Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Back to school

Let’s imagine what would happen if we all went through the existing education system, yes that same one that we all hated, but this time around, we will apply two modifications to it. First, no exams are required to move from one grade to the next. Passing or failing will be left to the judgment of each student. The only exception is at the final graduation. And second, your graduation could come at any random date!!

I have no doubt that most students would gladly agree to switch to this new system. It seems extremely fair and self assuring to be able to evaluate oneself in stead of being evaluated by others who might be unfair, prejudice, or apathetic. At first glance, this looks like a great system with great potential. This relaxed environment will definitely bring out the best in each of us.

Unfortunately, this system will now work. It will fail because of the two character traits that are deeply founded in all of us, Vanity & Selfishness. Most of us will simply believe that we do deserve to constantly move to a higher grade, even when all the signs suggest that we don’t. And when we see fellow students miserably fail their graduation exam because they never prepared for it, we would confidently say, “this will never happen to me!” Moreover, when we see others who need a little help in order to advance, most of us will just turn our backs to them, if not even climb on their shoulders to reach higher.

In other words, the system will miserably fail, not because it is a bad system, but because the students misunderstood the true meaning of an education.

Well, the good news is, I have no authority to apply this system to the education system in Egypt or anywhere else. The bad news is, I believe that we are living this system. We live in this world with one goal in life, to be better than the others. And we actually convince ourselves that we are. I am better looking because I fit the beauty standards. I am better than the followers of other religions because I am a Muslim. I am a better Muslim because I have a prayer mark on my forehead. I am a better Muslim because I am veiled. I am better at my job because I was promoted. I am smarter because I had higher grades. I am better because my ancestors built the pyramids. I am better because I am the boss. I am better because I am a man. I am better because I have a foreign passport. I am better because I make more money..…………

Some of the above may be true when comparing people. But none is true comparing humans. To be a better human one has to believe that: “I can only be a better human when I love my fellow humans as much as I love myself.”


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

great metaphore!
thanks for this!