School vs. Education: The Difference Matters

stack of books in classroom, concept - back to school

stack of books in classroom, concept – back to school

In historical discourse, it is agreed upon that evidence gathered represents only an aspect of the past, so that evidence is not adequate-even though it could be accurate- to paint a picture of the whole past.

The case is the same with schooling and education. Schooling represents an aspect of the total process of education so that it is understandable to refer to schooling as a fragment or subset of education.

Education represents the whole process of learning and acquiring knowledge and it is common to see most students from primary school through high schools to higher institutions of learning think they are educated because they are in school. In fact this is reflected in the way those who have been to school disrespect and look down upon their counterparts who have not been to school for one or two reasons, and I find this so bizarre and strange.

But it is (not) interesting to note that with the type of education we have today, the major difference between a so-called educated person and an uneducated person is the ability to speak and write the colonial language. The difference is not how refined their thought is but the ability to speak and write English. This is why you would see a university graduate who is so ignorant and detached from his own people that they cannot solve any problem they find around them.

Knowledge could be and is acquired in schools but most students deny themselves the opportunity to acquire knowledge. We are most interested in grades not the knowledge we acquire from a particular course of study. In most cases we rely on the usual chew and pour, pass and forget method of learning rather than understanding the fundamentals of what is taught in class.

This process of learning is reflected in the type of products our educational system produce in holding the helm of affairs in this country. Those who have been to school see their education as a means of finding white collar jobs so that even agriculture students wants to be employed so that they work 24/7 in the office. Even though I agree that employment is part of the purpose of education, I believe the interest and the survival of the society, as in solving problems pertaining to the society and upholding public good should not be overlooked.

But let’s come to think of it who do you think has caused the problems that we have in our societies today? I like how prof. Amos Wilson puts it;

Who do you think builds the atomic bomb- The man in the street? No! The physicist who went to school……isn’t it strange that the more social workers and psychologist we have, the crazier we get? The more economists we produce, the more our people starve in Afrika? (Wilson, A; 1991 pg. 3)

Again, who steals from government coffers? Who adds the zeros in order to steal with his/her pen? Who prescribes wrong medicines for patients-The man in the street? Hell no! It is that guy who has gone to school but has refused to be attached to the needs of his society but has been inclined to his/her selfish needs.

Every one that I meet-whether in school or in the street- is superior in some way and that I learn from him and it takes education, not necessarily schooling for one to be superior in a field. If we have the privilege of being in school, you should not regard those who have not been to schools as fools. If not for anything at all, you should be able to impact something to those who have not been to school. You should be willing to impact positively and make where you live better than you met it. Do not discriminate, disrespect or distance yourself from the problems of the masses and uneducated; that is the mark of the “en-darkened” fellow not the enlightened fellow. I would conclude with Kwame Nkrumah’s view on education quoted in Ama Biney;

“A man’s education must also be measured in terms of the soundness of his judgement of people and things, and in his power to understand and appreciate the needs of his fellow men, and to be of service to them. The educated man should be so sensitive to the conditions around him that he makes it his chief endeavour to improve those conditions for the good of all.” (Biney, A; 2011, Pg. 121)


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