Albert Einstein made several famous statements about education. I take the time to point out these two, below:
"Education is the not the learning of facts, but the training of the mind to think."
"Everyone is a genius. But, if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing it is stupid."
This morning on one of my favorite programs, Mose Hyde, host of the Wake Up Belize (WUB) show, spoke on how our current education system is not preparing our children to utilize their brain to develop the resources in Belize. Their creativity is not being properly developed.
I must agree that he is right. The current education system in Belize is basically teaching our children to memorize and repeat. In May 2013 the Inter-American Development Bank released a report dubbed "Challenges and Opportunities in the Belize Education Sector" - it stated that Belize is paying a lot for education but getting little. More youth are outside the school system than in it and many fail to make the transition to the workforce. More and more youth drop out of school and become involved in gang activities. Action is needed if Belize is not to lose a whole generation of youth.
I have learned significantly more about how Belize functions, and how the world works, from reading books, articles, newspapers, blogs and everything I could get my hands on.
If I knew in high school what I know now, I would be significantly further in my knowledge and wisdom today. Therefore, if I were to give any advice to high school and college students, I would recommend you read these three books right away and make them your bibles:
Charlie and Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl: This book will teach you that being poor should not be a cause for being unhappy. It will teach you that hope, tenacity and honesty are very important characteristics to have if you want to get out of poverty. Stay away from the snozzberries.
How To Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie: This book will teach you that social and emotional intelligence is far more important that knowing the formula to landing a spaceship on the moon.
Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki: This book will teach you that poverty of the mind manifests into material poverty. It will teach you the most important lesson of all - the difference between a liability and an asset. Example: Buying a flat screen TV is a liability, it will never make you money. Buying a laptop computer which can help you be more productive and efficient in your business can be considered an asset. However, it can also be considered a liability, if you only bought it to play games and watch movies. Learn the difference.
Please do not misunderstand me, a formal education is important, and our schooling system do teach us, especially to read, which is most important, for learning to read is the foundation to understanding any subject matter. However, our schooling system is simply not customized to the realities of Belize, it is too generic. Reading these three books will significantly improve your understanding of what you need to be doing to be able to adapt to your surroundings, utilize your creativity and get by in the very complex world we live in today.