The application of the skill of literacy to facilitate learning takes us to another significant meaning of education, i.e. knowledge. Even with our contemporary ICTdependence, knowledge is still largely encoded and needs to be decoded from the written format. Therefore, in this part of the country, “iwe” (i.e. the book) is the conventional medium of knowledge storage. The school is called “ile iwe” and the person of learning or vast knowledge is referred to as “omowe”. Book knowledge is therefore associated with education and readily serves as a guiding map in charting the path to a clear conceptual analysis of education.6 But is every book an educational resource? Just as books can be used to educate, they can also be used to miseducate, misguide, misinform, or even brainwash. Moreover, it is very limiting to assume that I can only know from a book. Media of communicating knowledge are now more accessible via the Internet than the written medium. Talking of knowledge raises the question of “knowing” or “ability to know”. We all, educated or uneducated, adult or children, young or old know one thing or another. We know that the sun rises in the morning and sets at night fall in our part of the world. We know how to help ourselves to a good meal when we are hungry or why a little child should not be allowed to play with a dangerous object like a razor blade. We know this whether or not we go to school. But we may not all know that 75% of the earth’s surface is covered by water, or how to produce kerosene from crude oil or why an egg would not sink in a jar of brine water, and so on. These latter examples of knowing is accessible to those who pay more attention to book knowledge than the generalized kinds of knowledge which have been earlier cited. It could lead us to conclude that book knowledge is the hallmark of education. Mr. Vice-Chancellor Sir, allow me to differ from this latter submission by referring to two episodes. As a young 6
O. A. Bamisaiye (1985) A concept of responsibility and its implications for Nigerian education. Unpublished Ph.D Thesis, University of Ibadan p. 83.
Published on Sep 1, 2009