Analytical Synthesis of Education as a Catalyst to Financial Fortunes

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This a Well-researched paper aptly handling and unifying the contrast in human learning and the desires of pursuing education. Written by one of the finest voice in Creative Artistry, Meshach
Terfa, the paper was presented at the Conference held at the Polytechnic auditorium, Fidei Polytechnic Gboko, Abuja Campus


Analytical Synthesis of Education as the Key to Financial Fortune

By Meshach Terfa Meshach Terfa 07034806899 meshachterfa55@gmail.com Award-Winning Novelist and Critic, Terfa has a Masters Degree in English Language. He is the Editor, The Quarry Magazine, Gwarimpa, Abuja, and Lecturer, Fidei Polytechnic, Gboko, Abuja Campus, and the author of Teaching and Understanding Made Easy, The Super Hero, The Local Champion..., Segmental and Suprasegmental Phonemes, A Course Text in General English, The Legacy of Our Forefathers, The Intellectual Saviour, Suspension of Disbelief.

Being a Seminal paper, presented at the Fifth Academic and Research Seminal Held the Polytechnic Hall, Fidei Polytechnic Gboko, Abuja Campus

On the 3rd of March, 2018

Abstract It is difficult if not impossible to find any person who has ever made it in life without traces of education as the catalyst to his/her fame. As it always is, sooner late you find that s/he stood on the shoulders of educational academic giants who made him/her sail farther off others not because his/her sight was clearer than others but because s/he was raised high up by their gigantic confines. Even if s/he, by miracle or accidents, hits fame or wealth without education, which hardly ever happens, s/he relies heavily on the intellectual prowess or pool of knowledge drawn from the educated to sustain his/her source (s) of wealth. But for the services of the educated, s/he couldn’t have done anything more than to bulgingly write his/her name. For in the one who is uneducated lies the phrase: the name died before the man. What this means is that the name of a man who is not educated dies before he is himself dead. Therefore, the indispensable relevance of education looms too large to delay acknowledgement. This is the major thrust of this research paper. Education is life and soul of those who not only exist but live. Unlike the educated whose mind is fertile and fruitful, the uneducated is the stark illiterate whose mind is like a rocky ground on which no intellectual seed can germinate. He is a perfect extrapolation of the philosophy that illiteracy is a disease that shortens life. Not only is s/he regarded with pity, scorn and disdain but his/her ideas are often considered not worth heaping with cow dung. This paper is written with the sole goal of assuring you all here that your decision to pursue education is the wisest of all decisions ever there is. Not only will you be different from others on the streets in character and personality but you will know why something is correct and or wrong with concrete intellectual elucidation and explanations of the why. Introduction It is apt to posit that for any society to be equipped with the basic knowledge and skills that will enable it to better appreciate the nature of financial problems, and how to make rational financial decisions, such a society must depend on the accumulated knowledge of the educated. Education can be said to be the systematic process of giving or receiving systematic instruction especially at a school or university. It is also the process of facilitating learning or the acquisition of knowledge, skills, values, beliefs and, habits. Education usually takes place under the guidance of educators called teachers when it is in a formal education setting. Education has been responsible for the upliftment of the human conditions. Alade observes that “...the primary concern of education is the elevation of human conditions. Through education, people are enabled to develop their knowledge and skills...” (247), adopt new behaviour and be able to survive in the society. The major thrust of this paper is to establish whether or not education can change your financial fortunes. This paper answers in the affirmative that it sure can; but at this juncture, it is apt to cut it short and end it there. Conceptual Clarification Education Education can be said to be the systematic process of giving or receiving systematic instruction especially at a school or university. Oderinde opines that “[sic]... all over the world, education is the key to development” (29). The responsibility of imparting knowledge revolves around the teacher who plans, organizes and implements the teaching learning process. Nonetheless, one of the issues to be resolved is whether or not the teachers possess the necessary characteristics needed to perform their role in the teaching-learning process and to see the effects of their role in students’ academic achievement. In the teaching-learning process, both the teacher and the learners must be active. The learner learns through some activities while the teacher does all he considers necessary to make learning possible. Getting an education is important, as most career paths require at least some education and training. Though the decision to continue your education is a personal choice, it's worth considering if knowledge and experience are important to you. If you have any career goals, you will most likely need an education to achieve those goals. Learning the importance of an education can help motivate you to learn more and achieve great things. The following are crucial for anyone who aspires to harvest financial fortunes from education: Decide on Your Career Goals. If you've thought about your future at all, you probably have some idea of what you want to do as a career. No matter what your goal is, it will probably require some degree of education. Research or consult others for information about your desired career, or talk to professionals working in that field. There is a good chance that anyone you talk to will tell you that you will need an education in order to enter that field. Note that the kind of education you will need may vary: some fields require formal college education, while others may lean more towards specialty training in the field. In Nigeria and probably everywhere in the world only a few jobs require less than a high school degree. By contrast, students who have graduated from high school are deemed qualified for the remaining percent of jobs. Many people drop out of school thinking that they would rather work than be in school, but statistics show that the majority of high school dropouts are unemployed and have little or no source of income. Get a Better Job Even if the career you've chosen doesn't require an advanced education to break into the field, you will most likely need an education if you want to get promoted or earn a higher-paying