You probably know my story, so don`t let me bore you with my long story.
I (Stephen Afolabi) was one of the best students in the polytechnic where I studied Accounting.
I was the only students in my class of over 720 who ever got to distinction (first class).
This is where I am going.
I didn`t collect my certificate from school till this morning.
That`s crazy, right?
Let me now tell you the reasons why I hate certificate and why you need to hate it too.
- I hate certificate because it deceives people to think that they are educated
You know what I am talking about here.
Just as I wrote in 7 reasons why I hate school, whenever people have B.sc, HND, PhD or whatever certificate, they believe that they are educated.
Are they educated?
What does certificate has to do with education? Nothing. Education is an internal strength that reveals itself outside … with what you do with it.
Let me show you how it works.
A boy who is learning how to speak English (in school or anywhere) is educating himself. How can we know he is educated?
If he can speak English.
We will be foolish if we call him educated simply because his tutor or teacher gives him a decorated paper with excellence written on it.
Unfortunately that is what we are doing today. We call people educated just because they have certain decorated paper called certificate.
I know a computer science graduate who (as much as I know) cannot operate on a computer perfectly. I am not even sure he can operate Microsoft Word.
I once lived with a 300 level university electrical student who could not fix an electric bulb. He is now a graduate.
Is that man educated?
Why do I blame certificate for all these mess?
Because young people (like me) would not have become dummy if there was no certificate. Think about a world where nobody cares about your certificate, but your competency.
What did you see?
I can see a world where people will go to school and seriously learn to know … not just finding means to get certificates.
- I hate certificate because it makes our corporate world less productive
When I was part of the management team of an organization I told my superior, “see I don`t care about any certificate people bring here“.
You may think that is because I don`t have certificate and you are wrong. If you think about it deeply, certificate is useless.
Whenever people submitted their CV for me (then) I would simply squeeze it and keep it somewhere. I never read them as they expected. Instead, I would think, let me see what you have up steer.
Today in our cooperate world, we have people who are by no way qualify to hold the present offices they are holding but because they have stolen certain certificates, they are there.
This is affecting our labour productivity. This is affecting our economy. This is affecting our continent.
How I wish there comes a time when there will be no certificate again, when everybody will compete with his capability, when our brains will be our certificate?
You said, how can that be possible? Yes, it is possible.
We only think it is not possible because it has never been done before. Does this mean that people would not be going to school any longer?
It simply means that their minds would be their certificate, instead of certain decorated paper.
It simply means that they will value education, and not certificate or school.
Whether we like it or not, this will eventually happen in it full length. Smart entrepreneurs all over the world have already started to focus on what an employee can do, not the certificate he brought out of school.
Prepare yourself for this change.
- I hate certificate because it punishes us
I remember being in my brother`s house (a man older than me by around 12 years). He would stay awake at night (usually when he had exams) because he was writing a professional exam.
He would force himself to cram those accounting formulas and facts. I pitied him.
Because certificate was punishing him. Someone will like to tell me that he is educating himself so as to become a better employee.
He was simply working hard to get promotion and he knew he couldn`t get it without more certificates.
He was not learning.
Just as I made it clear in the reasons why I hate school, learning has to be enjoyable. When learning becomes hustling, it`s no more learning. It is punishment. Because it`s punishment it cannot bring out any meaningful fruit.
I can read a book I love all night. If it is because you enjoy it, you are not doing anything bad.
But if it`s because of promotion at work, I see it as punishment. Does that mean you will become a better employee for your employer?
Think about what I have to say bellow.
- I hate certificate because certificate renders our school completely useless.
I am writing this tutorial in a higher institution environment. I have been to many schools; universities, polytechnics and colleges of education.
I am always crying in my heart whenever I see these young adults in school. I see these young adults as they are in school to get first class or second class … not education.
I see them in their ignorance and my heart bleeds.
One of the main reasons why I hate school is because it doesn`t give us anything worthwhile. Apart from the fact that what school is teaching (how to be an employee) is an old wine in a new cup, 90% of people who are in school really don`t understand what is ahead of them (after school).
All they want is certificate … good certificate.
What do you think our educational system will look like if every student knows that employers won`t ask for his/her certificate?
How will our campuses look like if our young adults know that their minds, brains and ability to provide solutions to problems is what matter in the real world?
You know what will happen.
Examination malpractices will disappear. Every of our students in school will study hard to have good stuff up steer.
I know this will not totally solve our problem of unemployment (because only business skills can rescue Africans totally) but believe me, it is easier to train a civil engineer graduate who actually passed through all he should pass through in school, to be entrepreneur, than a “graduate“ with a mere certificate and empty head.
Now what do I require from you?
You have a certificate? Keep it well.
You want to go for more certificate? Do. But be educated.
Certificate is nothing but a mere decorated paper. In the business world, you don`t need certificate to be successful,. All you need is your mind, your brain and your ability to provide solutions, so give values.
Do you want to be educated? Go and read good books.
As an entrepreneur, visit a nearby book shop. Buy some good financial books. Read, read and read many good financial books.
You will be smarter and wiser. You will learn how to discover business opportunities and how to turn them to wealth.
As I am writing this tutorial, I received an alert that someone paid for one of our books.
No. I am not just happy because someone paid us. I am happy because I know someone is about to discover what majority of Africans don`t know.
Book is great.
You know what I mean if you ever read a good book.