This is my unsolicited advice to Kenyan students doing (or will have done) standard eight and form four examinations. I honestly want to speak to them on the world that awaits them as they undertake this important event of their lives. First, is to tell them is examinations is not everything but it is something. It is something as it will give a guide on further academic and career pursuits per individual student. It is not everything as it is not a perfect measure on who succeeds or not in life.
My good friends students may I again in unsolicited way tell you the naked truth of the world today. This also happens to be the second point. The world has been changing ever. Today it is changing faster. Yesterday champions organizations and individuals are today’s maybe nothing. Life is a bit more unpredictable. Technology has made the world smaller and flat. It is creating opportunities for everyone everywhere in the globe. The difference is the speed of availability and enabling environments.
The third point is that education is important. This cannot be overemphasized. No country has ever developed without well educated people. It can’t happen and it is more difficult today in a more sophisticated world. Moreover, individually education is important, it opens the world for you. The only foolish thing you can do is refuse education or also to think it is all. The world is complex, success is availed to everyone. That is why you see many entrepreneurs who are scantly educated. However to push their enterprises a notch higher or on a grand scale they employ better educated people. So the ecosystem is such that we are all interdependent.
There is something like having rendezvous with destiny and this is my fourth point. What happens is that the world as aforementioned is changing too fast and the better prepared have a better chance. Today due to rapid changes in communication technology and spread of internet the world is at the mobile phone and at a touch of the gadget you are in touch with anyone and everyone anywhere in the globe. Obviously, with computers and Smart phones becoming cheaper yet more technologically advanced coupled with increasingly fast internet you can learn and work from anywhere. It is not uncommon to see people doing working for anyone anywhere in the globe from their living rooms. This is how the future of work looks – more technology and superb connectivity making many possibilities. The same for learning.
Some of the learning will have to happen online. Some of the best universities and colleges in the world courses will increasingly be availed online making it cheaper to access. New careers such as bloggers, online consultants, social media marketers, online security managers, freelancers and so on are on the rise. Much more will come. The world of commerce will be more exciting so is politics. You only need to observe social media uptake and engagements to see what a new world we are in. With this the political, economic and social world will increasingly see rapid changes. Dear students the world is becoming more complex yet easier to engage. So the opportunities are out there for you. But these don’t look for you, it’s your effort to go for them.
I need to quote something from the bible and this makes the fifth point. I believe other religions that I have lots of respect for also have something similar. All good religions by the way subscribe to a system of justice and fairness.
“I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.”
So your destiny is not in the grades. It is in your attitude and the grace of the Supreme Being. That is the world for you.
Harrison Mwirigi Ikunda
THE WRITER IS A RESEARCHER AND CONSULTANT