Reforming My Perspective On Learning – Why We Need Less School And More Education

By Noreen Chada

“Books are the only friends I want to see you hanging around with” these are some of the words I grew up hearing from the elders around me. The importance of education has long been embedded in me since I could understand the words coming out of anyone’s mouth. “Stay in school study hard, get good grades, get a job that pays you loads of money and then find a good husband to look after you.”

Wait, so I’m putting in all this effort studying only to end up just finding a “nice man” to marry me? 

Of course at the time some of us were not brave enough to argue back and more so, we were not well informed enough to even hold an argument with the adults giving us these words of wisdom. Now that we have followed the instructions carefully we are at a standstill, we don’t know what to do with all this education we have bagged and more importantly the adults don’t know what we should do next and what’s even worse some of us still can’t find that good man to rescue us.

We have half of the alphabet after our names pertaining to the degrees we have gained and a student loan to show for the time we have spent studying. Now of course when the adults were telling us this we have to believe that they meant well. This was not some ploy to distract you from your dreams of becoming the next Michael Jordan or a Destiny’s Child member. Sometimes parents have a way of foreseeing the future, sometimes they do know it all (note I said sometimes) because they have been where you are before.

Education is important for our society but sometimes we often forget there is more than one way of learning and different people learn in different ways. There is a difference between education and school. The problem with school is that we are all measured by the same standard. If you do not meet the criteria set by the curriculum, you are considered a failure my friend and once you have spent the majority of your childhood in school being told you are a failure, what more do you actually have to look forward to?

School encourages comparisons between others. The idea is that these kids are better than you because they are the ones getting the good grades. 
The reason why school was so heavily embedded in us was because our parents didn’t have the opportunities that we now have. Think about how hard it would have been for our parents and ancestors to become the doctors and lawyers that they now want you to be. 

It is hard to explain and hard for some parents to fathom that we all cant be successful at school.

Getting bad grades is no indication of how far you will go in life. There are most of us who are reading this, we have graduated, and we are doing jobs that are in no way shape or form related to our area of study. How did you end up there? Perhaps you were destined for another vocation that didn’t need you to get a degree.

I know for sure I went to university because everyone else was going and I wasn’t presented with many other alternatives. However, I don’t regret studying Law because it has come in very handy and very useful in many other aspects of my life. But I never want to be limited to just being a lawyer. I truly believe there is more use to my life than just that and it is way beyond going to school and getting good grades. The truth is there isn’t one formula of success in life. Some people are more academically tailored than others. That’s not a bad thing.

Since starting Demur Magazine, an online publication, I’ve learnt more about publishing and media production than I would have had I gone to study the same at university. One other thing I have learnt that I know I wouldn’t have learnt at school is, starting your own magazine and working to build the number one media platform in the world is no walk in the park. It’s more like a never ending marathon. I have sat and interacted with students of media subjects and I seem to know more than them.

We need to lift the pressure off ourselves and others of comparing ourselves and measuring our capabilities by a one size fits all approach, because quite frankly it doesn’t. We need to promote other vocations that are not to do with going to school. We need to show the next generation to come that the world is indeed their oyster. We must not allow the system of school to kill dreams and destroy our future. Our kids deserve more. Less school and more education!




Noreen Chada is the Editor and Founder of Demur Magazine a fashion and culture publication based in London, for young outgoing trendsetters. Demur offers a platform to independent artist, designers and creatives in fashion, music, art and culture. Demur is self published and distributed across London and in all four fashion cities during fashion week New York, London, Paris & Milan.

You can follow her on Instgram – @NoreenChada.

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