Education, by definition, ought to grant wisdom, as expected to enlighten scholars to become productive in society. Something appears as if yawningly missing, in the field of education. When judged by scholars who boast of holding PhDs but without tangible benefits on the ground. The educational system seems as failing to address social problems, in conformity with their expected value.
As Non-Scholars, I suppose we have a right to question the value of education, as facing survival challenges in our country. Education is supposedly intended to solve problems. Otherwise, the content of education can be viewed as either misinterpreted or founded on primitive domains. How else is education supposed to be interpreted, if unable to solve common problems of society?
Let us randomly pick just two aspects of education, comprising politics and theology. We will start off with Politics, in light of our current political challenges. The University of Zimbabwe has produced thousands of graduates in political science. This requires a careful benefit analysis, considering the invested resources on such programs, involving millions of dollars. How do we quantify benefits accruing to ordinary Zimbabweans?
Thousands of those graduates are not in sight. It seems there is only one of their ilk, considered as an authority, Professor Jonathan Moyo. I assume, Jonathan Moyo portrays the significance of what political science entails? It may be impossible to exclude Professor Jonathan Moyo from problems prevailing, since the year 2000.
Jonathan Moyo’s name was featured at the time when his role appeared as aimed at scuttling the constitutional wishes of the people. Zimbabweans had attempted to draw a constitution that sought to limit the presidential powers in the year 2000. Through his spin-doctoring escapades, Professor Moyo ensured that Robert Mugabe won, against people’s wishes.
The dictatorship continued, leading to the November 2017 coup. Indeed, the Professor ought to be credited by ZANU PF, for achieving that feat, against the Zimbabwean people. Although he had to skip the country, threatened by those he had hobnobbed with, as his comrades. Could that have been the outcome of Professor Jonathan Moyo’s value of attaining a PhD in politics?
From a layman’s point of view, there is a cause for every effect. When tracing the origins of the coup, one observes the obvious scuttling of people’s wishes in the year 2000. The man who missed death by a whisker is the one having been credited with the hegemonic maintenance of ZANU PF. Without Jonathan Moyo’s escapades in spin-doctoring, the year 2000 constitution would have been adopted.
It would have been impossible for ZANU PF to cling to power. Our disciplined military forces would have remained in barracks. By now Zimbabwe would have come of age, in terms of acceptable democracy. Nevertheless, what is now observed is the same Professor taking the advisory role in opposition politics. Fairly or unfairly, there are those stating that the Professor should not be entertained, considering his previous record.
This then brings us to the real concern, considering the spent years of study, to reach this far. Should his education be thrown out of the window, or not? Do we need another duplicate political Scholar? What benefit would Zimbabwe need him for, if not to throw us into another confusion? Mine is not a scholarly critique, but genuine critiquing from a pragmatist.
The political journey of Professor Moyo is not that savvy, to be considered for posterity. What normal person could advise his son to pursue a career in political science, having observed what was charted by Professor Moyo? The Chronicles of Jonathan Moyo’s services in our country’s politics, contain nothing admirable. Except, probably, the exposure of the election rigging through his published Excel-gate book?
However, when considering the aforementioned spin-doctoring, leading to the scuttling of the constitutional exercise of the year 2000, nothing has changed. The year 2018 election-rigging was produced out of the template, championed by Jonathan Moyo, in the early 2000s. Nothing convinces an objective analyst, that what transpired after scuttling the year 2000 constitutional referendum, had ordinary people at heart.
What prevails are the fruits of what was sown in the year 2002, when the political scientist was the chief advisor to the government. While attractive to direct one’s missiles, at Professor Jonathan Moyo, that cannot be exhaustive. Whoever found it necessary to award Jonathan Moyo with a professorial degree, is answerable. What are the measuring yardsticks of evaluation in that profession?
As Non-Scholars, we are not interested in the jargon of that profession, but in results. How does a political science degree-holder improve the livelihoods of ordinary people? What is the future of politics in Zimbabwe, when considering that the character of Jonathan Moyo has become the torchbearer? Should parents allow their children to pursue careers such as political science?
What calibre are the lecturers, such as those of political science, in our universities? What use is education, if not producing those who can solve problems in our country? Yet it is also impossible to denounce education, viewed as ought to be what grants freedom. There cannot be any hope without education for humanity. But there has to be clarity, in defining what education entails.
Only the below-average at the school level are normally channelled towards theology in colleges. The considered most important subjects are mathematics and science. There is no disputation that religion is considered less important, as reserved for the considered dull students. A pragmatist would not be bothered by that when considering that religion is devoid of substance. I would not encourage my son or daughter to take up religion as a course of study.