job. People who have completed an advanced education typically make more money than people who have not gone to school. The statistics will speak for itself. Having a high school diploma dramatically increases the chances of earning a job over high school dropouts. That number continues to rise as students pursue higher education through college and graduate school. Find Better Opportunities Getting an education opens a lot of professional doors for you. It can help you learn new skills, make professional connections, and generally have greater success. People who have completed an advanced education often have more and better opportunities available to them because of their education. Even if you have not completed a high school diploma, completing vocational training (education emphasizing a particular trade, such as electrician) will likely increase your income level and ability to find a job. If you have a high school education and vocational training, you are a much more attractive candidate for jobs. Overcome Income Inequality Studies have shown that having an education - even a primary education - can help low-income workers earn more money and find a better economic situation. Employers look for educational achievements. Even having a high school degree will reduce the risk of unemployment and increase the average lifetime earnings of most working adults. In Nigeria, 54 percent of high school dropouts between the ages of 16 and 24 are unemployed. For high school graduates, that number decreases to 32 percent of people in the same age bracket, and it decreases even further to 13 percent of college graduates. Live a Better Life A learned person understands the value of life and respects others regardless of the colour of their skin, size, and height, level of education or wealth. He is constantly aware that even when he must disregard, he disregards with regards. He rises above the myopic perception and assessment of people by mere face value. This elevates him above the shackles of mundane criticisms, hence s/he does not insult. Beyond the professional opportunities that an education affords people, having an education may also be correlated with living a better life in general. Some studies suggest that people who stay in school are less likely to end up having legal troubles later in life. College graduates with a bachelor's degree earn an average of $1.64 million dollars more than high school dropouts over the course of a lifetime. High school graduates earn an average of $429,280 more than high school dropouts over the course of a lifetime. Having an education (and subsequently getting a better job) may make people less likely to commit crimes for fear of losing what they've worked for. The average high school dropout in the world has a one in 10 chance of being arrested, whereas the average high school graduate only has a one in 35 chance of being arrested. Some studies suggest having an education can also make people more patient, and therefore less likely to be overcome by anger or violent tendencies. Help your Family Having an education is typically associated with an increased ability to provide for your family. That means not only being able to help financially support your family, but also providing younger relatives with a positive role model, and inspiring them to pursue an education. Live a Longer Life Education stands a greater chance of enlightening your soul and psychology to understand that the race of mankind will perish if we cease to aid one another. We cannot exist without mutual help. Therefore, anyone who needs help has the right to ask for it from their fellow man. And no man who has the power of granting that can refuse without guilt. And nothing kills more than guilt. Some studies suggest that having a higher education can help you live a longer life. This may be because of better working conditions that come with an education, or it could be because earning an education helped remove people from adverse domestic situations. Whatever the cause, many studies show that even earning a high school education significantly decreases the likelihood of dying young; what’s more, young men who graduate high school statistically live an average of seven years longer than male high school dropouts. Young women who graduate high school live an average of six years longer than female high school dropouts. Young men who graduate college statistically live an average of 13 years longer than male high school dropouts, and an average of six years longer than male high school graduates who do not go to college. Young women who graduate college live an average of 12 years longer than female high school dropouts, and an average of six years longer than female high school graduates who do not go to college. Be Happier in Life In addition to living a longer life, people who pursue an education tend to be happier in life. That's because having an education has been shown to make people better problem solvers who are better equipped to manage day-to-day problems. Some studies suggest that simply earning an education, regardless of subsequent income or job contentment, helps people have better mental health later in life. Find more Fulfilments in Life Some studies suggest that people who have completed an education are more likely to pursue things that offer personal fulfilment. Flow, a term used to describe meaningful and satisfying absorption in a task, is often associated with educational advancement. In other words, having an education may help you find hobbies or passions that give you a sense of fulfillment. Many schools encourage flow, whether intentionally or not, by offering a stimulating learning environment and meaningful extracurricular activities to students who might not otherwise have those opportunities. Education Vis-a-vis Financial Fortunes Just as human capital models highlight the positive impact of education on individual income, at a national level education increases the human capital of the work force, as well as its productivity, and spurs growth. The effects of education on the economy as a whole have been noted not only by economic growth models, but also by micro-economic studies which highlight the social effects of increased education. Fuller, Gorman and Edwards (1986) posit an institutional model of increased education and its aggregate economic and societal effects, emphasizing quality of education (including literacy rates) over quantity or years of schooling. Bedi (1997), working with data, notes that the quality of learning has a significant impact on individual income, and underscores the importance of this factor as a driver of growth in developing countries. Educationists are concerned with more than just money; they explore questions related to labour, land, investments, income, production, taxes and government expenditures. In short, they are concerned with how people use