BRIDGING EDUCATION AND TALENT, WHAT EVERY STUDENT SHOULD KNOW.

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It’s often said, everything happens for a reason. A simple quote easily said by all without attribution to the earnest in content carried by the quote. Growing up, we could do so much as kids – arts, football, cooking, running, jumping, singing, acting and many more. We tend to exhibit these skills, mainly when we are kids and sometimes through to our teenage stages of growth until we let them fade out. While we try to pursue and adapt to other external skills or interests which we often find accommodating and worthy, we lose sight of our inner abilities or talent. Our environment is the most influential factor in our lives, whiles growing. It accommodates the friends from whom we learn much from whiles growing together, our families and religious bodies from whom we are directed and shaped in character and lifestyle, our chiefs and traditional leaders from whom we are opened to leadership styles and directions, educational institutions and roles models from whom our sense of humour and demonstration of certain character traits are shaped, etc.

All these said, everybody is created uniquely – in skills and attributes thus, it is often of not surprising that during our teenage stages we tend to exhibit specific skills and abilities which puts surprises on the faces of our parents or, even guardians. We often hear our parents or guardians say, “this child might have already grown from where he or she is coming from.” A stiff quote and an indication of prospects that barely receive requisite attention. In such an instance, this should alert such a parent or guardian that the child carries specific unique skills and prospects that need grooming. If all these said above is true, where are the skills and abilities we demonstrated during our infancy? The answer many will put across is “FORMAL EDUCATION.” I will not pinpoint formal education as the only factor that has deprived many of their God-given skills and talent but also, failure on the part of some parents or guardians in many cases to recognise and groom these abilities. What then is education?

Education has been labelled by many scholars and school of thoughts as the key to success. Indeed, there are numerous reasons one may choose to refer to the system as “the key to success” Before then, one may ask, what then is education? Education could be simply put as a system of knowledge acquired through learning and instructions. We find ourselves engaged in the system – devoting our strengths to be equipped through the formal ways of getting things done – which is achieved through continuous learning and instructions. Being a system, education presents tools, and laid-down mechanisms brought together to build the knowledge of students in a peculiar manner. Interestingly, education offers thousands of benefits to the average individual, and it is of no surprise that world leaders and many recognisable non-governmental institutions are tackling issues of education with great concern.  In 2017, the president of the Republic of Ghana, His excellency Akuffo-Addo; passed a resolution to render Junior and Senior High School education, tuition-free for all qualifying candidates across the country. Why such an intervention? Is education, that important? Of course, yes! Thousands of answers should be running through your head as to why education has become that important and a high priority to countries worldwide. Let us proceed with this piece of writing by taking a closer look at some advantages of education.

i.      Education empowers women

Women are often victims of domestic violence and stigmatisation. They usually fall as preys to the uncultured acts of men in many cases and some women in the society. Besides these, early marriages, female genital mutilation, teenage pregnancy, rape and many uncultured acts form part of the violence women are exposed to, daily, in our societies. One way of empowering women to stand up for their rights is to give them formal education. The system broadens the knowledge of women as to the benefits they stand to gather if they can stand up for their rights and strengthen themselves, academically!

ii.      Education helps us grow as individuals.

Education is a system and systems are composed of many sub-parts. The mechanisms and instructions presented by education ensure that the average student is exposed to the ability to analyse conditions, draw conclusions and choose the best alternatives from available options available to him or her in any given situation. This, to me, answers the reason why the educational system is composed of many subjects or modules.

iii.      Education enhances our sense of communication.

Profanity or vulgar phrases are the attributes of an uncivilised individual. This is not to say all educated people are found not to be associated with profanity or uncultured phrases. Communication enhances the way we associate and relate with people. It cautions us on the set of words we compose with our mouths, and further, it enlightens us on the choice of words to employ when speaking with different groups of people.

iv.     Secure formal jobs and financial freedom

Of course, education presents us with very lucrative careers – the chartered accountants, lawyers, bankers, professors, scientists, medical doctors, teachers, nurses, etc., have all attained these titles through the system of education. We are presented with the opportunity to earn regular salaries through our various careers and an insight as to how to maintain our finances, save and spend, where necessary.

v.     Builds on the inner abilities of individuals

In many ways, education does well to build on the inner abilities of individuals. Our God-given talents are often harnessed and equipped to make them more presentable and well-accepted by all. This is an area where other schools of thoughts believe the educational system has failed to fulfil. Still, I would not sincerely agree to this because I have observed and experienced in many ways significant impacts made by some teachers and supervisors at various levels of the educational ladder to help students build on their God-given talents. We can observe these in drama classes, sporting events, entertainment events, quizzes, debates, etc.

The above is just a few of the benefits that education exposes us to. Having noted this, it is of the importance we also take a close look at what talent is and the benefits we stand to enjoy from realising our inner built skills.

Talent can be put as natural abilities portrayed by a person or group of people without exercising difficulties. It encompasses those skills and expertise we characterise without or with very little supervision or efforts. These abilities are noticeable during our tender ages, and we tend to expose them through different stages of our growth. Talent is unique to every individual, and it is the strength within us that helps us get things done quickly without any form of push or force.

Since the early ages of the country, unemployment has been a setback to the development of Ghana. Every year, the country record thousands of fresh graduates thrown into the job market – one, that is characterised by lower opportunities to accommodate the numbers. This leaves a higher percentage of unemployed graduates adding up to freshly graduated individuals from various educational institutions across different fields or disciplines every fiscal year. We live in a country where the government remains the highest employer of the land. This situation is disturbing, unfavourable and settles in as one of the factors affecting unemployment conditions within the country. Considering the number of governmental institutions and agencies available with the country, the efforts of the government are just a “handful.” If all these are known to the average Ghanaian, citizen, graduate or student; then, we have come to an era where education alone is insufficient to merit “the key to success.” Unless we limit success to achieving excellence in academia, the phrase “Education is the key to success”, falls short of its content!

Even though the current unemployment situation in Ghana is unfavourable and a draw-back to the country’s economic progress in a whole, there are somewhat more significant opportunities presented by this, and that is where the relevance of talent comes into play. A better blend of success is putting your abilities to play in addition to the knowledge gathered through the formal system of education. For a county that is growing to appreciate the works of its populates and the due acceptance of patronising “Made in Ghana” goods and services (products), we are more than presented with an opportunity to put our talents to play.

The arts, the dancing, the singing, the acting, the bead making, the bag making, the shoe making, the table making, the IT skills, the car maintenance skills, the electricals fixing, the farming, the soap making, the hairdressing, the nails fixing, the hair gear making, the sewing and many more natural skills and abilities we find within ourselves are worth being put to play. Do not ignore the relevance of these skills and only focus on your educational life. Of course, education can afford you a pleasant life, but it may fail to help you achieve the successes you have always dreamt of.

Make a worthy life by employing your Marketing, Accounting, Inventory, Information Technology and many other skills drawn from your involvement in the educational stream or system and blend it along with your natural abilities to achieve worthy successes. Education may not always help you make it all, when you think about education, also think about your intuitive skills and find an equilibrium between these two great words! Together, I say Education and Talent are the keys to successes! Take education seriously, build on your talents and grow with the two!

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