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FORMAL EDUCATION IS NOT THE KEY TO SUCCESS – AN OPEN LETTER.

original publication of this piece, October 27, 2012.

Dear  Ghanaians,

This knowledge you are about to read was written in 2012 and was originally published by the Spectator Newspaper on Saturday, October 27, 2012 under the title, “The Power of Self-Discovery.” With the current backlash against unemployment and economic hardships, I guess a fan was right when he requested for the republication of the piece for the youth consumption. I feel so sad when many university graduates are frustrated and blame others for their misfortunes.

From antiquity to contemporary, many sages have tried to ascribe a perfect key to success. This has influenced many to take some deadly decisions which they have deeply regretted. Many set out on expedition to meet success but they refuse to know the right bait to catch success. In Ghana and Africa, many have attributed the bait to formal education.

The ancients established a believe that EDUCATION IS THE KEY TO SUCCESS. The predecessors believed in this and encouraged everyone to embark on this formal education expedition. I want us to produce three dimensional view of this saying with 21st century mindset. The meanings of the terms in the saying will aid us to truly dissect the saying, “Education is the key to success.” EDUCATION is the acquisition of knowledge through teaching and learning, especially at the school or similar institution. KEY is also the means of achieving something or the basis on which something occurs. Example, subatomic particles are the key to matter. SUCCESS is the achievement of set goal. So is it impossible to achieve a set goal without education?

Education in its correct or more precise way, is the KEY to KNOWLEDGE! Like one philosopher said, knowledge will not bring power or fame unless it is organised and practically directed with the sole aim of accumulation of wealth.

Education is supposed to be fun but most students think it is punishment. This is because they have imbibed in them that it is the key to success and without it one cannot be successful in life. When this idea is preconceived, education would be seen as punishment. It is so common to hear a student saying, “if not for the sake of my future family and expenses, what would have been the essence of education?” No wonder the country (Ghana) has been producing engineers who run away from problems.

The government is not responsible to provide us with jobs after acquiring formal education! But it is the responsibility of the government to make quality policies that will promote industrialisation, innovation, research, and entrepreneurship. When a student is making decision to pursue a program at the tertiary level, what s(h)e is saying is that, the specific acquired knowledge is needed for his/her personal growth and without the government, s(h)e can impact society with the knowledge.

Self-discovery is the most powerful concept that has eluded many. It is the process of one knowing his/her personality and motives in life. This connotes with one unveiling his weaknesses, strengths, passions and how well he relates with others. People are blaming God and Satan for their failures in life because of lack of self-discovery. No wonder the ancients said, “Man know thyself and thou shall know God and the universe!”

False prophets are duping people all as a result of lack of this philosophy. THE GREATEST ASSET ONE CAN GIVE TO HIS CHILD IS TO HELP HIM DISCOVER HIMSELF. Agya Koo discovered he could create humour and professionalised it into movie acting and he catches the attention of all comedy lovers.
Einstein discovered he loved physics and would cut classes to study it on his own. He became one of the most revered physicists of all time. King Ayisoba discovered his music potentials and married it. Many examples could be given but few are given for space sake. No wonder Galileo Galilee said, “you cannot teach anyone a new thing but you can help him find it within himself.”

Our human nature is like a special computer. It can perform a specific task (talent) diligently without any difficulties. Once you discover the purpose of this computer, you can derive some benefits from it. But if you fail to unearth its purpose, it becomes a piece of junk. Knowing the purpose of this computer is like identifying yourself. The type of education (knowledge) you choose is like system drivers. Without the drivers, you can work but not very efficiently!

Concluding, some people have chosen wrong careers (system drivers) for their capabilities and they are blaming other people (God and Satan or government) for their failures. How do you expect DELL DRIVERS to work with TOSHIBA computers? In fact, many people waste time trying to amend how God engineered them. They reject their God-given talents while constantly trying to change their natural makeup. As a philosopher said, the most dreaded mistake is not to have one talent but your failure to utilise it. So discover yourself, choose the right careers and build your strengths to make you a successful person to help make Ghana and Africa economically, environmentally and culturally independent.

Thank you very much.

Best regards,

Boadu

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Epistlesofboadu: The voice for development, environment and culture.

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