resources – human or natural – and with the implications of their actions. As a result, despite the fact that education is often associated with teaching, it is a highly interdisciplinary field that overlaps with other fields as diverse as history, law, health, education, petroleum and gas, political science and environmental studies, just to mention a few. Depending on the level at which one intends to interpret the concept, the requirements associated with becoming an educationists vary considerably. To pursue financial fortunes or gains in the field, aspiring educationists must be prepared to work across disciplines such as the arts, mathematics, technology and business. The education sector demonstrates a high need to attract qualified individuals study and school through almost all the levels of educations – nursery, primary, postsecondary and tertiary or university levels. Therefore, job opportunities are primarily abundant for those with advanced degrees. And those with higher degrees stand a better chance of harvesting from the vast pool of financial fortunes drawn from education. Many schools offer courses that fastidiously and meticulously guide you towards becoming what you want in the future. At this level, students learn about the differences and or similarities between lots of things, as well as explore topics such as fiscal policy, criminology, human anatomy, medicine, surgery, therapy, forensic investigation, logic, data analysis, psychology and human behaviour, trade, inflation and market fluctuations. Students who receive instruction in any of these areas of study in the secondary school level tend to develop more positive attitudes towards things of such persuasions, thus increasing the type of interest that leads students to pursue education in such a field as a major in college, polytechnic or university. Analytical Synthesis of Illiteracy From logic and linguistic point of view, it is best to define something by saying what the thing is not. So, in this section, we will say what education is not by defining and attempting analytical synthesis of illiteracy. Since 1948, the acquisitions of basic skills such as reading and writing have been considered an inalienable human right. Nevertheless, the persistence of illiteracy remains one of society’s greatest shortcomings. The World Declaration on Education for All (Jomtien, 1990) constitutes one of the world’s broadest agreements in the field of education, reaffirming the right of every person to receive an education which satisfies his or her basic learning needs throughout life. With the Dakar Framework for Action (Senegal, 2000), the international community once more established illiteracy as a priority issue, setting a number of goals for the year 2015. It is believed that many countries will fail to achieve these goals. Illiteracy not only limits the full development of individuals and their participation in society, but also has repercussions throughout life, affecting a person’s family environment, restricting access to the benefits of development, and hindering the enjoyment of other human rights. While states and civil society organizations have made significant efforts to address the problem, results have fallen short of the mark. In light of that fact, and acting in accordance with the recommendations issued by PRELAC 1 in 2008, ECLAC and the UNESCO Regional Education Office for Latin America and the Caribbean have developed a research project which approaches the issue from a new angle – one with an intersectoral component: the costs of illiteracy to individuals and society. The ultimate purpose of the project is to add economic and social arguments to the ethical and moral case for literacy. These inputs can be used to strengthen literacy policies by involving new stakeholders, such as ministries of finance and economic planning, thus ensuring that all actors are committed to educational change. The World Declaration on Education for All, issued in Jomtien in 1990 and ratified in Dakar in 2002, has enriched the concept. The Declaration defines literacy as a basic learning need to be addressed throughout life, enabling individuals to develop the knowledge and skills necessary to fully participate in society. It is intertwined with concepts such as citizenship, cultural identity, socioeconomic development, human rights, equity and the need to create “literate environments” for its survival and development (UNESCO, 2006). This broader understanding of the concept and problem of illiteracy creates enormous methodological challenges in terms of measurement. In the 1960s, experts abandoned the literate-vs.-illiterate dichotomy in favour of an approach which views literacy as an ongoing process, encompassing everything from the development of basic abilities to more complex linguistic and communication skills which unfold in a variety of social contexts. Today, the most advanced methodologies measure literacy in terms of reading skills and comprehension at various levels of difficulty, as well as numeracy and the use of these skills in different social environments and realities (LAMP, 2009). Illiteracy among adults increases present and future socioeconomic vulnerability, and is a significant factor in the reproduction of such vulnerability through children. Illiterate persons face greater obstacles in terms of social insertion, not only on a personal level (social inclusion difficulties, precarious work, high rates of disease, etc.), but also within the family (child nutrition, hygiene, health and schooling, among others) and at a societal level (lower productivity, high health care costs). Illiterate adults face serious employability issues, given their low level of knowledge and expertise. This is attributable to a lack of formal schooling, caused either by an early departure from school to enter the labour market or the loss over time of the ability to read and write. In addition, illiterate persons have little awareness of their rights and duties, and may thus be inclined to accept precarious, low-quality employment contracts. The impact of adult illiteracy can be divided into the following categories: health, education, economics and social integration and cohesion. With regard to health, research shows that illiteracy significantly limits an individual’s ability to understand messages and absorb knowledge necessary for self care – particularly among women. This has a negative impact on household health, hygiene and nutrition (UNESCO, 2006). The effects of this phenomenon are reflected within the household (both in general terms and in the mother-child relationship), at the workplace and in sexual and reproductive behaviour. With regard to education, illiterate parents tend to have lower educational expectations and aspirations for themselves and for their children. Poor families often place work before education, due to the opportunity cost of