Ideally, what we pick is that education is not an end in itself, education is a process that is supposed to result into something. For Martin Luther King Jr, the results were two; intelligence and character. Intelligence which is that ability to apply knowledge and skills. Character which has got to do with the moral standing of one in society.
Education as a process is not what is important to society. What is important is the result of this process! A product how is intelligent and with character. In order for society to benefit from the education of its inhabitants, they must put into application this acquired knowledge and illustrate intelligence and character, as in the words of Martin Luther King. Let is try and break down education as we understand it. For most of us, education is going to school, as in the case of Uganda, it is going to primary school for seven years and then picking up a certificate for Primary Leaving Exams then to O’level and picking up the UCE certificate, A’level for the UACE certificate and finally to a tertiary institution where the certificate here ought to be a Diploma or Degree. As a society, we seem to have placed our focus on the action of educating people and sidelined the element of intelligence and character, the must be results of the education process. I am not stating this as an absolute, but it could be one of the underlying reasons for unemployment today. Graduates who have all the ‘qualifications’ but are unable to display practical intelligence and character. Allow me relate this to the case of Peter Sematimba, who has been disqualified from his elected position for the reason of unauthentic qualifications. Not to justify the unauthenticity of the academic qualifications per say, but is not it evident to society the elements of intelligence and character exuded in the man of Peter Sematimba? Hasn’t he over time shown to society these traits with the work that he has been involved in over time?
How many people is he employing at the Rubaga-based Super FM? Or just how many bursaries has he handed out to people unable to support themselves? Allow me ask rhetorically how many people with academic qualifications way over and above society’s norm are laying idle without even a retail shop to their name? Yes, they are qualified and we applaud them, but because of the inability to put into application their knowledge, neither they nor society can benefit from their education endeavor. In this regard, let us think about just how many potential leaders with intelligence and character that society has regarded as unqualified for the leadership roles on the basis of ‘insufficient academic qualification’. Could it be a time to rethink on some of these policies that were set up several years ago when the colonial masters instilled in our minds that education is what set you apart as an extremely valuable member of society? I believe society needs leaders with intelligence and character. As to whether or not they must have academic qualifications could be a thought that we need to think through a bit more.
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