Academic grades no longer matter much

Monday October 04 2021
letterpix
By Guest Writer

Not so long ago, academic grades embodied success, it was the trending thing. Like Robert Kiyosaki’s Poor Dad, many of us strove to attain high grades. Armed with these grades, we would brag, but we have continued to struggle financially, and above all burdened to find our true selves, because we were not nurtured in terms of what we were passionate about.

 Instead, we crammed formulae, notes in history or chemical equations, whatever the subject, and excelled. 

There is now a cloud of dissatisfaction that still hovers over academia. We now believe we have been leading a lie, for we were deluded that after we had acquired academic qualifications, our worries would end, on the contrary, misery has not ended. Why is the situation so?

Many factors account for this phenomenon. Academic grades give people the pride of place in society. A parent works tooth and nail to ensure the children go to good schools. This has given birth to the private school that has perpetrated the glorification of academic grades. The streets are now flooded with academic stars who haven’t made a killing. 

Concerned about the trend of academic greatness, I decided to find out the meaning of the word “academic”and was intrigued and challenged in equal measure about its meaning that indicated: “not of practical relevance; of only theoretical interest.”

The glaring truth is to accept that generations have partaken of hypothetical and speculative education, and now is the time to come out of the abyss, change the status quo, embrace technology and start “producing things”. 

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With the onslaught of the Internet, the earlier we use it to our advantage, the better our generation will be able to break the bondage of theory and become pragmatic.

I shared a desk with a guy who studied physics at university. He tells me how he wasted time, for he studied physics of the moon among other irrelevancies. 

He now works as the salesforce administrator at our organisation charged with the responsibility of creating data models, analyzing the data in a cloud-based form. 

Until he was able to produce Apps called “jobs”, that was when he started feeling fulfilled and having a purpose in life. His only regret, however, is had he studied digital marketing earlier on, his life would be far much better. For, he, like many of us, is making corrective actions in our careers.

So, what is trendy in the market place of society? Being tech savvy is the culture of true existence. Using smartphones to record videos, audios, podcasts, becoming YouTubers, or social media personalities, interlia is taking the modern world by storm.

 The quicker we learn these fundamental changes in the21st Century, the better our world becomes.

I remember vividly how a colleague of mine taught a student who went on to become a model. Her remark was that she wasted the girl’s time. 

Like the model, many of us are finding our true passions. There are comedians minting millions of shillings. 

Ask Salvador who studied engineering at the Ivory Tower; and while still at high school, was reportedly rebuked for imitating the headmaster. 

Had the school realised earlier that Salvador’s niche was in entertainment, and particularly stand up comedy, maybe there would have been much difference, not only in his life, but also other students. Nevertheless, thank goodness, he has found himself.

What is apparent is that in the dot com era creativity, versatility, tech savviness, possessing journalism skills, social media skills, personal branding, communicating in a cross-cultural environment, and solving complex problems are among the trendy skills that one needs to embrace as we fight poverty out of our pockets.

 The best way forward is to think critically and creatively about who you are and make your passion your profession.

Arnold Wangwe

[email protected]

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