By Adejumo Kabir
“I never teach pupils, I only provide the conditions in which they can learn” – Albert Einstein
Last week, a special release from the Division of Students Affairs, OAU warned students against being part of the any group painting the university in bad light. However, we applaud the university when they do the needful, which means they refuse to see our praises but focus on our agitations when they do otherwise. Well, I did not belong to any group on campus except the Association of Campus Journalists, OAU which motto is asserting the strength of pen.
I have the pen and I am very sure the ink will not forgive me if I join the league of those that accept things dogmatically.
“Nothing bothers me more than when people criticize my criticism of school by telling me that schools are not just places to learn maths and spelling, they are places where children learn a vaguely defined thing called socialization. I know. I think schools generally do an effective and terribly damaging job of teaching children to be infantile, dependent, intellectually dishonest, passive and disrespectful to their own developmental capacities.” – Seymour Papert
The learning condition is bad and we are told to work hard, get good grades in order to secure good jobs and be well paid. This is the worst advise anybody can give to his or her kids because the condition on our campuses will tragically limit students idea of the essence of education. I doubt anybody will disagree that the universities need to first manage themselves in order to manage students effectively.
According to Jeff Jarvis “Educators – like musicians, journalists, carmakers, and bankers before them – won’t know what hit them. But as sure as change is overtaking every other sector of society, it will overtake education – as well it should. Our cookie-cutter, one-pace-fits-all, test-focused system is not up to the task of teaching the creators of the new Googles.
Call me a utopian but I imagine a new educational ecology where students may take courses from anywhere and instructors may select any students, where courses are collaborative and public, where creativity is nurtured as Google nurtures it, where making mistakes well is valued over sameness and safety, where education continues long past age 21, where tests and degrees matter less than one’s own portfolio of work, where the gift economy may turn anyone with knowledge into teachers, where the skills of research and reasoning and skepticism are valued over the skills of memorization and calculation, and where universities teach an abundance of knowledge to those who want it rather than manage a scarcity of seats in a class.”
In the real sense, authorities should be proud when they see youngsters question them on what looks shady in the sector. They should not be proud to produce ‘sex doll’ that will never say no anytime the real human feel aroused. This is not in any way to paint my university in bad light but if OAU, a first class university in the country teaches students the opposite of education, then, I stand to be corrected that we don’t have institutions in the country. It is not enough to teach kids to value answers above questions. “And we must reject all notions of ‘reform’ that serve up more of the same: more testing, more ‘standards’, more uniformity, more conformity, more bureaucracy.”
Lastly, educators should allow students to make much sense as they can of things around them. Never manipulate our thinking faculties. Why? Edward M. Forster says: “Spoon feeding in the long run teaches us nothing but the shape of the spoon.”
Adejumo Kabir is a student of Obafemi Awolowo University and a Campus Journalist