Our Readers' Opinions
September 6, 2011
Let us attempt to transform our society

Editor: We are now into a new school year and what we want to achieve must be absolutely clear in our minds.

The goal must be to create rounded individuals capable of competing at the highest level in all spheres of life. We tend to place emphasis on that which is academic and ignore all other aspects of human development.{{more}} Our curriculum therefore ought to be tailored to achieve our goals. We are preparing curricula for Mathematics, English, etc., but we ought to be preparing a curriculum for human development. Our citizens are simply falling way below their true potential.

The development of a curriculum for individual subjects can be done by personnel in the Ministry of Education, but the overall package that is required to produce a rounded individual requires an input from the wider society. We ought to have frank and open discussions on what is being offered in the name of education. Just in case we have not noticed, the secondary schools that are top academically are not at the top in sports, or many of the students that top the common entrance are not involved in any sporting activity. This is part of the reason why the top secondary schools cannot be at the top when it comes to sports.

It is time that we integrate what is considered to be extra-curricular activities into the mainstream curriculum. Things like debating, playing chess and reading aid in the development of the individual. I often emphasize that we ought to subscribe to newspapers because, though we may encourage children to read novels, a newspaper covers a wide variety of topics which broaden the mind of the individual. I also believe that the walls of the schools should carry pictures of great persons, along with a narrative of what they have achieved. They must always be reminded that the pursuit of greatness must be relentless.

We must also pay special attention to our children who are challenged one way or the other. Very often what a child lacks in one area is compensated for in another. They usually have a special skill which we as a society seem not to have the time to find.

Finally, I must remind us that the one laptop per child initiative offers tremendous opportunities in educating our society. These are not for the children alone, but institutions like the Ministries of Agriculture and Health can offer much of their training material online. It is these children who can assist their parents in assimilating the information.

So, let us put our differences aside and attempt to positively transform our society. If we fail, we would not be guilty of not trying, but I am certain that we would not fail if we genuinely believe in ourselves.