By Martins Itua
We send our kids to school to study subjects that they may never use in real life. They spend a quarter of their lives studying to be lawyers, doctors, engineers, etc. and pay little or no attention in learning skills that are most vital in life. Sometimes, all the kids have to do is memorize what they are taught in order to pass the subjects and get promoted to the next grade. In many cases, once exams are completed, they soon forget whatever they have studied. The reason is simple: they were only studying to pass and not to learn. This habit starts when they are just kids and continues all through their schooling life.
Our system of education doesn’t do much in teaching our kids the skills that are required to make a difference in the world. We have been unable to design a system that encourages young people to develop their talents. Often, parents dictate the courses that their kids study in the university. Some other kids are influenced by the profession of an uncle or auntie who they admire. Several others really just end up studying courses that the university offers them even when they absolutely have no interest in the course.
We should be raising our kids to be problem solvers and entrepreneurs instead of lawyers or doctors. There are many things that the school system will never teach our kids. If we can get our kids to understand that every problem in the world has a solution, then we can change the world. We have an obligation as parents and society to teach our kids how to fish instead of giving them the fish. Kids are often separated into science, social science and art classes. Maybe we need to introduce another class called the entrepreneurial class. There are certain kids that do not show interest in any of those subjects and we often consider them as dullards. But have we ever thought that it is possible these kids just don’t like book and have no interest in being in the class?
While it is a good thing to ensure that our kids get good education, it is also important to teach them that a good education is not a guarantee for a good life. They need to understand that the most successful people in the world are usually not the most educated. Many of the world’s innovators and great entrepreneurs didn’t make it to top universities and business schools. They were usually not the first in class and really didn’t care much about studying. In the end, these ‘third class’ materials are the ones who own some of the world’s biggest companies. It is not in the quality of your certificate but the quality of your ideas and what difference they can make in the world.
There is an argument about whether entrepreneurs are born or made? It appears safe to believe that it is a mixture of both. All the skills that are required to be successful in entrepreneurship can be learnt. You can groom a child from an early age to aspire to be an entrepreneur. The following are some of the skills we must teach our kids today if we expect them to become entrepreneurs and innovators tomorrow.
- We must teach our kids not to waste money.
- We teach our kids wrong habit when we give them allowances. Allowances make them develop an entitlement mentality. It imbibes in them a paycheques culture. Entrepreneurs do not get regular paycheques. They look forward to making income.
- Get your kids to learn to stand in front of people and speak.
- Show them examples of bad employees and customers service when you go out together.
- Make them realise early that it is always better to own a business than to be an employee working for someone else.
- Teach them that it is better to own a school than to work in the school
- They must learn early in life that the person who makes clothes and food for students earn more money than the teachers.
- Teach them how to make money. They can start by learning how to sell old household stuff on the internet.
- Our kids must be taught leadership skills and how to take responsibility early.
- We must teach them how to be tenacious and not give up too quickly.
- We must help them develop problem-solving skills. There will always problems and challenges in life. While some people see only challenges, some other see opportunities. How far he will go in life will depend on how many problems he can solve.
- Our kids must be taught and encouraged to ask questions and develop a curious mind.
- Instead of helping your child with what he/she is not good at or doesn’t like, spend more time and money in helping the child to get better at what he/she is good at.
- Teach your kids early to know that the people who have transformed our world the most weren’t always the most educated.
- Teach them that it is always better to give than to receive.
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