Guest Post: Deoye Falade On The GTB N10,000 Prize Money Issue

Hello, welcome to the blog, this great Thursday. We have a new guest on the blog today and he has an opinion on the Nigerian educational system.Adeoye Falade is a  writer, editor, and journalist who regularly contributes to online and offline media. His post for the blog is on that GTB N10,000 prize for the best graduating student issue.

On that GTB N10,000 prize for the best graduating student issue…

1. GTB wasn’t the donor. It was a cash prize from the departmental student’s association.

2. Even if it were GTB, calling them out is flawed because as much as we hate to admit a lot of stuff, nobody owes anybody shit.

It’s a prize. it’s not what the student studied for. Nobody studies hard or should study hard to become the best in class for any sort of prize. Your real prize is your degree, that’s what you worked for. If you get anything else, large or small, it’s a bonus. However, we like to compare what is being given to graduates with reality shows as a yardstick for how much of a priority education is. In the process, we forget that the critical discussion we should be having is how underfunded and how far-behind our academic institutions are. Giving 1 billion to any best graduate fella won’t fix shit.

One of the oft ignored Nigerian problems has always been to look at the money before considering the value. The truth is, if all you want to do is to make money, then you don’t need to be in the university. You’ll be wasting at least four or five or six or even seven years, depending on what course you have in mind.

People will entertain, people will make clothes and cook and all that, but we go to school to make the world better by gaining the knowledge needed to analyze and solve complex problems in ways that even our mistakes can be beneficial. The people who created Viagra set out to create a drug that would reduce high blood pressure. Penicillin was discovered by mistake too. The awesome bridges you see weren’t built by bricklayers. Your satellite technology that you use to drag people online wasn’t created by an illiterate.

No inventor has ever set out to make something because of money. Thomas Edison didn’t make the electric bulb because of money, he wanted to improve the world. But the money came anyway because…VALUE!

That barber down the street gets your money because he makes you look good. VALUE. But no, graduates will be complaining about pop stars, actors and sports figures who are doing their own jobs. Those people have entertained you and one way or another and you have paid. What have you done to deserve anything yet? What value have you added?

We get a degree and suddenly act like the sun shines out of our asses, even though we haven’t done anything of note yet. I’m done talking. Just remember that nobody owes you anything. For everything you hope to get, it will all be due to you.

Just add value first.

Or shut the front door.

PS: The issue of how successive corrupt and weak willed, Nigerian governments have conspired to destroy the Nigerian university system has been a touchy issue that has been raised several times on the blog. You can read a more comprehensive piece on that subject here. As Adeoye argues, education is its own prize. The fact that people now feel that the value of education one gets should be equal to the value of the money one should earn is a sign that our educational system is fundamentally flawed and our values are upside down. If you are going to think your university degree is useless because someone who doesn’t have said degree has more money than you, then perhaps the university degree was/is a waste of your time.

If the likes of Marie Curie and decided to complain about how rich the likes of Henry Ford, who was a businessman was, instead of facing her research as she did, we would not know what we know about radioactivity today. Think about it

So to reiterate Deoye

Just add value first

or shut the front door.

 Deoye is active on several social media networks, but he can usually be found on Facebook writing his own brand of irreverent social commentary. 

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