An investment in knowledge pays the best interest. – Benjamin Franklin.

The Holy book says that we should train a child in the way he should go so that when he grows up, he will not depart from it. These days, I wonder if we still value that as a truth of life because whether you believe in the Bible or not, this is an undisputed truth. If we fail in training a child from the early age, it will be even harder to succeed when the child is older.

So much is going wrong in the society and I for one believe that it is mostly because we have failed as parents, as relatives, as neighbours, as caregivers, as government, and as teachers. The foundation is no longer built to withstand pressures of life. Why are we neglecting our duties and delegating it to the next person, playing the blame game? The father says it is the duty of the mother, the mother delegates to the house help, the house help to the teacher; the teacher blames the government, and so on and so forth. When two elephants tussle, the grass bears the brunt. But we know that all of us should be involved in seeing that our future does not go to decay, that our children become the best they can be given the right opportunities.

I was provoked into doing this piece on education yet again due to the lamentations friends of mine who teach. One of them, a trained engineer who turned teacher because he could not get a better job complained bitterly about the stress of teaching. When I asked why, he told me that there was nothing to motivate one to go on. This time, it is not even the usual poor salary thing or poor working conditions. The attitude of his students was like chilled water to his morale, they dampen the zeal he has to make a difference he said. The problem is not that you are teaching dumb students, but you are saddled with the burden of trying to force someone to learn, forcing someone to create a better future for himself. According to him, these young ones are just not willing to learn no matter the method he uses to make learning attractive to them. How does the teacher get around that one? Yet when they fail, we blame the teachers and the system. Brad Henry said that ‘A good teacher can inspire hope, ignite the imagination, and instill a love of learning but there is a limit to the magic the teacher can do.

“Learning is not attained by chance, it must be sought for with ardor and diligence” says Abigail Adams. This is what we all must bear in mind, especially students and parents.

Young ones please develop a passion for learning. Education is not just in passing examinations because in Nigeria, we know that is the easy part. I fear that if this current trend continues, our future will be bleaker than we envisage. I know that education is not the beginning and end of life but there is no way ignorance and illiteracy can be equated with knowledge and education. I like what Theodore Roosevelt said on this score. He said that

‘A man who has never gone to school may steal a freight car; but if he has university education, he may steal the whole rail road’. That is the power of education.

According to Dr. Seuss; “You can get help from teachers, but you are going to have to learn a lot by yourself, sitting alone in room”. We can make things better for ourselves and our unborn generation by making today better and stronger.

Be that change you want to see friends!