School is Scam: whether true of false? By Stanley Nadine.

School is scam when said in Pidgin English (a parlance in Nigeria) can be rephrased to “School na Scam”.This slogan according to its users connotes that the idea of going to school is a waste of time because school is not contributive to one’s betterment in life.To them, going to school is not important because it seems there is no difference between those that went and those that did not. When you hear the slogan “School na Scam”, it’s just like one saying ‘school is useless’.This slogan is entirely false.It is being pushed and propagated by some deviants or those who are not willing to strive towards becoming useful or responsible to themselves and society at large.These set of people look for short cut to success and get-rich-quick avenues. To them, why waste time in school when others are making it big in the outside world.The funny aspect with people with this kind of mindset is that some of the famous people they admire and envy are school graduates;people whose life and where they are now were partly shaped by the education they acquired through going to school.Propagators of this slang/slogan may be too lazy to search out the background and history of these people they envy (usually celebrities/public figures) that are doing well in their various endeavours/career.I will discuss some of these celebrities as we go on and we shall see how they all passed through school.

It was Myles Munroe who said, “When the purpose of a thing is not known, abuse is inevitable”.This is true.Permit me to add to this by saying that, “when the purpose of schooling is not known, abuse or neglect is inevitable”.When as an individual, you do not know the reason why you go to school, it will not be surprising to hear you scream the wrong notion “School na Scam”.A school is not a place where we go to acquire certificate as some may think. A school is beyond that.A school is a place where one gets educated.The primary reason why someone is sent to school is to gain knowledge (to be educated) that will be useful in making him informed and learned so as to be able to think objectively and make viable and quality decisions in day to day living.A school is a place one is taught a specific knowledge or skill.So,you will agree with me that the reason why a school is established is for good and very important reasons.The big question is, when an individual goes to school, does he actually put himself in a position to actualize the reason for being in school- to learn?The challenge is many people forget the purpose of coming to school and while away their time only to end up with poor grades and give in to the slogan “School na Scam”.I want to challenge you as a good student to avoid those who believe and echo this slogan.As a good student with a great dream and aspiration in life, you need to take your studies in school seriously and learn from your teachers by attending classes; paying attention in class and participating in everything that will help you become better in life.School can never be scam because if it was to be, the federal government and even the world at large would have shut all schools down and stop them from existing. There are lots of benefits from going to school; let’s look at some of them.

Benefits of Going to School (being educated) 
To be part of the generation that transforms a nation, you must strive to be well educated. Your certificate may not pay you in a competence driven world of today, rather, it is what you know and can offer that will make the difference. Some of the benefits of being educated or going to school to learn include: 
1. You become well informed and enlightened.
2. You will be in a better position to make quality decisions in various aspect of life such as leadership, relationship, business etc.
3. Being educated can make you to do well in a chosen career path.
4. Education can expose you to financial opportunities you never knew existed.
5. Your vocabulary and communication skill will be greatly improved.
6. In addition to the above, your interpersonal relationship skill (people skill) will be enhanced.
… And many other benefits you stand to gain.

So, having seen some of the great benefits you stand to gain when you go to school to study, it is imperative you take your academic work seriously and strive to be the best.When you succeed, you will be the one to enjoy the fruits, but when you play around, neglecting your studies and not maximizing various learning platforms in school, and you fail, you will have yourself to blame at the long run. I encourage you to utilize your stay in school to improve your skills, learn all you can from your lecturers, network with the right friends that improves you greatly, read books that widens your horizon and makes you better and you will be an exceptional person, valuable to yourself, family and the society at large.Let’s look at some notable celebrities in Nigeria in different career paths some students and youths look up to because of their fame.A good number of these students do not even know they passed through school.We will focus mainly on their educational background so you can see that school is never a scam no matter the career path you choose to delve into.

Some popular celebrities in Nigeria and their educational background
1. Bright Okpocha (Basket Mouth): 
Bright Okpocha (born 14 September 1978 in Lagos State), better known by his stage name Basket-Mouth, is a Nigerian comedian and actor. Basket-Mouth hails from Abia State, Nigeria. He completed his primary and secondary school in Apapa, Lagos and moved on to the University of Benin, Edo State to study for a degree in Sociology and Anthropology.

He has organized popular stand-up comedy concerts like Basket Mouth Uncensored across the globe. He is a very popular comedian and in 2005 and 2006 he won the National Comedy Award and the awards for Best Stand-up Comedian of the Year.

2. Genevieve Nnaji: Born on 3rd May 1979 is a Nigerian actress, producer, and director. Nnaji was born in Mbaise, Imo State, Nigeria, and grew up in Lagos. The fourth of eight children, she was raised in a middle-class family; her father worked as an engineer and her mother as a nursery school teacher. She attended Methodist Girls College (Yaba , Lagos), before transferring to the University of Lagos, where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Creative Arts. While at the university, she began auditioning for acting jobs in Nollywood. She won the Africa Movie Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role in 2005, making her the first actor to win the award. In 2011, she was honoured as a Member of the Order of the Federal Republic by the Nigerian government for her contribution to Nollywood.

