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Who will educate our generation ?

studying

“Charity begins at home.”; a saying you and I could be familiar with by now. At least the biggest percentage of us yes. Coming from a school of thought that how someone conducts themselves while in public and among other people is a reflection of what they learn and are taught at home. Learning comes in various forms as some, if not most of us learn by mimicking other’s behavior, listening, reading, watching and listen well as others learn by sign language. Meaning that a home is everyone’s first school where they learn the basics of human nature and how to conduct themselves, how to treat others and how to be treated as well.

A mother reading to her child; something that’s vital for cultivating a good reading culture in a child.

Unfortunate and so sad to say is that most of us children of this generation have missed out on this form of education and nurture. By learning I do not mean being taught how to do personal grooming, hygiene, how to fasten our shoe laces. No, I do mean things like how to tame our thoughts, our emotions, how we respond to events around us. Few are really lucky to have been raised in families that were complete; (where there is a father and mother) both living under the same roof because maybe one of the parents is deceased or even divorced. Keeping in mind that home is everyone’s first school, with these circumstances of living with a single parent one half of a child’s balance is unbalanced regardless. Whereas it is also important to note that we live a “fast life” in this generation; where parents work so hard to make ends meet. By so doing they do get up as early as 4am to make sure they beat the jam, and be at work in time only to come back home past 9am when their children are already asleep. This not only denies the parents time with their children but also makes the children miss out on spending quality time with their parents; bearing in mind that there are some parents who even work over the weekend.
This means that the children are most probably in the company of the house helps all day, 24 hours in 7 days a week and therefore are most likely to adopt their traits; God forbid in case they are wrong ones such as gossiping, stealing among other evils, and as a parent he/ she may even never notice that since they are never available to monitor the child and their changing patterns of behavior as they grow up. Explains why some children/ kids end up referring to some of the house helps as “mummy” (since it is them they see most time, engage with, take care of them and are so used to being around) or even “daddy” to the male counterparts who are occasional visitors at home due to their constant interaction with them. According to psychologists and researchers on children’s growth and early- childhood development, the most crucial stage of a child’s growth are those before it turns seven (7) years of age; therefore whatever they have learnt by that age is so permanent and a big determinant in how they are to carry themselves for the next part of their lives which is why it is very essential for a parent to be so actively engaged in their child’s lives; at least for those very first years.

For most children, once they clock eight (8) years of age, they are sent off to boarding school, around that time as it is more convenient for parents most especially if they are the working class of parents. So, they do leave the role of nurturing and educating a child to the school staff and authorities; after all they are getting paid and that is their job, right? After all, as parents their primary role to simply provide and make sure their children are well educated not so?
Before you know it, they are already in secondary school and then university or a tertiary institute and are graduating with an honorary Bachelors degree in any given discipline. But my question is were they really educated or just simply got learned?

I say they ordinarily just got learned and not educated. Before you come at me, let me explain it here. You see, education is a whole wide item that covers many aspects; besides the class bit of it, the sciences, the arts, taking down notes, reading books, doing tests and examinations but rather about creating a someone out of every single soul. You see, EDUCATION comes from a Latin word “EDUCE” which means to “bring out, to bring forth i.e. bring the gifts of a person to make them viable”. But you see, school doesn’t bring out much, it just stuffs more facts inside of you. Yes, I agree, we need reading, writing, and some bit of arithmetic, that’s fair. But if you are telling me metamorphic ingenious rocks, the French revolution, Porter’s five force analysis theory, quantitative mathematics, Pythagoras’s theorem, are more important than teaching students self-care. If suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death of ages 10-24 and Harvard study suggests that the biggest predictor for success is self-control and emotional health, then why the heck aren’t we being taught how to handle stress, bullies or rejection and conflict resolution.

How about anxiety and depression?

