Gebhard Lucky Natsootweya Shigwedha
Albert Einstein’s definition of education is: “Education is not the learning of facts, but the training of the mind to think”. With almost thirty years of independence in the bag, we ought to ask this question: is the current education system training our kids to learn facts or to think?
Namibia is rated as a high middle-income country, with an estimated annual GDP per capita of US$ 5 828 as per World Bank’ 2017 estimates. However, with such a prestigious rating, Namibia’s unemployment rate is still looming like a volcano. The statistics show that Namibia’s unemployed youth rate stood at 43.4%, which comprises of youth, particularly graduates, those with junior and secondary education, and those who do not have formal education. Similarly, Namibia’s import rate stood at 57%, which, in the current midst, seems to likely to rise. Easing such a ratio is only achievable if the education (input) can streamline a fine product (an educated youth). A total aggregate of educated youth product, equipped with the right tools, can withstand this statistic; in this modern age, we can do so much in the current modern era. At least food dependency and clothes dependency from other countries should not even be a topic of concern, provided that the right system is set in motion. Are we failing as a country, or what contributes to such high statistics?
Education is a vehicle-driven investment that shapes the frontiers of the present and future generation. An investment that does not bear fruits calls for a critical and thorough revisit of the system in play. Josef Schumpeter’s theory of economic development eludes that the introduction of a new product (a new education system), leads to a new method of production, which will ultimately lead to a new market (a rebranded educated citizen). On average, an individual spends 18 years of schooling, including years spent in tertiary education; however, the unsatisfactory derivative is that, if at the end of tunnel there is no light, then the whole time spent in education would be nothing more than a waste of time – this is the current episode that the youth have been exposed to.
An education system of learning facts will not even lead Namibia half way into achieving some of the objectives set into Vision 2030, such as to transform Namibia into an industrialised country. Therefore, a new education system, producing graduates who will be ready to serve the country on the word go and not job seekers, is the system the country craves. An education system addressing socio and economic issues would be a vital nuisance, thus policymakers should advocate for a system that will shape our youth to face the upcoming fourth industrial revolution with a different mindset.
Train the mind to think; do not train the mind to learn facts.
* Gebhard Lucky Natsootweya Shigwedha is an Economics scholar and he can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org.
2019-11-29 09:07:11 | 6 months ago