Home Opinion and Features You cannot eat a lie

You cannot eat a lie

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I'm sorry to say ... you have been misled.

File image. Picture: Ian Landsberg/African News Agency (ANA).

This is my first column of the new year and while I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the matric class of 2018 I also need to send a message of condolence and apology to the tens of thousands who will be stepping out into the real world this year.

You see, while all those hours in the classroom, hitting books and teachers alike, have probably left you confident that you are prepared for what is to come – as has been the case for generations past – sadly, you have been misled and deceived.

Albeit with the noblest of intentions and sincerest belief, your parents, peers, principals, priests and politicians were lying all this time.

You were misled every time they told you that you can be anything you want to be if you work hard and put your mind to it.

It wasn’t even false news. It was utter nonsense. They may have been trying to encourage and motivate you, but unfortunately, this simply isn’t the case.

The reality is that it takes more than hard work and determination to make something of yourself in the real world.

Out here with the rest of us, it’s more about luck, resources, sacrifice, cronies, conquests, corruption and compromise.

To date, your schooling has been all about grooming you to consume more than you produce while convincing yourself that the opposite is true.

It hasn’t been about making you into the best you that you can be. It’s been about systematically convincing you to want more than you need, leaving you disgruntled, despondent and destitute; yet desperately devouring all that is put before you. In other words a confused but contributing member of society.

If nothing else, the last 12 years have taught you not how or what to think, but rather how and what the powers that be want you to think.

Like it or not, that is the true value of education. Of worth to none but the wealthy.

I’m not sure if we need an evolution or a revolution but something needs to change. It starts with basic education.

The fact of the matter is that knowledge and information are worth more than money, making books worth more than their weight in gold, but equally inedible.

People will continue to be full of hope and hunger until we move away from an education system based on a context of administration and embrace one built on agriculture.

I’m not discouraging anyone from being a contributing member of society but I am discouraging a system that prevents people from being independent of society.

The mere fact that there are highly qualified people who are unable to find work is certainly proof that the current system is flawed. Staggering poverty and unemployment rates at a time when we enjoy unprecedented access to information should serve as all the evidence we need that something’s gotta give.

Let’s teach our children to feed themselves, irrespective of socio-economic background. Let’s teach them to read, write and reap at the same time.

Let’s re instill a culture of self-sustainability and food security. Let’s move away from pretending that the necktie is an indispensable part of a uniform. Let’s get rid of them along with all the other useless relics of a society best left forgotten.

There is nothing that you can learn in a classroom that can’t be taught in the fields and greenhouses.

The difference between the two is one exclusively fills your head with dreams and expectations of the future, while the other has the same effect but also fills empty stomachs when that future fails to materialise.