Julie Kawalya (not real names) is a Ugandan living in the city suburbs, she works as a mobile money attendant on one of Kampala’s busiest streets. I was carrying out a transaction that led to a conversation that struck a story on how she’s a university graduate that had all hopes shuttered after she failed to find herself a job that suit her qualifications from her recently obtained university degree on one of the noble institutions on the land.
This case is one of the million untold ones from a pool of young people in developing African countries.
Why are we having our education systems create a bubble that book smart people will be the ones to survive out here, yet the reality is that only a few skilled ones from tertiary institutions do manage to start their own small businesses, and a few lucky ones that manage to get jobs as soon as possible.
The major challenge here is that our education systems do not ensure that what works in grade school should continue to be applied and carried right through and after college years. This is due to the fact that most jobs in the real world require independent work and achievement, with relevance and self-expression.
So how do we enable an education system that’s still applicable years after school?
Attaining a level of higher education in the classroom is a huge accomplishment. It requires focus, determination, sacrifice, and a keen sense of critical thinking., clearly those that have attained such traits deserve respect.
But, we must come to terms with the reality that there’s need for an extra “real-world” education to match the level of classroom education. In fact, you won’t succeed in today’s world without one.
A real world education is a set of skills or you’d say a breath of knowledge that you attain outside of a traditional classroom, the differentiation is usually explained by two terms “street-smart” and “book-smart”.
In a real-world education, the syllabus is flipped. You’re taking in new knowledge in an unpredictable setting, while in a very uncomfortable environment. The real world teaches soft and hard skills while encountering obstacles and roadblocks and the sad truth is that most of the people who learn these skills when they’ve reached adulthood are most likely to spend a majority of the time questioning everything they thought they already knew.
The best thing to do as educators, nurturers and parents is to fully equip our children from the roots, with skills that prepare them for what life could unexpectedly throw at them, from self-confidence, expressing themselves, to morals, financial discipline, embracing the fear of God as the source of wisdom, survival in a competitive world, mental strength, respect and humility amongst so many others must have traits that one can think of to survive in the 21st century.
Lenoir foundation whose sole purpose is aimed at charity for the underprivileged, continues to strive to prepare every child realizes their rights and achieve their potential in the real world.