Let us think business first. What do you think a wealthy businessperson who wants to invest in Rwanda will consider first? Any charismatic investor who wants to invest in diamond mining in Rwanda will first come and conduct a feasibility study.
However, they have to find out if diamond are actually available in Rwanda. So, if you woke up one morning and found engineers busy building a diamond factory in Kigali, you would certainly be tempted to imagine that something is not right as there are probably no such gems in the land of a thousand hills.
Likewise, education is an investment just like any other lucrative venture. Therefore, many of the factors that apply before investing are pertinent with respect to sending children to school.
What then will you say of students who have to endure the biting morning and evening cold and the day’s heat pursuing what they do not know? I have ever asked a number of students to tell me what they want to become. Most responses have been as shocking as they are worrying.
You almost sympathise with the agony of those who have to bear the pain of carrying bags loaded with textbooks and notebooks every morning and evening on an uncertain mission.
Those in the military understand the importance of a clear command. If a commander issues an unclear command and throws his soldiers into a state of limbo, then the uniformed men and women whose lives are on the line will be in for inescapable sure trouble.
What I am driving at is the fact that in the African setting, when children get to the school-going age, their parents or guardians just sends them to school and then retreat to their benefactor roles and sometimes this becomes a source of pressure for the children to perform. The interests of the children and their talents, overt and covert, are not taken into account.
Talent search should be a prerequisite in pupils/students enrolment in schools. As parents start paying school fees, they should be certain about what the children’s hidden potentials are and what their interests are so that they can straight away direct their resources in building on the innate strengths of children.
Otherwise, the result could be disastrous if students continue in the trial and error formula of finding and defining their career paths.
Perhaps this is the point of departure in the education systems of the developed world and the developing world. In the US, Britain and Canada learners are assessed for their gifts and talents before they are admitted into class.
It is on the basis of the assessment of children’s inner talents that their future career is modeled. Using the talent search model of education, the child’s future is predicted several years in advance informing where the child should lay more emphasis.
Parents are also saved the burden of investing a lot of resources in educating their children on areas where their efforts will not yield anything.
Cramming notes or understanding them and passing a series of examinations leading to awards of degrees and diplomas is a skewed approach of education.
Talents searching should be tried in our education systems if we have to be at par with the developed world and meet a great portion of the 2015 Millennium Development Goals education deadline.