the latter. Thus, children of parents who have failed to complete primary education tend to do the same. A close link has also been found to exist between parents’ schooling and the academic performance of their children. As noted by Carneiro, Meghir and Parey (2007), the greater a mother’s schooling, the fewer behavioural problems her children will exhibit, and the lower their repetition rate will be. When parents are uninvolved in their children’s education, the latter are more likely to display behavioural problems, have poor grades, repeat school years and even discontinue their formal education. From an economic perspective, literacy and schooling have been shown to significantly affect individual income (Riveros, 2005). In Latin America, income and schooling are strongly correlated. Young people who do not complete primary schooling are less likely to obtain jobs good enough to avoid poverty (Goicovic, 2002). In terms of social integration and cohesion, illiterate persons are often denied the social recognition they deserve, and suffer from low self-esteem, display little autonomy and possess little ability for critical thinking (UNESCO, 2006). They also become victims of “deception” (Lind, 1996). Illiterate persons have limited opportunities to become acquainted with and make use of the individual rights to which they are entitled by law, or to participate actively in the attainment of the collective rights that are essential to human dignity. Analytical Synthesis of Education in Nigeria Nigeria is currently anticipating another “independence” following the end of British colonialism in 1962. The country’s populace now looks forward to liberation from a long history of authoritarian and rapacious military regimes that have ruled the country – except for brief intervals of democracy – for most of the intervening four decades. Nigeria’s independence in the 1960s ushered in an opportunity for the transformation of Nigerian society through the development of locally responsive national policies and locally managed development programs. Today, recent political changes again provide Nigeria with the opportunity for a fundamental review of policies and social programs that will prepare the country to meet the challenges of the new century. Nowhere is this more timely than in the education sector. Over the past decade, Nigeria has been plagued by frequent political unrest. This political instability has generated negative effects on the education system. Although education had been in crisis for many years, the situation has recently been made worse by frequent strikes staged by students, faculty and teachers. This is in addition to the horrendous cruel terrorist attacks perpetuated by Boko-Haram. Much of the difficulty lies in the fact that the sector is poorly funded. This results in shortages of material and human resources for education: lack of qualified teachers; a brain drain from the public sector; few instructional inputs, shortage of classrooms, and a host of other problems. These difficulties have been most pronounced at the foundation levels of education. Both primary and secondary school levels have been negatively affected. In 1997 the Federal The Minister of Education, following a nation-wide tour of the schools, stated that the basic infrastructure in schools such as classrooms, laboratories, workshops, sporting facilities, equipment, libraries were in a state of total decay. The physical condition of most schools was reported to be pathetic. Nigeria as a reconstituted democracy has to address issues of a dual transformation. The country needs to re-examine its past and focus on development plans that will meet the challenges of the future. The need to work out a new developmental plan puts pressure on the political, social and economic sectors of the country. The new government has declared education as one of its priorities. The goal is to have a reformed system of education that will provide access at all levels of education and to improve the quality and efficiency of the entire education system. While these are lofty goals, the real challenge will lie in the successful implementation of them. Education has been at the top of the priority lists of some previous Nigerian governments yet the education system is still far from being ready for the challenges of the new century. Nigeria is not the only country whose education system is unprepared. A closer examination of many systems, especially in a developing context, indicate that most of the educational systems in developing countries are not yet ready to prepare students for the contemporary global world. The education needs of an emergent Nigeria are well articulated by Pai Obanya when he suggests that “…Nigerian education should be marked by a continuous search for excellence supported by the political will for good governance and transparency. Nigeria’s “National Policy on Education,” published in 1977 was revised in 1981 and 1990. The policy document has been revised to ensure that the policies address the perceived needs of the government in power and to try to ensure that the education sector is supportive of government development goals. Following recent political changes, which saw the reintroduction of democracy in the country, the government acknowledged the need to revise and update the National Policy on Education once more to ensure that the education system meets the needs of a new democracy. The entire education system would benefit from coherent national policy development rather than piecemeal reforms. The revision of educational policies is being considered as a long-term goal, due to other pressing needs. The discussion of new policies would benefit from careful attention to the recommendations made and adopted at international meetings hosted by UNESCO and other donors for the various sectors of education. New policies have to address the needs of a new democracy, its role in the new global order, while reflecting the realities of Nigeria’s economy. The new democratic government has already demonstrated its political will in working to rebuild the Nigerian economy. Education is once more a priority in its broad national development strategy. The work done thus far would benefit greatly from internal and external support by foundations, business, NGOs and international development agencies to ensure that the goals set are realistic, meet the needs of a new democracy and are economically sound. It is quite clear that the challenges the country will face if it is to reform the education system will include financial constraints, the need for new expertise, and a broad range of technical assistance. In addition it must be recognized that funding needs for education compete with a range of other critical needs in health, public safety, and social welfare. This presents enormous challenges for the new government and to the donor community.

