Unlearn and Relearn Series
In developing countries, quality education is one of the many lacking necessities and this can be attributed to poor funding amidst other factors. Students in these countries face the struggle of competing with others on a global scale. To keep up, many of these students need to engage in a process of unlearning and relearning: succinctly put, re-education through self-learning. This will be a process of gradual deconstruction of the concepts you have held in high esteem. Many of such concepts are plainly old and cannot achieve realizable goals in the current age. Hence, I would help you build a series of concrete concepts, approaches and other data for you to compete at an optimal level. In a developing country like Nigeria where I studied, unlearning and relearning is particularly important for students of Applied Economics. The same is applicable to students within other developing countries whose hopes are to study at top institutions in developed countries.
I will be writing articles on vital lessons I learnt on my own; things only students from top universities had the access and comfortable environment to learn. I will be sharing the resources I used to upgrade my knowledge of econometrics, data analysis and other economic theories. Additionally, current, vibrant, and achievable economic concepts will be dispensed to those who have gone through or currently going through ‘low-quality education’ in developing countries.
To guarantee that the process of unlearning and relearning is fully maximized, as with any programme, one will need to answer a couple of pertinent questions.
- Are you aware of what you do not know?
Once I realized I had to undertake my PhD in Nigeria and not Texas A and M University (TAMU), I set out to teach myself the things I would have been taught at TAMU. Here is the background story: I had gotten an admission offer to study at TAMU but could not attend for some personal reasons. However, I looked up the Applied Economics programme schedule and identified the course content. This made me recognize the necessary range of knowledge I had to learn and utilize as a PhD student. At the same time, I perused websites of other schools like Purdue, UC Berkeley and UC Davis (these schools were dear to my heart). Since my PhD programme was purely research-based, the materials I gathered while combing through the webpages of these institutions formed the content of what I taught myself.
- How can you self-learn the things you do not know?
Julius Yego, the Kenyan Olympic medalist, earned numerous medals after teaching himself how to throw a javelin. Guess how it was done? He learnt by watching YouTube videos. Julius’ story is further proof to me that the world is my oyster and I can learn anything I set myself to. There are plenty of free and paid resources online on YouTube, blogs, online course sites like Coursera and Udemy, Google Scholar, texts etc. However, over the years, I discovered that only a few of these were truly helpful. Some were quite useful as they are taught by top professors and students in World-Class institutions, but others were not. Therefore, there is a need to be guided in the use of such resources so you are not misinformed. It is often said that half-truths are sometimes worse than full-blown lies. Just like a dropout medical student can wreck potential damage if he/she decides to conduct any surgery, a misinformed student may create more harm than good.
The resources listed above may not be enough as many other factors could work against the learner. Such aggravating factors might be competitive and distracting to the eager learner. For instance, there might be little or zero tests and certificates issued at the end of such learning periods and this may de-motivate learning. However, your determination to become a better version of yourself should be a spur to learn.
So, are you interested in being a better version of yourself? Do you wish to catch-up with your peers in top schools and compete at a global scale? If your answer is “Yes”, stay tuned as I share resources that could aid your quest in my Unlearn and Relearn Series.