However, Jesus brought enlightenment to humanity. Unless education is moulded according to the teachings of Jesus, there is no education that carries value. It is a question of how Jesus’s teachings can be taken into consideration, without misinformation. Jesus declared that His disciples were to become the light of the world. There is no education without Jesus’s philosophy, although ignored by Scholars:
“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead, they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven”(Matthew 5:14-16 NIV).
If not crafting students according to the above Scripture, what is the significance of Theology, in colleges? We live in a world of confusion, as long as we do not expose corruption in education. Which one is the most important faculty, in universities, when not guided by the above Scripture?
Humanity needs enlightenment. Thousands, if not millions of professors in theology, fill the entire world. However, they are very few, who are Founders of their denominations. We have professors, serving under the already existing denominational institutions. Professors are happy to serve in theological departments, among thousands of religious institutions.
Instead, in Zimbabwe, we observe the Madzibaba sect numerically dominating by leaps and bounds. In other words, the most popular churches are not academically grounded. It requires a lot of discernment, for an objective researcher to deduce truth from error, among those popular church groupings. But, then, what is the significance of education, if unable to take up leadership in these crucial matters of human survival?
We have theologians, associated with Catholicism, Evangelicals, Pentecostals and many other traditional denominations. They comprise mainly what is adopted as orthodox Christianity, by virtue of their being supported by Scholars, supporting their doctrinal positions. Scholars are recognized according to their respective denominations. They are popular within areas of their denominational enclave. But not approvable by others.
Since the Nicaean Council, the doctrine of Trinity has gained momentum, as a uniting vector in traditional Christianity. It takes only those guided by the Holy Spirit to notice that, even though Scholarly backed, the doctrine of Trinity is fallacious, as not grounded on the teachings of Jesus.
This is just as the apostles themselves, except Paul, were not academically informed. But, even Paul had to denounce his educational background, to adopt Christianity. For that reason alone, an objective thinker cannot base his understanding on Scholars. Scriptures are there to prove that there cannot be wisdom in relying on Scholars to obtain Godly information.
Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption”(1 Corinthians 1:26-30 NIV).
Whether Scholars consider this passage of Scripture as authentic, can be a matter of verification. But what Paul indicates is that understanding does not come through Scholarly research. God chooses to reveal, only to those comprising the considered weak things of the world.
Therefore, a wise person shuns those who God says he would shame. Truth is found among the lowly and despised things of the world. This requires wisdom, more than requiring education. This is notwithstanding that education, in its traditional meaning, ought to provide the necessary wisdom. But the Key Scripture was pronounced by Jesus.
When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”
They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
“But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”
Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock, I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be[c] bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” Then he ordered his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah.(Matthew 16:13-20 NIV).
Jesus clearly declares that flesh and blood could not reveal the mystery, received by Peter. If agreed that Scholars are flesh and blood, a wise person would not waste time reviewing the Scholarly works, when looking for information. Later Jesus caped this reality, advising His disciples not to tell anyone that He was the Messiah (verse 20).
A wise person takes Jesus’s words seriously. That person does not base His understanding on Scholastic information. He bases his understanding on everything coming from Jesus who declared that it would only be those obeying His teachings to understand. His instruction was explicit before He left the scene:
“If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever—the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you”(John 14:15-17 NIV).
There is no mention of Scholars in that instruction. It takes only a wise person to understand. Otherwise, those assuming to see can never see the information as clear as this one. This is as was revealed through one of the Pharisees, attempting to confront Jesus, in light of what had baffled the entire Jewish community.
Then the man said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshipped him. Jesus said, “For judgment, I have come into this world so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind.” Some Pharisees who were with him heard him say this and asked, “What? Are we blind too?” Jesus said, “If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains”(John 9:38-41 NIV).
Information is available through the teachings of Jesus, who commands that what He said ought to be taken seriously. But, one cannot discard a religious grouping, based on the unavailability of scholarly information, but according to what Jesus taught. Otherwise, there is no wisdom in education. Wisdom is found in Jesus, the source of all information.
Andrew Masuku is the author of Dimensions of a New Civilization, laying down standards for uplifting Zimbabwe from the current state of economic depression into a model for other nations worldwide. A decaying tree provides an opportunity for a blossoming sprout. Written from a Christian perspective, the book is a product of inspiration, bringing relief to those having witnessed the strings of unworkable solutions––leading to the current economic and social decay. In a simple conversational tone, most Zimbabweans should find the book as a long-awaited providential oasis of hope.
The Print copy is now available at Amazon.com for $13.99