Conclusion This paper has thus far, being discussing and establishing whether or not if education can change your financial fortunes. It has established that education is life and soul of those who not only exist but live. Unlike the educated whose mind is fertile and fruitful, the uneducated is the stark illiterate whose mind is like a rocky ground on which no intellectual seed can germinate. He is a perfect extrapolation of the philosophy that illiteracy is a disease that shortens life. Not only is s/he regarded with pity, scorn and disdain but his/her ideas are often considered not worth heaping with cow dung. Education is organized into 6 years of primary education, 3 years of junior secondary school, 3 years of senior secondary education and 4 years of university/ polytechnic/ college education. The Federal Ministry of Education has the responsibility for the coherence of national policy and procedures and for ensuring that the states’ policies operate within the parameters of national policy as adapted for local needs. Co-ordination of policy at the political level takes place through the National Council of Education. This is the highest policy making body, chaired by the Federal Minister of Education and includes all the State Commissioners of Education. This body is advised by the Joint Consultative Committee on Education, which consists of all the Federal and State Directors of Education, Chief Executives of education statutory bodies, and Directors of University Institutes of Education. The Director of the Federal Ministry of Education chairs the Committee. Responsibility for educational institutions is shared between Federal, State, local government, communities and private organizations. The Ministry of Education has the major responsibility for education but other Ministries also play an important role.

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Submitted: April 01, 2018

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