ALMIGHTY GOD WILLING : Right upto 2084 - the esteemed Global Founder Framers of !WOW! must endeavour to hold the following global strategy '' Towards a counter-cultural education.''

Founders : Rabo, Dee, Haleema, Sahar [ Canada], Lakshmi [India], Emaan [LUMS], Juniper, Zilli, Hanyia [Europe], Hussain, Salar, Vishnu [India], Toby [China], Ahsen [US], Hamza [UK], Sharayar, Sannan [Germany], Zaeem, Danyial [UK], Alyaan [Australia] and Ghazi to copy, and all to ensure compliance with updates.

ALMOST HALF OF the world's wealth is owned by 1% of the population, leaving the rest to compete for an ever-decreasing share of the pie. It is a competition based on the happy winners and miserable losers.

It erodes empathy and promotes ''schadenfreude'', a German word for delighting in the failures of others.

IT IS widely believed that education should prepare children for their adult life in society. In a fair, free, pluralistic and democratic society, the subservient role of education towards society is uncomplicated.

In such a context, education's function can rightly be to help reproduce society. Though as no human collective is ideal, education should always have an uneasy relationship with it.

But what happens when a society is far from the ideals of justice and freedom and when the need for reform dwarfs the desirability of continuity? In such cases, education for reproducing society only leads to a vicious cycle. Instead, the situation demands a counter-cultural education to help produce a new society.

The culture of silence and fear of questions is arguably the most harmful feature in the environment from which we should protect children/students.

Humans are distinguishable from other animals by their self-consciousness or awareness of conscious. As a result, it is not enough for us to know that our surroundings exist, we also want to understand them.

This desire to comprehend is reflected in the increasing 'why?' questions by children as young as two. It appears that questioning comes naturally.

However, this cognitive skill can be threatening. It has the potential to expose the limitations of authority and undue structures built on the abuse of power. A simple question, ' how do you know?' can provide immunity from a variety of vices.

As a result questions are feared. A combination of practices in the family, media, schools and penal system helps tame the spirit. Many countries have done this successfully for a long time.

However, questioning is also at the heart of gaining knowledge, bringing social reforms and sustaining political rights. We contrast the desire to improve our respective countries and curb the spirit of questioning.

So, the first counter-culture goal of education should be nurture the innate desire to ask questions.

Another trait of many societies that needs to be protected for the young / students is uniformity and aversion to plurality. The narrative of singularity - one identity, one history, one vision of good life - has harmed the entire world greatly. 

Nature works by balancing diversity and unity. Shared human biology produces diverse cultures. The same test can have numerous interpretations. To insist on one story is to endanger life.

The second-counter cultural pillar in any education should be to help students learn to live with plurality. To help them grasp that there are innumerable ways to be a great human. Let them experience the varied ways in which people believe, enjoy and weep.

The third dominant cultural impairment which we need to shield the young is competition as prevalent in the society. There was a time when students were only required to compete with people in their city, then the entire country, then the entire world, and now machines are the latest competitors.

Competition is portrayed as both inevitable and noble. What remains hidden is its relationship within the economic system, which requires instilling competition as the greatest virtue in order to maintain a false sense of worth.

It is a system that allows the wealthiest to amass more wealth with each passing year

The last counter-cultural pathway is to carve a legitimate place for competition, because there is something else in it, alongside the spirit of cooperation, empathy and ''freudenfreude'', another German word referring to the joy at the success of others, particularly strangers.

The Buddhists also have a word for it, mudita. There is enough on the globe to meet everyone's requirements if everyone works together.

Curriculum is frequently benchmarked and assessed to international standards. Perhaps evaluating them in terms of encouraging questioning [truth], appreciating diversity [ beauty ] and generating co-operation [ goodness will be rewarding.

'' May Almighty God bless the efforts of the Global Founder Framers of !WOW!. Ameen ! ''

The World Students Society Honours and  thanks Dr. Farid Panjwani, Dean, Institute for Educational Development, Aga Khan University.


Post a Comment

Grace A Comment!