Editorial: Student blogger, 'Sir Article' takes a look at what Ghanaian students of today need to know - the challenges in school and the competitive world out there after school.
I have never been a student leader since I started schooling 19 years ago, but I am under an overwhelming obligation to empower the Ghanaian student as a revolutionary blogger. First of all, the dynamics of schooling here in Ghana weaken the ability of a student to compete in our sophisticated world which has now become a global village. But I pledge to advance the cause of the National Union of Ghana Students (NUGS) which is summed up in their motto, "Education: a right and not a privilege." However, there are popular misconceptions about education held by Ghanaian students which need to be scrapped through a social revolution. That is why I have outlined 4 key things every Ghanaian student needs to know today if we really want to secure a prosperous future for our nation!
(1) Hardwork pays off:
When I interact with my schoolmates on a daily basis, I get the impression that they are all dying to achieve academic excellence at all cost. Well, the deception they have held over the years is that academic excellence could be a substitute for "hard work" after completing school. In other words, getting a first-class in their programmes will help them circumvent the hustles out there in the field of work. Look! You are willing to spend 30 years of your life in school to eventually acquire a PhD, but are you eager to work hard for only 10 years in exploiting your potential? My friends, "There is simply no substitute for hard work when it comes to achieving success," says Heather Bresch.
In fact, any student who is reluctant to work hard in any endeavour is certainly bound to fail in life! Do you know that Mark Zuckerberg, the Founder and CEO of Facebook whose estimated net worth is $35.7b dropped out of Havard to pursue his passion for computer programming with the advent of social media? He decided to stay at home in California to work extremely hard in building his social media platform for years at the expense of his degree. Lastly, show me any millionaire on earth whose wealth has been the inevitable result of his academic qualifications!
(2) Certificates are mere sheets - Value addition is key:
My management lecturer here at the University of Cape Coast, Mr. Daniel Agyapong has always emphasised that, "Contemporary organisations now employ skills and not people." This striking statement places a premium on value addition as a student and not mere certificates. Also, do not pursue a programme at the university with the sole aim of acquiring a degree. Add value to your being while you study in school. Learn beyond what is being taught in class. Make sure you study your courses in a practical way so they can be applicable to your life all the time.
Unfortunately, most students dream of getting certificates after school and not a lasting value added to their life. And I have found out why many graduates end up being unemployed. For these jobless graduates only have mere certificates but not real value to prove their competencies. Remember, Albert Einstein once said that, "The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but creativity." So do you possess special skills as a student which make you distinct from others? Know that the value you acquire in school will get you a job or help you prosper from your potential, and not your ordinary certificates.
(3) Why don't you broaden your scope of knowledge?
Whenever I visit our hall library, I see scores of students memorising books which fall under their programmes at the university. But they never think of expanding their horizons by learning a myriad of concepts relating to other disciplines. Yes, specialisation is so important at the workplace but your comprehensive knowledge of other subjects is what defines your intelligence. For most of my colleagues who are also business students wonder how I write with a great deal of professionalism though I am not a student of English Language, Communications or Publishing Studies. Coo! I learn language and the art of writing more than my accounting, economics and management because that is what I was born to do!
Again, I have challenged myself to become more knowledgeable than Greek Philosopher, Aristotle (hyperbole intended fused with metaphor). That is why I am an avid reader in order to broaden the scope of my knowledge beyond limits. Remember, you could lose a job during an interview when you fail to answer a question seeking to know the relevance of globalisation to the operations of your potential organisation. Hey, it does not matter whether you are a science or business student. Just develop an avaricious reading attitude towards other subjects like the way you eat as a human being. And don't forget that Dr. Mensa Otabil never attended a university but is now an astute scholar in Africa.
(4) Where is your gift?
I now ask you to tell me your gift - what you were born to do! You ought to discover the gift you were born with before it is too late. For schooling is an institutionalised concept by man to help us gain knowledge, but your gift is what qualifies your total existence. So discover, develop and work your gift to meet a need in society. Dare to be what God wants you to be, not necessarily what your programme teaches you to be.
No wonder Dr. Myles Munroe said, "What you were born to do is the only thing that can satisfy you." Suppose you drop out of school without any hope of continuing your education, what will you do with your life thereafter? This is where your gift comes into play. In fact, you will never be absolutely accomplished in life without the pursuit of your gift, talent or potential.
Writen by Sir Article, a student blogger at the University of Cape Coast pursuing Bachelor of Commerce in Accounting.