18 Nov 2012

Ten year plan

Ten years ago, I was a sixteen-year-old SS3 student at a small private school in Festac Town, Lagos. Ten years later, I challenged my SS3 students with an essay asking them to create a ten-year plan. It has been a difficult task for them because quite a few have no idea what comes next.  

When I look at my students’ essays, I am amazed at how many have great plans. Beneath the layers of bad grammar, bad spellings, no punctuations, and countless structural issues, many students have expressed a desire for grand careers. I can’t help but cringe because I realize that just a
few are going to be able to live out their plans. The truth of the matter is a majority of them are ill prepared for the challenges ahead. The nature of their education means that they won’t be able to get the credits they need to gain entry into institutions of high learning. They will, more likely than not, need additional years to master the art of passing the necessary exams. For those unwilling, or unable, to struggle for the credits, alternative paths for education call.

Beyond their ill education, the nature of plans is that they change to take into account so many factors. Ten years later, looking at my choices post-secondary school, I could never have imagined the route I have taken. I still amaze people when I admit that I was a science student then. I was studying towards a career that seemed inclined towards food engineering or medicine. Two years after graduating secondary school, I made the choice to study writing.

Why would I make such a drastic change? I did it because I realized there were more opportunities available to me beyond the ones I imagined. I wanted to take advantage of the chance to do something I never imagined I could. Was it the best decision? I am not so sure at this point but I have no regrets. Even with my awareness that most plans are futile, I still needed to encourage my students to develop a structure for their lives. It is my hope that the plans they have created would inspire them to dream.

by Sinmi
2012 9JEducation.org work study

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