We are in an era where academic excellence is overrated! Back in my school days, my dad always said this to my face ”I used to be the first in my class”. When it comes to such issues, some parents tell a lot of lies. Back in school some students chase lecturers and professors negotiating for marks. But let me assure you, being top of your class does not necessarily guarantee that you will be at the top of life. You may be fortunate to dominate your class and graduate as the best student in Finance, but it doesn’t mean you will make more money than everybody else.
The best graduating Law student does not necessarily become the best lawyer. There is a huge gap between theory and practice. Some students may master theories and concept absolutely but when it comes to apply these concepts and theories in a real life situation they become confused. To become successful in life, you require more than the ability to understand a concept, memorize it and reproduce it in an exam. It’s very clear that school rewards people for their memory, whereas life rewards people for their imagination and creativity.
Life rewards daring! School hails those who live by the rules. Life exalts those who break the rules and set new ones. Afro Hustler hasn’t said people shouldn’t study hard in school! Oh, no, you should. But you have to develop your skills and master them as well. I have come across young graduates ”software engineers” who can’t write a single piece of code and more to that can’t build web pages. Fascinatingly, these young graduates have good GPAs from the university. What a pity!
I can’t hide this from you. There are a couple of entrepreneurs who did not see the four walls of the university, but focus on capacity building, research and skill-focused training. Mambe Nanje Churchill the CEO and founder of njorku.com is a perfect example. This techpreneur and founder of Afro vision a tech company based in Buea, Cameroon is a successful software engineer, self taught and a daring visionary. Churchil learned to write codes in the cyber cafes in the streets of Molyko. Behold, Churchil is today a proud founder of njorku.com the biggest job search engine in Africa.
If you carry out a deep research about successful photographers in the world you will be amazed that a majority of them hold no degree in photography. They became successful due to their love and passion of the art. Consistency and practice perfected their photography skills. Do something practical as this old adage holds ”we learn to fell down tress by felling them down.” Likewise, start a small business and learn to fail forward.
In a nutshell, parents should encourage their children to strive for Academic Excellence as well as learning additional skills. Academic excellence is a good thing, but does not necessarily make you successful in life. We have got an assortment of free online platforms that offer skill-focused training such as skademy.com, udemy.com, lynda.com and codemy. Otherwise, after school canvas for internships and voluntary services in companies offering your services as this on the job training will give you experience and exposure you need.