Earlier today as we were returning after an exam, one of my mates made a statement that suggested that tertiary education was soon to be irrelevant in this country. From the reasons, I could see that most of us do not really get the difference between school and education.

In this article I will try to elucidate the topic with relevant real life experiences from the history of great people, how they understood education and how it fits into our today’s world….

I will start this by stating that no man can achieve anything and I mean anything without education.
Formal education is very important as far as the development of any nation is concerned. But this does not mean formal education is the only kind of education.


In fact, it should be noted that I’m not a fun of the system of formal education in my country and many others nearby.

In our society today, starting from childhood, children who don’t make good grades are made to feel like losers, they are made to believe they can’t achieve anything in life. They are made to feel totally inferior. But is that really helpful? no
what good does it bring if you make an individual to feel useless right from the start?

In situations like this parents could be of help but they are not any better, only pressure is expected from them which only escalates an already worsened situation.

To those who have suffered under this system, this may make you feel better…It is the truth…education is irreplaceable but not just formal. You need to be educated in what you can do and do it best so if the formal system only makes you feel incapable, it means they don’t have what you need….

Let’s examine this statistics…..

Benjamin Franklin, 6th president of Pennsylvania(USA) became a scientist, inventor( lightening rod used today), political theorist,politician, author, civic right activist and more…how much of school did he attend?
His elder brother could only afford 2 years of school for him so he ended his formal education at age 10.
But did he end his education? No!
He read and read and read..forming a society that brought together their individual books to form a library so all could read….
he is just one example
if u care to know, 11 of the 43 presidents of USA had no degree
the list below..

  1. George Washington
    (The death of his father ended Washington’s formal schooling; however, he believed strongly in formal education. In his will, he left money and/or stocks to support three educational institutions.
  2. Andrew Jackson
  3. Martin Van Buren
  4. William Henry Harrison (attended college but never received a degree)
  5. Zachary Taylor
  6. Millard Fillmore (founded the University at Buffalo, The State University of New York)
  7. Abraham Lincoln (had only about a year of formal schooling of any kind)
  8. Andrew Johnson
  9. Grover Cleveland
  10. William McKinley (attended Allegheny College (did not graduate) and Albany Law School (did not graduate)
  11. Harry S. Truman (went to business college and law school but did not receive a degree)

There other examples in different sectors

Sir Richard Branson – Virgin Group – over 360 companies –Virgin Records , Virgin Megastores – Virgin Atlantic Airways

Bill Gates – Left Harvard at 20 – You know Microsoft right?

John Mackey – Sometimes called the Bill Gates of organic food – Chairman and CEO of Whole Foods Market a $3.8 billion Fortune 500 company

Ron Popeil – The Father of infomercials

Sir Alan Michael Sugar – His companies are Amstrad and Amsair – The star of BBC’s The Apprentice- Has more money than most Phd’s

Thomas Edison – Only a few months of formal school – Mom taught him to read, write and do arithmetic – Lights anyone?
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James H. Clark – Silicon Graphics, Inc., Netscape, myCFO and Healtheon – Maybe just a bit better off then MD’s

Jack Kent Cooke – Canadian entrepreneur – former owner of Washington Redskins, Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Kings

Simon Cowell – Executive, television producer and entrepreneur – dropped out at 16 – earned $75 million in 2009 – Heard of American Idol?

Henry Ford – Ford Cars anyone?

Soichiro Honda – Can you guess?

Ray Kroc – McDonald’s – You may have helped make him rich

Marcus Loew – MGM entertainment

David H. Murdock – Dole Food Company – you probably ate some of his food

John D. Rockefeller – Oil magnete – Standard Oil company

Vidal Sassoon – Hairdresser – you may have used his products

Dave Thomas – Wendy’s owner – Frosty’s are nice

Lucille Ball – Actress, model, executive – I Love Lucy

Drew Barrymore – Actress, film producer and film director

Pierce Brosnan Actor – 007, firm producer and environmentalist – left school at 16

Jim Carrey – Actor and comedian

Kate Winslet – Actress and occasional singer – Youngest person to accrue six Academy Award nominations

William Shakespeare – English playwright and poet – Romeo and Juliet

Jerry Lewis – American comedian, actor, film producer, writer, film director and singer

Will Rogers – American cowboy, comedian, humorist, social commentator, and actor – Has an airport named after him

Ronald Reagan – Actor and United States President

Margaret Brown – American socialite, philanthropist and activist

James Buchanan Eads – American civil engineer and inventor with more then 50 patents – how did he do that without all the school?

Wright brothers – Built first successful airplane – how did they do that without modern schools?

Wolfgang Puck – Austrian-American celebrity chef, restaurateur and businessman

Paul Revere – Amercian silversmith, patriot during American Revolution

Carl Lindner – United Dairy Farmers company worth over $1.7 billion – did he milk the system?

Maybe being a loser isn’t so bad! May be the grades are not as important as they may want you to believe.
You have to realize that this is just a small handful of the many great people through all the ages that have made great contributions to our planet.

Again this is just a small handful of people that have lived high profile and successful lives without finishing a “proper education”.

How many millions of people have led ordinary yet successful lives even though they dropped out of school?
You know they say that college graduates earn more money than non-college graduates, but is that just the reward for playing along the system?

Great men have been lead to live miserable lives unnoticed because the system wasn’t fair to them..

Do not be a part of the mistreated, take your education into your own hands..Develop yourself and be positive, read, learn what you think you have a shot at. Explore your qualities.
Do yourself some good and don’t let bad grades discourage you. You were created just like any other to perform a role..do that and be great at it…

Grades measure memory, true education measures intelligence..a lot of factors contributes to an A+ and its not just the best way to measure a man’s worth…

Take control and be educated on your own…Bill Gates studied Law at the university but I don’t think Microsoft corporations is a law firm…
It means he developed himself…

Nobody thought the google guys how to develop google, right?
If Mark Zukerberg’s Teachers could teach him how to build Facebook, perhaps they would have done that themselves, right?


This is not to say school is not good, or it does not make a positive impact on the society. In fact, school is the only reason why we have an organised society.
What am trying to put across is that school is not perfect, it may be wrong in judging you and a lot of great people have been made to live their lives thinking they were inferior just because they could not make the good grades…

I just want you to see that if you could not make it in school it does not mean you should shut yourself from reading….You need to read in other to develop yourself and you don’t need school to do that….

And if you are in school also, you need to read outside of your field too, you need to develop yourself beyond the grades, you need to be more….
……Just keep reading and learning, no room for stupidity..no excuse on grades.

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