School: Imade College, Owo. Ondo
17 Years. Female
Late Nelson Mandela said, ‘Education is the greatest weapon one can use to change the world.’ In essence, the importance of education cannot be over-emphasized. Nevertheless, I shall be probing into the ways by which education can be a path to freedom and the future.
Education, according to the oxford advanced learners Dictionary is a process of teaching, training and learning especially in schools and colleges in order to acquire knowledge and improve skills. ‘Freedom’ means the state of being able to do what one desires without being controlled or restricted while the future is the period after the present.
To be precise, education does not only involve school work. However it is divided into two parts: the formal and the informal education formal education is the type of education gotten between the four walls of the classroom while informal education is that which is gotten outside the school – the home, church, mosque etc.
Prior to the introduction of western education, during the Stone Age, our fore parents lived in total darkness and ignorance. People perpetrated diverse forms of atrocity because the fundamental human rights were not defined. The use of human beings for rituals and cannibalism was rife like that of the old calabar. There eas injustice everywhere due to the fact that the law court which serves as the defender of justice was not in existence.
When education came on board, darkness and ignorance gave way. Little wonder, Mary Slessor was able to stop the killing of twins in Calabar. Constitution which contains the rules guiding every society was put in place so as for peace to reign.
Also, before the independence of many African countries, our people were under the tyranny of our colonial masters. Most of these colonial masters carted away our able men and women for slave trade. So many traditional artefacts were taken to their countries such as the beads and ivory as well as some sculptural works in Benin. Through education, our nationalists such as Tafawa Balewa, Nnamdi Azikiwe and a host of others fought for our independence. Late Nelson Mandela was able to fight against the apathied rule which was used by the whites to distinguish between themselves and the South Africans and as a result depriving them of their rights even in their own very land. This no mean feat was possible by the weapon; Education.
In addition, before the introduction of western education, our fore parents were prone to diseases. People died like chicken. People never scaled through disease due to the fact that they were used to taking unhygienically prepared local medicine. Since there were no hospitals, our pregnant women died during childbirths even at the slightest complication under the supervision of unlearned midwives. Even when births were successful, there were cases of stillbirths who are called ‘Abiku’ b y the Yoruba and ‘Ogbanje’ by the Ibos. When education came in, western medicine was introduced and as such, drugs, vaccines and medical equipments were discovered so as to improve the health of the entire citizenry
Judging from the situational trend, as more people are being educated, education is now being brought to the door steps of individuals. People no longer hold on tenaciously to theor primitive superstitious beliefs. Ignorance, which they say kills faster than HIV/AIDS has stepped aside for the light of education to illuminate the entire society.
Furthermore, education is the key to the door of bright future. Education serves as a platform upon which careers are built. Nobody can become a doctor, Lawyer, architect and the likes in the future without passing through the four walls of the classroom. Also, vocational courses are now being offered in our secondary and tertiary institutions so as to improve individual skills. This of the truth has made vocational courses such as electrical installations, carpentry etc pragmatic and endearing.
In another dimension, judging from the situational trend, it can be inferred that the future will be characterised by absence of hooliganism, thuggery and robbery. It is widely believed that education tends to transform potential hoodlums into better individuals which will be responsible adults in the nearest future and as well as be of great importance to themselves, families and the society at large.
More so, the improvement in science and technology through researches brings to mind a future in which everywhere will be computerised. Our elections will be technologically conducted, all exams will be done via the internet and the better for us all. In the agriculture sector, more hybrid crops will be genetically improved so that the diseased prone ones and the late maturing ones will give way to the better ones.
Also, the rate of unemployment will be reduced in the nearest future through education as people will be trained on how to use the resources around them to create employment for themselves. Our economy will receive a new shape and the future generation will experience heaven on earth.
In conclusion, Kenneth Kaduna said many decades ago that ‘Zambia shall be free’ and indeed it is totally free not wit guns or machete but with the potent weapon of EDUCATION. This planet is faced with myriads of options but whoever chooses ignorance will remain in the corridor of darkness forever. If the emancipation of nations were possible, that of individuals will not be a mirage. I will submit that if the world should allow education to thrive in all facets of life, I believe the future generation will experience ’Paradise on earth’.