What is Post-Secondary Education- When you see the phrase post-secondary education, what comes to your mind?
Let me guess…
College, University, getting a degree, etc.
But let me shock you by saying that post-secondary education is far beyond getting a degree!
You will be learning about other options available in post-secondary education in this article.
What is Education
Education is simply the process in which children and sometimes adults are being assisted to develop their abilities, attitudes and behavior so they can be better citizens of the society. Education has the capacity to groom an individual positively so as to become a responsible personality to himself and in turn be of great benefit to the society.
Levels of Education
There are four levels of education
- Early childhood(Pre-primary)
- Basic Education: this includes primary education and junior secondary education
- Senior Secondary Education
- Tertiary/Post-secondary education
Early childhood education also called Nursery education is that level of education that concentrates on children from 0 years to kindergarten age.
Basic Education: Basic education is in two parts:
- Primary Education: this comes immediately after kindergarten. It is also known as elementary.
Here the child is equipped with fundamental skills in reading, writing and mathematics.
2. Lower Secondary Education: this is the final phase of basic education for children age 12-15 years.
Senior Secondary Education.
This stage is very critical because the student is old enough to know his/her weak and strong subjects. Students are taught core subjects like English, Mathematics and others. There are also elective subjects based on chosen field (sciences, commercial or arts).
This is the third level of education. It is also known as tertiary education. It is a non-compulsory educational level. Even though it is optional, it is important for students while still in secondary school to have some level of knowledge about it. This would enable them make right decisions even before they leave school.
Senior Secondary School- A preparatory for Post-Secondary Education
Senior secondary class is actually meant to be a period of preparation for post-Secondary Education and life in general. Coincidentally, it is also a time where rapid hormonal changes are taking place in the bodies of these boys and girls. And there is a tendency for these students to want to explore. But the truth must be told, it is no time to do any exploration. It is not time to fall in love. It is not time to play boyfriend/ girlfriend game. Rather, it is a time for self-discovery. At this time, we need our educators, NGOs and corporate bodies to educate these young ones on how they can plan for their future.
“The waiting period”
This is a very critical period in the life of a teenager. It is that period you have graduated from high school and are waiting for your results to be released, or waiting to get admission into university, etc.
You just wake up in the morning to discover that there are no more morning bells, no more teacher’s whip, no more classwork, no more assignments. You are left to yourself. And in some cases, both parents go to work leaving only this naïve school leaver at home.
It is at this junction that many teenagers get into trouble that they may never recover from. Addiction, drugs, cultism, pornography and unwanted pregnancies are some of the negative vices these young ones fall into during the “waiting period”
What should I be doing this “waiting period”
You can use this period to acquire some basic skills. For example, as a girl, you can go learn skills like hairdressing, cake baking, interior decoration, fashion designing, bead making.
For boys, you can learn skills like barbing, photography and others.
Set a target for yourself on how long you want to master the skill.
With the social media, you don’t even need a lot of money to acquire any skill.
All you need to do is to go to YouTube and start watching and practicing tutorial videos of the skill you want to learn.
You can also learn digital skills if you have access to a laptop or smartphone. Digital skills like web design, graphic design, coding, animations, content creation are really in hot demand now.
Like the common saying,
“An idle mind is the devil’s workshop”
Don’t stay idle. Don’t stay home all day watching seasonal movies all day long.
Get up and learn a skill today.
Let me share a story with you of how a girl wasted this “waiting period”
She had just finished secondary school and so she was free like any other school leaver.
Her parents asked about her pursuit for higher education but she couldn’t give a tangible response. Her parents were confused and decided to take her to their close relative so they could help talk to her.
But all to no avail. Eventually when she opened up, she said she wanted to learn hair dressing, a vocational skill.
So after sometime, her parents enrolled her in a hair dressing salon as an apprentice. Few months into the training, her parents raised alarm. Bisi was 4-months pregnant. What happened!
We sent her to learn hairdressing! But here she has brought shame to the family.
Unfortunately for her, the crazy guy that impregnated her was still a student in one polytechnic school and was still depending on his parents for upkeep.
So Bisi’s parents had to take responsibility of raising the baby when he was born. After few months, Bisi resumed her vocational training while her mum took care of the little baby.
The baby was hardly two years old when Bisi got pregnant again by the same crazy guy!
It was obvious she never learnt her lessons the first time. Her kind parents covered her up and gave her a second chance at life but she messed it up.
Even the hairdressing skill that she started learning then, she had not been able to master it.
I didn’t set my eyes on Bisi again until eight (8) years later. This time, I met her in a grocery shop as a shop assistant. I asked about her children, she told me they were with her parents.
I felt so sorry for her because I equally met some of her colleagues that same year. Some of them had started working in banks, oil companies, one even just graduated from medical school.
But here was Bisi , a shop assistant, because she chose the wrong path and of course had started bearing the consequences.
And when I asked about the crazy guy, what she told me broke my heart.
He said he couldn’t marry her because she wasn’t fit for him so he got married to another lady. But he promised to be sending monthly stipends for the upkeep of his children, which has not even been regular.
So that was how Bisi short-changed herself.
Two major categories of Post-Secondary Education
College and universities are the most preferred choice of post-secondary education. Bachelor’s degree and post-graduate degrees are obtainable here.
Duration of learning depends on the choice of course and also varies from one higher institution to another.
It is also the most expensive option but scholarships and grants are available for outstanding students.
Students are usually required to sit for and pass some entry exams before gaining admission. For example, in Nigeria, Joint Admission and Matriculation Board( JAMB) is usually the entry exam written by students.
2. Vocational schools/Trade centers
Vocational/trade schools teach her students the needed skills for a particular job. They are 100% practical unlike colleges and universities where a lot of theories are involved.
Examples of vocational courses include:
- Fashion designing
- Pharmacy technician
- Hairstyling and cosmetics
- Massage therapy
- Travel agent.
At the end of the training, students are being given a certificate of completion.
New era: Blending university degree with vocational training
We live in times that world economy is fast changing. Things are not really normal again. Decades ago, during convocation ceremony in the universities, companies will come with job offers for the graduating students especially the outstanding ones.
But in our day, you will still see a first class graduate carrying CV up and down, attending interviews here and there. No job vacancy for him.
While am of the opinion that as much as it is within your parents’/sponsors capacity, get a degree. But beyond that, you must skill up yourself so you can be economically relevant to yourself and the society.
For the past 74 days or thereabouts, ASUU (Academic Staff Union of Universities) in Nigeria have been on strike. Smart students are already taking advantage of the break to acquire relevant skills while the foolish ones are spending all the time on Netflix, tik tok, Facebook and other social media handles.
Gone are those days that vocational skills are for illiterates. In fact, a literate person getting involved in vocational trade has an edge over an illiterate in the same trade.
Let me give an instance,
“Ade studied Mechanical Engineering in university. Before he graduated during one of the many ASUU strikes, he went to a road side mechanic to learn the critical skills behind automobile repairs. Upon graduation, Ade decided to set up an automobile company after several attempts of searching for job and no success.
It was a top-notch automobile repairs company well packaged and set up , that you can’t resist it.
And of course, he couldn’t do the work alone. So he employed some road side mechanics while he supervised them and one day the man that taught him the nitty-gritty of the job showed up for employment.
Ade was able to blend his degree with relevant skills and he became economically relevant to himself and the society.
So now it is obvious that every one that passes through secondary school needs some form of post-secondary education. Post-secondary education is meant to prepare you for life. So whether you are choosing to go to college/university or want to learn a vocational skill, you must ensure that you become economically relevant to the society and not a burden.