You know, skills we need our entire lives. I don’t even how to cook, am surprised I can still survive. Well hey, at least I can name all the plateaus in the Rhinelands and cm spell out empirical formulae of chemicals. To be honest, the things we are taught only help us pass class tests and examinations but do not prepare us for the biggest test which is “LIFE”. Just imagine school taught us more about how to express ourselves, the art of time management, how to conduct ourselves at job interviews, dealing with heart breaks, how to talk about our pain without fear of being judged. We are taught to base success on just how good our grades are, our positions in class and come out to be than to enjoy the actual process of living in school. No wonder many of us students graduate academically not emotionally and are constantly praying for the day we graduate and be out of the hell hole called “school”. Honestly just imagine we were taught public speaking, vital communication skills, how to drive, how to love and feel, empathy, self-defense, administering first aid, how to fix a broken sink or pipe in a home, like stuff we really need for everyday living. I do feel that we would be rather more productive humans, more human in the sense that we shall feel more and not just wake up every day to get by; since we are following a routine of doing activities we are doing because we ought to and society predetermines that we should do so.

We are a generation that’s left to be schooled by television, mainstream media, YouTube, and parents sparing a few moments with their children is a privilege that was left for the “poor” who rather have nothing to do and so they get to have moments with their children every step of the way.

No wonder these kids are happier, they are taught to share, get by on the little available resources and not to be dependent on how much they have or are worth on how much shillings they have on them or where they come from. It is common practice to find less cases of mental breakdowns or depression among people more so young fellas in villages because they live for today, and in a related case have got that bit of emotional attachment to their people, do not compete but know that the only way to go higher is by holding each other up, supporting one another; something the “educated and modern” generation can never relate to since we are taught right from school that in life you are either better than everyone else or you are better than everyone else; more in life instead of being a participant you just have to be a victor; and if not you then nobody deserves to win except you.

The other bit of it is like I mentioned around the second paragraph of this article, so parents expect school to teach children everything they need to know about life, and funny as it sounds, when they get to school, the people there also expect that the children have got their first education about how the children have to carry themselves all the way from home by their parents. And even while in holidays, parents send their children to church so they can learn about religion and how life is meant to be lived. But sorry to break it to you, at church we are taught about the gospel, the ten commandments, the rapture and other great topics which are good for our spiritual growth; but these do not build an individual. In the same sense like I said for school, they build our spirits but not personality or character.

And at church they also expect that home and school both taught us how to behave and be emotionally strong on how to survive in society. And back at home again, and the cycle goes on and on. So, we are then left to only learn from interactions with our peers; our friends, age mates; who have a similar background of misinformation and lack of basics of life training and coaching. Explains why parents get shocked when they see their children they have raised in a good “home” with everything a child ever needed and sent them to good schools and church even turn out to be doing things like drugs, alcohol, and others. Well what would be expected when you have not taken time off to be part of your child’s life? Finding out how a child is really doing? As children we’ve been left to be raised by television shows, the internet, YouTube, reality television programs, house helps.

No wonder when asked as we are growing up even up to now that who are our role models, 4 out of 5 times it would be a famous movie star, artist or sports personality and popular person because it is what we have grown up seeing and are used to being occupied with, so we have no connection with the real world but rather fantasies that are built in our heads because of what we are exposed to (they have created more IDEALISTS than REALISTS). It is also common that you’ll find parents/ guardians complaining that the youth/ young people they live with of these days are ever on their phones, and rarely get time to check on them and have real conversations with them. But do remember, that we have been raised in a way that we only talk to them when we are asking for something, else they’ll flash you off that you are wasting time and that they are busy, and have things they have to do and we should say whatever we want to say and be through already; killing all possible ways of us opening up to them and confiding in them. Leaving us to video games, the internet or even our phones since they are where we get comfort and can be ourselves there minus the feeling of say we are just forcing ourselves onto anyone. Sad and unfortunate as it sounds, our friends know more about us than our parents/ guardians will ever know about us! Like I mentioned, the environment created by our superiors (parents and guardians) does not allow room for free interaction, and therefore that explains why many young people are ever on those smart phones that our parents of this generation hate so much, but that’s where we find comfort, in talking to people that we feel free and comfortable with.

This wide generation gap leaves me wondering ‘’ Who will educate our generation’’?
Not with the way the responsibility to do so and the blame for not doing so is being passed onto from one party to another. So, before parents blame this generation for how it is behaving and acts, it is key that they also remember to look into the mirror to see who raised it.
Till then. Talk to you in the next one. Have a blessed one. I remain yours truly,
Mugibson.