By Rachid Khouya
By Rachid Khouya
Morocco World News
Smara, Morocco, July 4, 2013
Isn’t it a real catastrophe to spend a decade or two at school and at the end you find yourself or your children ignorant, unable to read, to write, to speak or to listen?
Don’t you see that it is a real catastrophe to discover that our students leave school with no clear understanding of themselves, their objectives, their values and are unable to perform well in exams or to integrate into real life?
What is worse is that a lot of students who got their baccalaureate degrees do not know what to do once in the university. They are lost. They have no vision for their future. They do know what options, possibilities and horizons are in front of them. They keep walking in streets, as a stranger who lost his map in the desert, asking whomever they meet about what they should do at the university and whether it is better to choose a technical institution or go ahead to the university.
Wherever they see me, they ask me the same question to which I give jokingly the same answer: “Please when you want to marry, will you marry the lady you love or the one I love?” They always laugh because I tell them: “This is your future. You have to sit down, take your time and make the choice you want and then you should do all your best and fight to make your dream and choice reality.”
Frankly, our schools prepare students to get their degrees but they do not prepare them for life. We do not teach our students how to think, how to live and how to rely on themselves, be responsible, have dreams and work hard to achieve them.
We keep blowing wind in their heads as we do for balloons and we give them a false image about themselves and their educational level. Our schools sell the learners false and fake success while in fact they lack the least basic skills and competencies that would enable them to face life’s challenges and to have self-trust and self-confidence.
Krishnamurti, the greatest philosopher of the East and one of the wisest intellectuals humanity has ever seen, wrote in his Education and the Significance of life: “Now, what is the significance of life? What are we struggling and fighting for? If we are educated merely to achieve distinction, to get a better job, to be more efficient, to have wider domination over others, then our lives will be shallow and empty.”
This is the case in our Moroccan context today, unfortunately. The majority of families want their boys and girls only to get their degrees so as to get a job. They encourage their children to cheat, they even help them to do so and they do the impossible to find corrupted teachers and unemployed university students to help them on final exams by sending or giving the answers to their sons and daughters.
But what these parents ignore is that they are ruining, consciously or unconsciously, the future of both their children and nations. Krishnamurt makes this clearer when he writes that” if we are being educated only to be scientists, to be scholars wedded to books, or specialists addicted to knowledge, then we shall be contributing to the destruction and misery of the world”.
Society must understand that the objective of school is to prepare students for life, to be able to integrate in the social, cultural and political life, to be true citizens who are proud of being humans and of their values, to rely on themselves to solve problems they might face, to contribute actively and positively in the development of their communities locally and nationally and, most of all, to know who they are and what is their mission and role in society and life.
To conclude let me quote Krisnamurti’s words as I find them meaningful and wise. They say what I feel and what you may feel as well and think. At the end of the first chapter of his book, Krisnamurti wrote, “What is the good of learning if in the process of living we are destroying ourselves? As we are having a series of devastating wars, one right after another, there is obviously something radically wrong with the way we bring up our children. I think most of us are aware of this, but we do not want to deal with it.”
Certainly, there must be something wrong with our educational system and certainly we should not just keep watching. It is high time that we got up to help reform what needs reform and change what has to be changed.
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