By Chisom Okoye
Prior to the last two decades, education had always been viewed as a strict code of rules one needs to follow, and depending heavily on requirements and location of an established institution i.e. school.
Well, the above is almost past. Education is better viewed as a need to improve in a specific area, in order to solve current challenges, and in the process, giving birth to innovations. A popular buzzword, ‘entrepreneurship’ must have registered in your mind right now!
This piece is written to carefully explain both terms (education and entrepreneurship) with emphasis laid on how some good practices have evolved, how they can be encouraged to gain wider replication and modification to suit different types of students and stakeholders.
But first, let us consider what education truly is.
- According to Dictionary, “education is the act or process of imparting or acquiring general knowledge, developing the powers of reasoning and judgment, and generally of preparing oneself or others intellectually for mature life”.
- Merriam-Webster notes that it is, “the knowledge and development resulting from the process of being educated, or the field of study that deals mainly with methods of teaching and learning in schools.”
- Oxford Learners Dictionaries makes it clear that it is, “a process of teaching, training, and learning, especially in schools or colleges, to improve knowledge and develop skills.”
To better understand the different perspectives of the definitions above, the first two have been grouped to mean formal education relating to attending an institution and getting certified while the latter introduces the aspects of entrepreneurship, as it not alone defines the learning process but also a learning outcome. Education as viewed by renowned education researcher, H. Spenser, ought to prepare us for complete living. This is the function of education.
The incompleteness of education is seen in the outdated curriculum found in many countries around the world. This led Brazilian educator and philosopher, Paulo Freire to famously call it banking – making deposits of knowledge. Such ‘schooling’ quickly descends into treating learners as objects, things to be acted upon rather than people to be related to.
Generally, there are two broad classifications of education, namely formal and informal education.
Formal Education: Formal education is a type of learning that takes place in classrooms. A pupil or student is taught by a qualified teacher or lecturer. It’s not limited to primary and secondary schools. It extends to higher learning institutions, that is, colleges and universities.
Informal Education: This type of education does not follow a specific method of learning or instruction. It takes place outside of school and an individual can learn anywhere. A child can gain knowledge or learn different skills anywhere, sometimes without being taught by an adult, whether qualified or not.
Where am I going with this?
The simple point being made is that every form of education has a specific goal, be it formal or informal.
Too often, we tilt towards only the formal side of education and end up ‘dumping’ knowledge on the recipients. Eventually, this knowledge does little or nothing in helping them become truly productive members of society.
Of course, some of us turned out okay but what about the many other young people who didn’t? Those who cannot quite say how the 3x2 -5 or the law case studies they crammed have translated into real life impact.
For the sake of those people, we really should be asking ourselves how we can do better. This is why we will be starting a series to highlight the link between entrepreneurship and education.
About the author: Chisom is a constantly learning how everything in the world can work better with education. As an academic writer, he writes to shine the light on gaps in the education sector, as well as recommend methods for advancement.