3. Chibuzor Nelson Azubuike (Phyno): born on 9th October, 1986, better known as Phyno, is a Nigerian rapper, singer, songwriter and record producer. Although a native of Anambra State, Chibuzor Nelson Azubuike was born and raised in Enugu State. His stage name, given to him by one of his high school friends, was derived from the word ‘phenomenal’. Phyno developed an interest for music production during his secondary school days. He initially wanted to become a pilot, but was told he could be a doctor. Throughout secondary school, he learned to play the drums and piano. He also learned to create his own rendition of every recording he heard. He studied Public Administration at the Institute of Management and Technology in Enugu, and started profiting from music during his second year there. 

4. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: Born on15th September 1977, is a Nigerian writer whose works range from novels to short stories to nonfiction. Adichie was born in the city of Enugu in Nigeria, and grew up as the fifth of six children in an Igbo family in the university town of Nsukka in Enugu State. Her family’s ancestral village is in Abba in Anambra State. Adichie completed her secondary education at the University of Nigeria Secondary School, Nsukka, where she received several academic prizes. She studied medicine and pharmacy at the University of Nigeria for a year and a half. During this period, she edited The Compass, a magazine run by the university’s Catholic medical students. At the age of 19, Adichie left Nigeria for the United States to study communications and political science at Drexel University in Philadelphia… In 2003, she completed a master’s degree in creative writing at Johns Hopkins University. In 2008, she received a Master of Arts degree in African studies from Yale University.

Having looked at a succinct profile of the above public figures, I intentionally used them because I know many youths and students look up to them as role models and mentors. Some think that some of them did not attend higher institution. A good number of youths and students go as far as dressing and behaving like them as they usually see them in various platforms. I am not totally concerned in this article about their chosen career paths or what they are doing with their individual lives but what I am fully trying to point out to you reading this article, is that one thing is observable from the four personalities we just observed, they all went to school. They even attended tertiary institution after completing their secondary education.Therefore, I make bold to say, you, looking up to different celebrities in the world at large and anticipating being like them, how serious are you taking your studies? That knowledge being disseminated to you by your teachers one way or the other is of value to you. You may not know how useful it might be to you in the future. Why not concentrate on your studies as you gradually work on your dream career or goals in life. A school has a lot to teach you outside academic activities; maximize your stay in school to improve your life in different ways (spiritual, emotional, relational, intellectual etc). So improve yourself that wherever you go you will be desirable because of the rich content and values you carry and how competent you are. Also, at all times, strive to do what pleases God with your gifts and skills. 

In Conclusion, as you already know, we have different types of school- football school, business school, fashion school etc. The academic curriculum of both secondary and institutions of higher learning in Nigeria are so important and contributes greatly to the quality of life of individuals who pass through them. Such individuals must be strong willed, determined and persistent to maximize whatever school platform to become better even when such a platform have some weaknesses e.g. administrative, infrastructural, etc. A student that is determined to succeed must rise above the challenges of the system to be the best. So, complaining about the system (school) you find yourself is not the option, rather be resolute and confess that no matter the status quo of your school or place of learning, you choose to be the best. Have a first class mindset, think globally and strive to be phenomenal. These you can achieve and believe me, it starts from having the right mindset and working hard to be the best regardless of the school you are. So, whether you are in a secondary school, university, football school, etc always seek for avenues to improve yourself and learn more because when you know better, you have a chance to do better and make quality decisions. Do not joke with any level of schooling. If you can pick up a degree in the institution of higher learning, in a course related to your choice of career, it is never a bad idea. You stand to gain a lot. The knowledge gained will help you not just in your future career, but in life generally. At every point in time, seek for knowledge, whether you are enrolled in a formal school or not. Be a seeker and lover of knowledge and learning because it improves you, your vocabulary and endears you to others. Having read this article today, if anyone tells you next time that school is scam, look at the person’s eyes and say to him or her with a smile that, “ignorance is the real scam” and give him a friendly tap, telling him to seek for knowledge because knowledge is power. 

This article is a chapter from the book titled, “The Outstanding Student”. You can read other chapters of the book and get more inspired towards becoming the best as a student/youth. To order for the book, use the authors contact details below. E-book/Hard copy available.
Authors Phone Contact: 07063774152 (Call/whatsapp)
Authors Email: [email protected]

About the author 
Stanley Nwadike, born on September 19th, hails from Anambra State, Nigeria. He holds a M.Sc. and B.Sc. degree in Business Management from the University of Nigeria. He is a certified member of International Strategic Management Institute (ISMI), a bevy of intellectual strategic business leaders. He is also a chartered member of Nigeria Institute of Management (NIM). Stanley is a writer, public speaker (in issues of education/academic excellence, entrepreneurship, business management etc). He loves to see students that are serious with their studies. He is the author of the books, “The Outstanding Student” and “Academics with Smiles”.

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