Guess what they gave to quiz winners!

What is education? Well education is progress. It offers choices and opportunities for people, fights  poverty and diseases and sets new horizons and hope. Education prepares good citizens to contribute in the development of nations in order to compete  and cooperate globally, leading nations towards economic and social prosperity.

Education also aims at cultivating personality integration and creative thinking. Teachers lead learners to create peaceful environment in the world where they can achieve personal change in their behavior and seek to influence the world positively. Unfortunately this is not the case everywhere in the world.

An article at the BBC website featured  an odd news. The winners of a quiz organised by Somali Islamists group have been given weapons and ammunition as prizes! It is reported that the quiz was organized during the holy Muslim month of Ramadan in the port city of Kismayo, and included questions about the Koran and Somali geography.  A representative for the al-Shabab militant group  Sheikh Abdullahi Alhaq said on Friday’s prize-giving ceremony:

“The reason the young men were rewarded with weapons is to encourage them to participate in the ongoing holy war against the enemies of Allah in Somalia,”

It’s worthwhile mentioning that Somalia last had a functioning central government in 1991.

Well here is what I think about the above piece of news.

  1. While it is a shame to involve children in armed conflicts, we still witness tragedies where children are the protagonists, playing with real arms and hideously pushed by insane criminals to affect the world around them and themselves in the most negative way, carrying  inside unhealed scars forever.
  2. I can not see any outlet from the chaos that prevails in most less developed countries unless real education reaches individuals and contributes in making a change. Lack of education perpetuates poverty.
  3. Real education can not be achieved without minimum requirements. Maslow’s hierarchypostulates that without the fulfillment of the basic needs particularly the physiological needs and safety needs, higher needs such as social needs, esteem and self actualization can not be felt.
    • Physiological needs include air, water, nourishment, sleep
    • Safety needs are prerequisites for any attempts to be free from the threat of physical and emotional harm

    In other words, in a county where food, shelter and security are wanting, real education will be an unattainable dream.

  4. It is clear that the  Islamist groups in Somalia represent a totally odd type of Islamic ideals. The Islamic religion has never encouraged children to fight in the name of Allah. This shows a huge schism between these extremists practices and Islam’s real ideals which are based on tolerance. For this reason such extremist groups should never be given legitimacy to speak in the name of Allah or on behalf of Muslims.
  5. When religion mingles with education, the most dogmatic concept will undoubtedly find its way to our pupils minds. I strongly believe that although religion may contribute to personal development, its presence in curricula should be reduced to the minimum to protect students from being indoctrinated. School is a place for open and free inquisitive thought, not a haven for indoctrination!

This is my reaction? what about you?

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