Saleh Miri is an architect who came to Oman in the early 1980s
During a human’s lifespan, many things change. Some 50 years ago, there were fixed telephones with only 5 numbers; then wireless phones came into our lives, with the possibility of speaking 25m away from the main phone.
Then appeared the mobile phone. Gradually, phones became so much more than just a tool to speak to others. It now allows you to write, see pictures, gather information, make payments and so on.
Tomorrow the phone may become an alter ego, with the ability of ‘replacing’ you anywhere. How do we cope with such rapid changes? We often wonder, for example, how so much intelligence is gathered!
Well, next time you look at your phone, ask yourself just how much information you leave behind for others to collect and amass!
Some years ago we were in control of our cars. Today, we have electric cars, self-driving cars and cars that can automatically self-park into almost any space and stop when sensing foreign objects.
What will be the car of the future? A one engine machine that drives you safely to your destination with sensory climate control?
Awareness needs to be part of education. Today, in the US and in China, large companies propose robotic studies as part of the curriculum in schools and universities, with the understanding that future generations need to be ‘aware’. In Middle Eastern countries, education is still living in the past and does not prepare for the future which is knocking at our doors. It is worth remembering that modern civilisation and science emanated from this region. As such, we should be proud of our history and not copy what the ‘Western’ world is producing which, ironically, is based on what our people had created in the past.
Our visions have to change. Most leaders around the world have to cope with people who want results today and cannot wait. But real changes require time, analysis and vision adapted for tomorrow’s world. In Malaysia, leadership prepared a vision of 30 years to bring the country from the third world to the first world.
The Chinese economy is based on a 40year vision. Others, unfortunately, wish to satisfy their people with short-term solutions which do not consider the future.
We witness today uproar in so many places: Lebanon, Hong Kong, Syria, Iran,
France, just to name a few. People want something different - solutions which can work, not temporary measures, to ensure that they have a future with freedom, access to education, health and a clean environment.
But solutions do not seem available. Our lives have changed exponentially from a one-size-fits-all simple format to a more sophisticated model based on mass consumerism. As a consequence, it seems material possession has become more ‘worthy’ than what we truly need and desire.
The education of future generations is of paramount importance if we really want to secure a peaceful world for our children. Our ancestors did the same for us. By relearning essential values, we may very well assist the children of tomorrow to live in a more harmonious, healthier and more prosperous planet. If we don’t, we may sadly witness a global collapse where nations and continents fight each other with weapons of mass destruction.
Education starts at home. And it is a fact that a child’s early years are moulded by parents who should set the right example from day one. So, if we truly want the best for our future generations, we need to remind ourselves just how the education of today will sculpt the minds of tomorrow.