There is a mail making the rounds, a letter believed to have been written by a school principal to parents. The letter urges parents to look beyond the end of term report card and recognize that children are endowed with certain aptitudes. Aptitudes although usually neglected, need education to hone. The type of education that’s not usually reflected in the end of term report card.
I recall in J.S.S 3, we went through a psychometric test and we were told that the test result would help the school authority differentiate our natural abilities, and then place us according to our natural flair in the best suited subject selections. This never happened. Today, many highbrow schools subject students to same psychometric test …usually at year 9 or J.S.S 3… but the truth remains that the students end up in the same placement …. Sciences, Arts and Commercial…. Mostly, the Sciences.
Why do students have to study more than they require? Science has shown that from a very tender age, a child begins to exhibit traces of his natural gifting. He shows interest in certain art and from that tender age all he requires is careful guidance in the path of his natural abilities. This careful guidance is what we call education. This method of education has been mastered and properly developed in certain climes. It has paid off so well in that, children become experts in their chosen fields early on in life.
However, same cannot be said of the Nigerian parent, yes, parent. With all of our knowledge and exposure, why do we choose to pay more? Placing a child in a specialized school is usually seen as some sort of deficiency. Not many parents would allow their wards attend a music school or a dance school or an acting school or even a technical school. It just has to be a secondary school, and then a bit of any of “these other things” can be added. We pay for tuition fees for Medicine, Law, and Engineering etc only for the children to end up as singers and actors etc. Why pay more?
Assumed competition between our children and those of our peers shroud our sense of trust. Trust in the simple fact that the young ones can eke out a living with their chosen vocation. Trust in the fact that your senses and intuition have guided you right in the choice of nickname… and probably choice of profession. When you nickname him dancer, actor, trader, is it for want of better nicknames or for the simple fact that they actually exhibit the traits?
The zeal to fit them into a mold… perceived to be the ticket to good living, negates the purpose for which they have been given to mankind. Every child comes with their own unique nature. A little more observation would throw up his inherent abilities ensuring that his natural flair is honed, strengthened; fit to hold their own in the ever evolving world.
If education is meant to bring out the best in the child and not to fit him into hole…… why pay more?