Friday, 8 May 2015

Nigeria's Investment in Youth Education

Youth power

Youth is the asset of every country. They are the future of a nation. Especially, in an underdeveloped continent like Africa, where poor education and increasing failure in educating the younger generation has led to difference from the rest of the world, the issue of generation gap and increasing conflict between generations, regarding more autonomy and modernisation of youth, in contrast with traditional education remains as the cause. Empowerment of youth requires education, and that requires investment.

Education and investment

The current global leader in youth education is South Korea (Republic of Korea)
with 60% of its youth highly educated. Formerly, the United States used to hold this place. Both the nations have taken education seriously, making it as cheap as possible to produce more and more graduates and less dropouts. If Nigeria is to succeed in being the 12th largest economy by 2050, the stated target, then it needs to educate its youth for economic empowerment as knowledge-based leadership and more more clarity and transparency in administration, including business, is becoming the trend in a gradually progressive world.

Comparison with other countries of the world and global scenario

As it is mentioned in the previous paragraph, knowledge has taken the front seat in administration, business and every official matter. Knowledge is being used as
commodity, an object to be bought and sold. It's the currency that is running the world in its material, as well as cultural prosperity. So, naturally, higher education plays the most important role in development, and being successful in enrolling people and making them passouts, is a great achievement for a country aiming higher goals. Take the examples of Margaret Thatcher, Tony Blair or Bill Clinton. All of them are highest passouts of apex universities like Oxford or Yale. One of the founding fathers of modern Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew, a Cambridge degree holder, in his poineering efforts started a journey that ended up making Singapore a first-world country, from its third world status. World Bank president Jim Yong Kim, professionally a medical doctor have won in running the World Bank in its effort to eradicate socio-economic problems worldwide, without being from economic or political background, solely emplasizing on knowledge-based solution. If Nigeria wants to succeed, it has to follow the path of knowledge as well. And there is no other path of doing so, without educating people.

The future ahead

In a country like Nigeria, with so much political turmoil and obstacles to overcome, making the platform for youth education and following the ideal of developed countries require positive political will. Investment is just one part of it. Financing might fuel the movement towards future prosperity, starting with youth education, but making the cultural shift, building of a conducive environment for the acceptance of modern education requires not only direct investment in making physical bodies like institutes, schools, colleges, universities and with it classroom formalities without assimilation and conscious realisation of what is taught, but also qualitative change in the mind-set that requires investment is other fields as well and building of a general environment that reflects progress and development from backwardness, and promotion of reasonable, productive, constructive, creative scientific thought. Online education can be especially relevant in this regard, as it will provide respite from compulsory classroom education, keeping education itself intact.

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