Thursday, October 6, 2011

Thinking Outside the Box for 1432 years - Break the Mould. Don't Break Your Children!

SCHOOLS. You might love them, you might hate them, but I suspect that perhaps 99% of us have gone through the treadmill of primary and secondary education. School and education is something close to my heart, not because I enjoyed my schooling days (I rather drifted my way through, like some people), but to me it is the only way we can actually improve our lives. I am a firm believer that you can be in any sort of country or society, socialist, capitalist, secular or theological, but if people are generally well educated, society would tend to muddle its way towards some form of prosperity, security and happiness, despite the most ridiculous plans of the politicians.

CHANGE EDUCATION. So when Heche shared with me this interesting lecture entitled "Changing Education Paradigms" by Sir Ken Robinson, I was happy to find someone who could clearly put into words (and animated by RSA) the problem with our present system of education, with its structured approach to teaching children. He raise issues about the fundamental basis of the education system which assumes to compartmentalize children into age groups and specialized subjects, as well as its over weaning faith in scoring exams. Essentially Sir Ken accuses the system of penalizing millions upon millions of children who simply could not (and most probably) were not even interested in the subject and type of teaching that they were receiving. People have been labelled 'smart' simply because they are able to assimilate, while others are condemned as 'not smart' simply because the system has an in-built bias against such children's personal aptitude and strengths. Enjoy the video...

THINKING OUTSIDE THE BOX. I absolutely agree with Kenny that we must have the courage to take a different point of view. And if necessary, to undertake an intellectual and creative pilgrimage (hijra) from a system whose reliability is now being questioned. For Muslims, we are guilty of being negligent and forgetting our own tradition of creative and pioneering school of thought. We have become tired and lazy, and instead of being leaders of the Heart, we have become faithful acolytes of Hubris. We have forgotten the past and have become distracted by the present. For it was the Prophet Muhammad who shared this hadis (verbal tradition) with humanity more than 1432 years ago, wherein God says...

“Neither My Earth nor My Heavens can contain Me, 
but the heart of a Believing Servant contains Me.”

If that is not a call to think outside the box, I really don't know what is. Have a learning day, sunshine. Break the mould. Don't break your children! 

wa min Allah at-taufiq.

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