Time changes yesterday. Our ability to redefine solutions to problems we face ensures that society is on a constant journey of evolution that blurs the line between possible and impossible. The changes in society have taken place in various areas of life as each generation steps in the shoes of their predecessors. The world is changing because we ask questions, and with better information we create more solutions. This process requires a free-spirit and open mind to challenge the status quo and a desire to understand what is important in a rapidly evolving society. By solving today’s problems, we are creating tomorrow’s society. We need to restructure yesterday’s ideas and conceptions as some of them do not provide the necessary solutions for today’s problems. These ideas that shaped society have restricted the growth of disparate and creative people today. One of such mental blocks is society’s paradigm of a ‘successful person’ which is entwined with a great degree or certificate (Pls note, this is Nigeria in 2015). Marginal success in school is usually described as a lack of desire and will for success.
Yesterday, the school was the birth place of great ideas. Today it is the guillotine where most dreams are beheaded. We place so much value on a student’s ability to fall in line with a redundant and stunted curriculum that we limit many people’s curiosity and desire to see beyond the boundaries of a lecture note. We have created a system that makes us believe that a certificate on paper is the benchmark for success in life. It is a widely misconstrued belief that has shattered dreams and created more problems than solutions. Many people have come out with those certificates and have realized there are two other monsters in society; employable skills and experience, while employers have realized a lack of passionate employees! Now the certificate just occupies a few lines on the CV for all its worth. Many parents denigrate young people who have shown the passion and will for success in non-academic fields if they don’t perform at a certain level academically as expressed by a degree or certificate. The older generation’s obsession with certificates, degrees and office jobs reflects their society. This obsession has left many people chasing the ideals of yesterday’s society and has deprived us of some of the geniuses of the new world. A certificate on paper should not override an individual’s proven ability to excel in other fields of endeavour outside their academic area. A certificate is important, but it does not decide how high anyone will rise in life. It is a signal and screen for the corporate world and a source of pride for parents more than it is for owners of the certificate.
This is just one face of the many-faced generational gap which is aggravated by technology and the avalanche of information available today. Gone are the days…Yes! Gone are the ‘good old days’. We should warm up to the present and stay relevant. We may keep saying ‘the good old days’ but we can’t deny that there are things today that are way better than they were in the past and opinions which have changed for better too. So while people in the new generation are jumping on the blitzing train of technology and change, most of the older ones stubbornly refuse to change their beliefs and are left in the cave of obsolescence. We should not allow opinions that were relevant yesterday to restrict today’s youth from creating tomorrow’s reality. We will not ignore the role of school in educating people, but we should also be careful that school does not kill their dreams. It is the older generation that raise the new generation, but at a stage we begin to diverge because society is changing and the new generation change with society. This is why we hold different opinions about certain things. The real gap is in the mind because although we are in the same location, we live in different societies. The mind is the gap. So parents and guardians please respect the positive aspects of change.