Never Confuse Education With Literacy And Knowledge With Fluency

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Too many confuse literacy with education. They consider the ability to read and write in English as being educated. It's not any bit correct. That you see a man reading Newspaper and talking good English doesn't mean he is educated.

It's like equating anyone who can do basic maths to a mathematician. 

The troubling part is that this is usually a self-error. A man or woman, just because he can comfortably speak English and read books (which he seldom does) takes upon himself the title of being educated. And the result is we have too many Nigerians who have deliberately ended their path to education because they wrongly believe that they are educated. They will rush at airports, argue with security officials, ignore general rules of behaviour and roundly embarrass everyone whenever they are questioned about anything.

Then there are those sweet speaking phonee-crazy fluent speakers who think they know more than they do. They keep equating fluency with knowledge. They have made the radio stations dangerous to listen to. They say things that are obviously wrong and you can't correct them without risking a terrible embarrassment.

It's not that they are less knowledgeable than the rest of us, in fact, some of them are actually more knowledgeable. The problem is they don't know the limit of their knowledge. They will talk on anything with a tone of expertise even if they've just become aware of it minutes ago. 

Maybe I am like that. Maybe not. Anyway, it's a problem we have an overdose of in Nigeria. And the result is we have millions of people who are not interested in pursuing education to an international standard nor knowledge to a global relevance level. Too many people are okay with knowing enough English to sound educated and speaking with an accent that makes them look knowledgeable.

Then we complain that our economy is not diversified. That we depend on crude oil exports and solid mineral exports. How the heavens will it be diversified? We don't try to skill ourselves enough to produce anything the rest of the world would be willing to buy. Our nollywood is still avoiding high-tech and intellectually stimulating themes. More people are bothered about how to package garri, palm oil, elubo, iru and plantain chips to have a more sophisticated look. We love window-dressing things. We are oversold on packaging. Even our university education is more so we can decorate ourselves with certificate.

Until we start being very well educated and highly knowledgeable, and producing real high-level value, we can kiss joining the developed world goodbye. 

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