“School naa scam” is a popular slang used among Nigerian youths – implying that getting formal education is a practical waste of time that does not guarantee economic sustenance or wealth.
Is Education really a scam? Or is School a scam? Does intellectual enlightenment guarantee economic empowerment? Is there any example, perhaps any model that supports or oppose the assertion ‘school naa scam’?
First, what exactly is education? Education is the process of being educated (according to Merriam-Webster Dictionary), during which knowledge, skills and values are passed across from the teacher to the learner. Gotten in different forms and settings, education can either be formal, semi-formal or informal depending on the mode of transmission.
It is this formal mode of education that most Nigerian youths have come to refer to as a scam. The reason is simple; formal education does not provide instant economic gratification. It does not offer an easy, fast means of defeating sapa, neither does it demand a lesser commitment than other means of economic gratification. In fact, formal education requires more than just commitment, it takes dedication, willpower and extreme diligence to attain the very peak. One spends many years studying (in some professional courses such as Medicine and Surgery, the process simply never ends due to the nature of their work) in order to earn degrees and qualifications to practice before economic gratifications start to flow in.
However, other means of gratification available to the average youth, no matter how illegal and fraudulent they are, provides an almost instant gratification. For instance, it takes less than two years to earn $5000 through the popular Yahoo Yahoo (419) means while it would probably take a plastic surgeon nothing less than fifteen years of rigorous trainings before he could make the same amount of money.
Considering the present nature of the Nigerian economy – the standard of living, market inflation and ever-rising cost of services, does formal education then really provide a way out of sapa? Is it wise to depend on formal education, or rather seek other means, for economic gratification? The end justifies the means, I would suggest – your choice depends on what exactly you want.
To create generational wealth, as the likes of Aliko Dangote, Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos, it is undeniable that depending on any other fraudulent means asides formal education is like building castles in the air at its best. Although one may argue that these aforementioned individuals did not acquire formal education before their wealth creation journey began, it is clearly undeniable that these individuals have only been able to maintain their wealth and even multiply it through the aid of formal education. They recognized the essence of acquiring it and that informed their decision not only to acquire one but also and employ more formally educated people in managing their wealth. However, the Yahoo Yahoo perpetrator can only worry about the present as he is only dependent on the generosity and gullibility of his victims. He cannot reinvest any money he acquires seeing that its source will be queried by the law.
Formal education also exposes one to easier and more lucrative ways of making money. An unlearned man cannot understand, and by extension make use of, the rudiments of Decentralised Finance (DeFi), crypto-currency or the Stocks Exchange market despite how lucrative their intrinsic nature is. He is limited to only laborious and maybe fraudulent, means of meeting his needs unlike the learned man who is a better position to maintain multiple streams of income and revenue. The educated fellow is able to access loans, grants and government incentives for business; he is able to invest, diversify and reinvest his profits while managing his risks and making more money from a limited supply.
In conclusion, the Holy Scripture says;
“The wicked runs when no one pursues them but the righteous is as bold as a lion” - Proverbs 28:1
That perfectly describes the rich man with a fraudulent and shady means of income; he is constantly on the run from the law. Meanwhile, the educated man with a clear means has nothing to hide and would rather declare his actions with full courage. Forbes’ list of billionaires and millionaires has and will never recognize the fraudulent, and as such, their wealth is in vain.
I leave you with the words of Theodore Roosevelt, the 26th U.S. President;
“A man who has never gone to school may steal from a freight car (a railway car for carrying cargo/goods), but if he has a University education he may steal the whole railroad.”
The Editorial Team,
God Is Love Educational Foundation.
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