THE world we are living in today has rules and laws making our freedom limited, denying some to taste its goodness.
Inclusions and exclusions are the order of the day in our global village. Therefore, one of the social exclusion factors we are facing today is â€˜educational qualificationâ€™ and therefore social classification.
Education comes in three forms, namely formal, non-formal and informal.
You and I did and continue to formally, non-formally or informally learn and get educated to date.
This means we are learners and educators at the same time. Now, my interest is on â€˜formal educationâ€™, but before I provoke the minds of literati individuals (especially some scientists), allow me to give very simple understanding of above-mentioned types of education.
Formal education: A learner is taught in a designed structure by a trained and certified teacher/lecturer in accordance with the established syllabus designed by experts and examinations are set to test learners` comprehension of the given syllabus.
And if the results are 50 percent and above, then certificates or degrees are awarded to such learners by an examining governing board.
Non-formal education: Learners learn through seminars, workshops, conferences, meetings, presentations, social or spiritual gatherings and many other platforms. By the end of the day, organisers may give out to each participant a certificate of attendance just to acknowledge oneâ€™s presence and it does not matter whether you actively or inactively participated.
Informal education is a type of learning where one gets a lesson without any preparation at any time.
Mostly, we receive such type of learning whenever we say or do something that on-lookers/hearers do not approve.
Well, having given a simple understanding, let us go back to our business. I have had a chance to attend â€˜formal educationâ€™ and I grew up to be a learner full of questions.
Talking of questions reminds me of President Sata, the man we put to rest on Tuesday.
If you are to go from one media house to another asking veteran journalists to name three top persons within Zambia who gave them hard time when it came to long one-on-one interviews, â€˜Mr Action Manâ€™ will be on the list.
So, one morning, I sat in front of our educational psychologist in a theatre room at the Technical and Vocational Teachers` College (TVTC) in Luanshya listening to his lecture.
As the man went through the introductory part of Classical (Conditioning) Theory by Ivan Pavlov, a great Russian scientist, I saw most of my colleagues busy taking notes and looking excited, probably because of a sense of learning something new in educational psychology.
Well, just like most teachers do at the end of their lesson, he invited questions and I fired one, â€œCan Classical (Conditioning) Theory fail to work at some stage?â€ â€œNo!â€ he said and tried to justify his response, but I just smiled because the man looked like a real victim of formal education.
After the lesson I wanted to go out quickly and get some fresh air, but he asked me to sit down and let every other learner of 100 plus in total leave first.
â€œWhy did you ask me such a question?â€ he inquired looking uncomfortable but hoping that I was going to give him an explanation.
To the contrary, I asked another question. â€œDo you still claim that this theory is a passive learning theory?â€
â€œYes!â€ he said.
â€œSo, why have you detained me if it is a passive learning theory?â€ I asked.
The man got a shock when I said, â€œThat is the problem with some of us people in Africa; whenever something from the west comes we normally take it as a gospel truth and stop thinking.â€
â€œWhat do you mean?â€ he asked me.
â€œJust go and rethink,â€ I told him and left, but he called me back. Well, that very simple question helped me to develop my own theory called â€œAPALICâ€ with more than 30 new words.
(Uncle Sam), author (novelist, poet), analyst, motivational speaker and educator.
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