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Education Vs Schooling

By – Joyce Paulsen


As a young child, my dad always told me that I was going to become the doctor of the family. So I looked forward to becoming a doctor every day as my dad kept on emphasizing it. It was only natural that when I entered into the senior secondary classes, I chose the science subjects even when it was clear that I had better performance in most of the art subjects. The reason being that my dad said I was going to become the family doctor someday.

When I finished from secondary school, I applied for jamb but was unable to get my desired course in my choice university so I resorted to taking on pre degree studies in a different institution and because medicine and surgery couldn’t be applied for at that level, I resorted to studying medical laboratory science in hope that I was going to apply for a change of course when I finally gained admission.

Yaaaaay! I was finally in year one studying medical laboratory science as my hard work paid off but…… there was an issue. I began to feel frustrated. At some point in my studies, attending lectures and doing my assignments became a drag. It became so bad that I would doze off completely during lectures. I remember how on one occasion my course mate told me how he saw the devil fanning me during lectures because I dozed all through. Well, I think I believed him because immediately the lecturer left the class, I was fully alert again. Mehn, those days were not easy o.

It was later I began to ask myself if I truly had a flare for what I was studying. Then I began the journey of self-discovery. I began to look inwards to discover the things that came natural and easy for me to do. I asked my friends and family members’ questions about myself right from my childhood. I was searching for my ‘lost self’. I asked questions like: what am I truly passionate about? What comes so easy to me like breathing? What compliments did I receive frequently from people? What was I known for as a child? Who are the people I aspire to be like and why do I aspire to be like them? What is it that I can do even if I wouldn’t be paid for it? What subjects did I enjoy as a student?, etc. This was indeed a long journey as it took me some time to gain clarity of direction. Meanwhile, I had changed my mind about changing course to medicine. I would rather suffer and finish medical lab science than upgrade my suffering in medicine. This decision did not meet my father well as his hopes of having a family doctor was gradually being crashed.

It was in my 300 level in medical laboratory science that I finally decided to take the leap of faith based on my personal convictions to switch my course to Business Management as I had discovered that planning, organizing and managing was very easy for me. I had to start from 100 level again after 3 years in medical lab science plus almost 1 year in pre degree. Dearie, this wasn’t an easy decision. I called it a leap of faith because I left my former course hoping I would be accepted in my new course. I began lectures in management department yet unsure of my admission status. It was towards the end of my 100 level that my admission was finally confirmed and I became a full-fledged student once again…..Glory to God!

As I write this article, I am not just a graduate of Business Management but also the best graduating student and I am actually packing my bags for NYSC this month. Corpershun mode activating.

What’s the morale of my story? We have too many students in school who are misplaced; studying courses they have no connection with. Some even wish for their lecturers to die so that they won’t have to attend lectures. We also have so called graduates who actually fit the definition of an illiterate. This is because we have confused education with schooling.

I am sorry to say dear, but true education ain’t schooling. As a matter of fact, the word education came from the Latin word ‘educere’ which means to bring out or lead out. Every human being has potential within them and education is the tool to fine tune and sharpen such raw talent into skills that could benefit humanity. This is far from reality in our world today. Most times I ask people their course of study in school and they are quick to respond, ‘They gave me fine arts”. Who is the they? The school? That’s a tragic way to live life.

Perhaps dearie, you are one of such people who either fall into the category of misplaced students or educated illiterates. It’s not too late to begin the journey of retracing your footsteps. But the journey begins with looking inwards and finally aligning externally to fit into that which you have discovered. There’s no time to waste. You might meet oppositions but you must keep moving. Some people might be offended but you can’t continue living your life pleasing people. My dear,you will give account for your life, not them.  Take back the power to truly live out your core. Discover your talent and sharpen it with the tool of education.Dont be pressured to accept a course just so you can be called a university student. Challenge the status quo. Your world awaits you dearie . I hope to hear your story some day and inspire people just like mine.

See you at the top dear!

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