“And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God” (Luk 4-4). There are some key things that humans need in life to be able to live a successful or happy life. Some of these include food, security, and quality education. It is this quality education that this newsletter intends to discuss.
Education and Training
Education and training should aim to ‘ASK’. That is, it should develop positive Attitudes, relevant Skills, and Knowledge in the learners. One of the important things that God keeps emphasizing in His Word is teaching and learning. As it is written, God asked Moses to come over to Him into the mount and be there with Him so that He would give him the table of stone, and law and commandments which He has written with His own hand. Moses was to receive it from the hand of God and teach them to the Israelites (Exo 24:12). The purpose of this teaching is that, that His people might understand the mind of God for them and their nation.
Jethrow advised Moses, his son-in-law, to teach and show the Israelites the laws and the ordinances of God so that they shall walk in them and do that which they are supposed to do (Exo 18:20, Deut 5:31, Deut 6:1). Here, the purpose of teaching and instruction is for them to know their responsibilities as a nation. This means that teaching and learning should aim at equipping learners on what they are expected to be doing after the end of the training or instruction period.
Education is for life. The people of God are to be instructed and taught to understand the ordinances of God and to do them so that they might live and move on to possess their inheritance (Deut 4:1).
Education for good judgment and discretion
In the mind of God, education and training should aim at equipping learners to develop and sharpen their power of judgment and discretion. Schools become useless if the graduates they produce think and reason like an ‘uneducated illiterate’. I refer to ‘uneducated illiterate’ as a person who is devoid of training and education but not the unschooled. It is against this background that the Psalmist asks God to teach him good judgment and knowledge because he has believed in His commandments (Psa 119:66). Isaiah is clear when he also writes that “His God doth instruct him to discretion, and doth teach him” (Isa 28:26). The curriculum of God is to train His disciples for discretion and sound judgment to enable them to make important choices in life. It is also important that the people of God learn to discern good from evil (Eze 44:23).
Train the Child
According to the word of God, children are not only supposed to be fed but they must be appropriately taught or guided. It is, therefore, written:
“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it” (Pro 22:6).
Teachers and parents need to introduce their learners and children to entrepreneurship and help them acquire entrepreneurial competence as early as possible in their developmental and career pathways. It is not possible to teach only theoretical concepts and expect development. If a nation wants its citizens to be productive and independent, the curriculum should be thoughtfully designed to do that. Children must be taught the entrepreneurial skills so that when they graduate, they would not depart from it and become unemployed. This is why continuous reforms in teacher education and educational curricula are relevant. This also explains why technical and vocational schools teachers and teachers in technical universities must be dominated by skillful entrepreneurs and craftsmen and craftswomen but not only Ph.D. holders as some governments demand.
Nebuchadnezzar knew the importance of education and training so he identified the potential in Daniel and his colleagues and invested in them to study to work in his kingdom (Dan 1:4).
That they might be with Him
Jesus called His disciples and trained them to get them thoroughly prepared so that He could send them out on a mission. He ate and drank with His them many times (Mat 9:10-17. Mat 26:26, Mar 2:13-17) but that was not the main reason why He called them. It is read that:
“And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach and to have power to heal sicknesses and to cast out devils” (Mar 3:14-15)
Though the disciples of Christ were limited in schooling, and obscure in identity, they had excellent riches of education and training that they needed to succeed in their vocation. This is so because Christ taught and mentored them for three good years while He was with them. There is no substance in the statement that the disciples of Christ did not school so schooling is irrelevant in Ministry. If you are not schooling, then you must subject yourself to mentorship and study to show yourself accredited by both God and your listeners, and you should be very competent in the delivery of your subject matter as a teacher or a preacher (2Ti 2:15).
Believers should not settle on food and drink. They should aspire to study to show themselves competent in judgment, attitude, skills, and knowledge. It is by these that they could live lives of purpose and meaningfulness.
Prayer: May God help us to commit to meaningful learning to develop ourselves and our nations. In the name of Christ Jesus. AMEN!