece in Education.

Updated on May 1, 2015


The missing piece in Education.

Education has been an integral part of human survival dating back to ancient times. People sort to inform their children how they can survive or handle daily problems when they grow or as they grow. Most part of it was informal through for instance, storytelling or behaviour observation. While these methods are still integral today, education has largely become formal with people learning specific subject fields for their survival in the highly industrial world. The information age has however brought about what can be observed as a new challenge to the old concept, the fast changing nature of things making education seek more dynamic character. Today’s world seeks more of a thinker not an expert in a specific subject field hence the importance of life skills over conventional subjects learnt in schools.

current problems in education

A scholarly colleague of mine once argued on the irrelevance of some subjects in the curricula of African schools and how some setups are leading to continuous failure even though investments in education is there. One issue he raised was on the language question, how ineffective it is to teach a native Swahili child math and science in English. The above argument makes logic with the realisation that children, while they learn science in a foreign language, which they are even struggling to comprehend. Reasoning from the burden the child already has, this leads to the unfortunate scenarios that have faced education in Africa making one want to rethink the way education is set up.

There a major tendencies that have been noted in the education sector of developing countries. As to support the view projected earlier, developing countries still face a high rate of school drop outs and half of those school drop outs can’t even comprehend a full sentence. In addition, some factors that lead to school dropouts have been cited as follows;

• High rate of poverty in developing countries make schooling costs unbearable to most families.

• Most families’ note that education investment do not necessarily result in adequate learning.

•Most people do not feel education investment results in a brighter future. The prospect of a job in the developing economies are poor.

With these realisations and even more that are not mentioned, it can be argued that there is a missing piece in the education sector and most remedies being subscribed do not necessarily result in the rectifying of the scenario.

The missing pieces

Basing on the analysis given prior, an individual’s understanding of certain concepts is increased when they use their language as the medium of instruction. The thinking, though with some logic, can be better polished by the realisation that there is still a number of students in Africa who fail their native language, hence making it the medium of instruction only might not help much. However, what is imperative is a total rethinking first, the reason why most students will fail their native language in class in the low status it has been accorded due to racial discriminations brought about through colonisation. This therefore, requires a total decolonising of the mind, such that firstly, they understand and appreciate the use of their native languages. This will enable an equal status to the native languages hence returning the pride to the people. Most students thrive to learn English so as to see well learned and this process would reverse that, giving native language status hence the emphasise to children, society and subsequently students. China is an example that can be followed which even having been colonised, use their native language as the medium of instruction and it is fast becoming a super power in terms of industrial technology.

Another imperative realisation is the different struggles that are faced by human beings today. While in the yesteryear, more emphasis was on industrialisation, current world is fast moving and what you learn today easily becomes obsolete tomorrow, challenges that are faced can hardly be solved through a test book. This then chants the importance of teaching life skills to children instead of conventional subjects that are obsolete. The aim for educationalists should be to provide “intellectual stimulation”, focus should therefore be channelled to life skills, Greek mythology, prime numbers, or tectonic plate movement which are tools towards the objective and nurturing of a thinking individual. School curricula has tended to focus more on instructional teaching which do not nurture thinkers but individuals who can remember what they were taught.


The nature of events that are faced by the world today require people who can think on their feet and hence make proper decisions. One can also argue that the failure of democracies today is due to the lack of people who think. A large number of citizens merely regurgitate what their leaders say is right and do not take time to evaluate it and hence make an informed decision in the voting booth. The observations submitted here, when realised and rectified can have a far reaching effect towards a better place because thinking individuals are valuable in the society.


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