Ed­u­ca­tion: Facts and am­bi­tions

Kuwait Times - - FROM THE ARABIC PRESS - By Dr Adel Ibrahim Al-Ibrahim

Ed­u­ca­tion has been the main topic of de­bates, con­fer­ences and strate­gies for long now, while the rec­om­men­da­tions made have never been put into prac­tice. This has made ed­u­ca­tion so de­te­ri­o­rated that a for­mer Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion (MoE) of­fi­cial de­scribed it as an in­verted pyra­mid!

It has been up­side down ever since and never been set straight. Suc­ces­sive min­is­ters have taken re­spon­si­bil­ity of the ed­u­ca­tion port­fo­lio, but their views to­wards ed­u­ca­tion re­mained the same, which has been hav­ing neg­a­tive im­pact on stu­dents ac­cord­ing to oc­ca­sional in­ter­na­tional sta­tis­tics and rank­ing that show our stu­dents at the tail end of the list.

We have the right to won­der about the rea­sons lead­ing to such a sit­u­a­tion. Do not the min­is­ter and MoE of­fi­cials know those rea­sons? A sim­ple an­swer to this is that un­less the min­is­ter and min­istry of­fi­cials have true in­ten­tions to re­form things, ed­u­ca­tion will keep de­te­ri­o­rat­ing in our beloved coun­try. The last nail in our ed­u­ca­tional sys­tem’s cof­fin might prob­a­bly be the de­ci­sion to de­crease ex­pat teach­ers’ rent al­lowance. How on earth can such a de­ci­sion in­volv­ing the most sa­cred pro­fes­sion in any so­ci­ety be made?! Teach­ers must be ac­tu­ally and not just nom­i­nally distin­guished.

Ed­u­ca­tion prob­lems in Kuwait mainly result from the ed­u­ca­tional en­vi­ron­ment and se­lect­ing teach­ers and school cur­ricu­lums. To solve th­ese prob­lems, se­lected teach­ers must at least hold a mas­ter’s de­gree and have enough ex­pe­ri­ence in the sub­jects they teach. Th­ese con­di­tions are fol­lowed in Fin­land, which has the best ed­u­ca­tional sys­tem worldwide. Teach­ers must also be paid as much as doc­tors, en­gi­neers and lawyers, or even more.

In this re­gard, I re­call a What­sApp post that ar­gues that if doc­tors can op­er­ate on a child’s heart to save his life, teach­ers have ac­cess to chil­dren minds and can en­rich them with knowl­edge and sci­ence. Yes, in­deed. This is what we need for our kids to have a proper learn­ing en­vi­ron­ment to help them be cre­ative and in­de­pen­dent. So we need highly qual­i­fied, skilled and ex­pe­ri­enced teach­ing staffs, mod­ern cur­ricu­lums suit­able for this age that en­cour­age chil­dren to think log­i­cally.

Will our ed­u­ca­tion­ists re­al­ize such rec­om­men­da­tions? We ac­tu­ally lack a real will to de­velop ed­u­ca­tion and this is what got us so far, end­ing up with many im­pro­vised and ran­dom de­ci­sions such as de­creas­ing ex­pat teach­ers’ rent al­lowances. —Trans­lated by Kuwait Times

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