Hilmy suggested in his post, that “in some cases, punishments such as canning are still necessary as a deterent measure to reinforce the values of good conduct”.
Shahuru said, “educationalists in the Maldives brag that the system in place is British to suggest ours is much superior than systems practiced in South Asia. […] but Maldivian students appear to be very less civilized in attitude and behavior, inside and outside schools.” And he goes on to ask, “Is it a matter of teachers in our schools not knowing class management and the syllabus content that leads to pitiful behaviors we experience now?Can we afford, […] to let a generation of people go undisciplined?
Yasir, says that Shahuru’s post “raised concerns for us all in disciplining the young”.
In addressing those sentiments, issues and concerns raised by fellow bloggers, I would like to put forth my conviction on the subject, for the consideration of others in order that what is in my mind can be further clarified and modified if necessary, based on what others have to say.
If I remember correctly, it was Senior Deputy Police Commissioner Shukoor (then Lt. Col. of NSS), who suggested that it was the “lack of space” for children that should be tackled in order to ensure a future generation of young people who were disciplined; in a seminar of student discipline held at the then Maldives Centre for Social Education organized by the Ministry of Education in 1994. In my view, nothing substantial has been done in that respect though it was one of the key issues discussed in the seminar. Since, I have participated in numerous seminars and workshops which have explored the purpose of education and schooling, of which discipline is the most obvious outcome. We do not yet seem to have fully come to define and translate into action the purpose of education and schooling; nor translate into sustainable and actionable strategies, the effort needed for developing the minds of young people.
Ever since, the question of purpose in education and schooling has been at the back of my mind, right throughout the many years in which we have seen the deterioration of this nation as a people and the onset of the identity crisis we have been faced with as a people. Somehow, the issue has never topped the agenda to find a meaningful solution to it, nor the attention of our leaders who seemed to be more focused on the present than on the future of the nation.
Minister Zahiya Zareer pointed to the purpose of both very precisely in her address on the literacy day this year. She said, that literacy should contribute, “to improve the quality of one’s life and to build the capacity to contribute one’s share in the national economy.” (That was my translation!) Yet the sector that has seen the country’s most educated and professional minds of the nation, seems to have failed to do just that.
Then, it is high time we ask ourselves and explore the deficiencies in the system that has led us to where we are today. I am sure anyone in this country would agree that we live in a society that is void of almost nothing that we can be proud of as a nation and as a people. Hilmy sums it up by saying, “in spite of the country’s economic progress, it looks like we have to start from scratch to build up our social development.” And in order to do that, I presume we will all agree that we need a “good” education system and effective schooling.
The factors that contributed to our degeneration are the same factors that would be critical in reverting the situation. But before that, I believe we have to define a compass; by understanding the purpose of education and schooling.
Yet it is true, that our schools are a reflection of our society; and not a reality in isolation.