You’ve probably heard people say things like “Education is the best legacy”. It would be quite impossible to overemphasize the importance of education, not just to the individual but to our society collectively. This realization is what must have led the United Nations to recognize it as a basic human right. All over the world and across societies, education is the foundation on which sustained growth and development is built.
And this is not just what we think. Former Prime Minister of Togo, Gilbert Houngbo, thinks so as well. In one interview with the BBC, he was asked what his most important life lesson was…
“Education. Education. Education”
No we’re not exaggerating. He actually said it three times, and then he went on to say he would rather be educated without riches than be rich without an education.
This is a man who has held one of the most exalted positions in his country. He has known power and riches, yet he values education above all else.
Among other things, education is of utmost importance because:
– It equips you with a holistic understanding of your environment
Education broadens your horizon. It takes you beyond your immediate environment and opens your eyes to the realities of the large world in which you live. Before Houngbo eventually travelled and lived in other countries, he had learnt in the classroom about the world and he had a basic understanding of how the world existed.
– It paves way for a better life
Education took Gilbert Houngbo from cleaning his village school to becoming Prime Minister of Togo. From a young age, he strongly believed in education as the way out and was determined to get as much as he could.
– It provides you with required tools to make a positive difference in your society
Gilbert Houngbo was only a young boy when he graduated from high school, but he was already determined to help society with his passion for math. He went on to execute remarkable reforms as Prime Minister of Togo and now he’s helping to fight food insecurity as President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). He could not have done all these without an education.
– It empowers you to make better decisions
Former UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan once said “Knowledge is power. Information is liberating. Education is the premise of progress, in every society, in every family”. An educated mind is an enlightened mind, and it is only an enlightened mind that can make enlightened decisions.
Unfortunately, many students find learning difficult and usually approach exercises and assignments like unpleasant chores. This should not be the case. Here at MwalimuPlus, we believe in the ACE philosophy: a simple formula that continues to make learning fun and impactful.
Attitude is your choice, yet it is everything. You need to have an outlook that will help stay positive-focused. For example, be appreciative of each breath, indeed of the magic of everyday life and to avoid falling into the traps of non-appreciation. If you already believe your subjects are hard, then they’ll likely turn out difficult to comprehend. But if you approach schoolwork with a positive attitude, your disposition will influence your experience. From a young age, Gilbert Houngbo had been determined about getting an education and he never gave up. He did not see learning as an unpleasant necessity. He saw it as the way out to a better life.
Without commitment, you may find it easy to give up when faced with difficult challenges such as difficult assignments. You might even start to think it’s just not worth your trouble anymore. But Houngbo did not think like that. He was so committed to learning that even when his passion for Math and Physics earned him nicknames, he was not perturbed. Even after High School, he remained determined to continue with mathematics and use his knowledge to change the world.
Here’s where you put some actions to your words. Exceptional students are not born; they are made. And you can get started on your journey to excellence with consistent practice. Interestingly, your commitment level to learning will determine just how much effort you’re willing to put in. When Houngbo was in school, he would study under street lamps, not minding the cold and mosquitoes. And his efforts did pay off!
See, learning can be fun, and you can achieve excellence on your path. We like to believe no one is a dull student, and so far we’ve been proved right. Try it the ACE way and let us know how it goes.
We leave you with wise words from the late Nelson Mandela, one of the world’s most influential people:
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”.