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Monthly Archives: March 2008

Education for all

Abraham Lincoln’s definition for Democratic Government is well known to all that it is of the people, for the people and by the people. In my today’s blog post, I am going to discuss ‘Government for the people’ only in the light of the topic titled above. In the interest of a wide mass of parents worldwide, I represent here my ‘thought exercise’ that the inequalities of opportunities in education based on money should no longer be continued anywhere. Not only for the healthy democracy but also for improving economical conditions of all citizens, all nations should provide full facility and equal opportunity for all types of education to their citizens. As the part of disclaimer, let me be frank that the discussion of the topic in general reflects my own personal views and ideas and not necessarily binding to all.

In most of democratic countries of the world, the fundamental right of Education has been emphasized in their Constitutions or Parliamentary Bills passed for all their citizens without any favor or discrimination of community, caste, religion, section, creed, domicile or any other status. Some undeveloped and underdeveloped countries, due to their shortcomings of funds, can provide education free or with reasonable fees up to primary or maximum secondary level to their citizens. But, as far as university education is concerned, many developed and developing countries also cannot afford high costs in this regard. Just to meet with the problem of funds, many countries have adopted the concept of privatization and allowing self financed institutions.

This system makes the poor deprived of college education and thus poverty breeds poverty. Let me stress, here, that this is not the justice. Some rich students can get quality education with power of money and the poor poor-fellows, in spite of being meritorious, cannot have college education. “A government for the many, not the few” may be a good political slogan to some extent; but when we come to ‘education’ and specially to this so called new concept of ‘self-finance’, the slogan turns about with the changed words as “A Government for the few, not the many!”.

Muhammad Yunus of Bangla Desh, a Noble Prize (2006) winner for Peace said, “Poverty is a threat to peace. I believe that putting resources into improving the lives of the poor is a better strategy to end the most of the problems in the society.”If we go further to above belief, we will have to approve the established truth that the education to the citizens is the only important resource to bring peace in the society. Keeping away the poor from having education means that we encourage such a great mass of youths to choose the destructive paths such as forming gangs, committing violence, creating war zones in streets, drug selling and making them its addicts.

Approval of necessity of education for all is idealism and failure in implementation of the strategy of education by the Governments and/or societies is realism. Between these two ‘isms’ there is the wide gap which must be tried to be filled in. Governments consider the expenses made on education as non-productive, but it is far from truth. Today’s non-productive expense may bring a multiple revenue for the nation tomorrow. Ignoring essentiality of education to the citizens of every class has to pay a heavy price with creation of destructive youths as shown above who go astray and try to show their identity in negative ways. As a result, the integrity and peace of the nation is adversely affected.

Most of the Governments with the pretext of insufficient income from tax resources, tryto escape from this vital responsibility of providing all level education free of costs or at reasonable fees to their citizens. They have adopted a new, but to say the worst, concept of privatization with the hidden meaning of commercialization and have started to allow self financed educational institutions in a large number. Here, we can see that there is the great indirect exploitation of the poor and only the rich can reach the quality education with the power of money. This type of discrimination based on economical standings is the greatest social injustice in democratic nations. There may come a day when these suppressed people may unite and rebel against such unjust system and pro-rich policy shapers in the Governments. Some political parties, for the lowest reason of electoral profit and collection of election funds from the rich, overlook the national interest to maintain socio-economical balance in the society. Any nation can become the great only when even the last member can share the opportunities rendered by the Governments for uplifting of own life. In brief to say, no any norm but merit only should be there particularly in system of Education when entrance in a college is being given.

Let us have an in-depth look at how to find out some moderate and practical solutions of the problem in question. According to the suggestions of the World Bank – scholarships, lower fees and subsidies should be implemented in the interest of the poor getting admissions in the self financed colleges. Between the lines, let us examine in brief one more issue of various Reservations. I am not against Reservations personally. Of course, there must be Reservations for certain class of students who are socially backward. But, these Reservations should be limited to primary and secondary education. At college level, the merit of the student should only be taken into consideration for quality graduates, post graduates and doctorates. To facilitate the citizens to have equal opportunity for fair college education, the Governments should run an adequate number of colleges or universities with provision of reasonable and affordable fees. If the Governments are not able to cope with such huge expenses, they may make a choice of private alternatives with certain conditions; for example, the private sectors must start a parallel college or institution with same infrastructure with equal numbers of seats of students with no any capitation fees but the tuition fees only and that also at Government approved rates. Any way may be adopted, but there must be the clear concept that the meritorious students who come from poor families must have the equal opportunity of getting education which the prosperous students can avail.

Summing up, any nation’s true wealth lies in its vast human resources and particularly the youths. To build a nation strong, youths must be utilized as the stones. The rough stones cannot be used, they need to be shaped. Education is such a process through which only the aims of a nation can be fulfilled. I’ll quote a saying as “A stone that is fit for the wall can never be found in the way.” If the poor are ignored by the newly adopted self financing system of education, it will prove that the Governments and societies have left such precious and useful stones scattered in the streets.

I would like to end this post with repetition of my disclaimer that these are entirely my own thoughts and my way of thinking and they are not intended to offend anybody’s belief.

With thanks,
– Valibhai Musa
Dtd.:
26th March, 2008

 
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Posted by on March 26, 2008 in Article, education, MB

 

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A man’s household foes!

Click here to read in Gujarati
Today I stand in front of you through this Article with a surprising title creating curiosity in you to know about our household foes (enemies). Before I go further, I urge you to sit back relaxed and read. These enemies are not the outsiders or external, but they are our own – our own family members living with us under one roof. These are not the words of mine, but somebody has quoted as “For a son dishonors his father, a daughter rises up against her mother, a daughter-in-law is against her mother-in-law – a man’s enemies are the members of his own household.” Let me clarify here that the daughter-in-law only may not be responsible for discomforts of the household. A mother-in-law may be equally responsible as she frequently forgets that she was once a daughter-in-law of somebody. Similarly, the daughter-in-law should always remember that she is going to be a mother-in-law one day.

Human relationships and values of life change in a changing world. Nothing can be expected steady. In family matters, one common issue of ‘generation gap’ is found everywhere in all communities. Parents expect from their next generation that they should be as they are. Likewise, children also think that they should be allowed to do whatever they like. Khalil Gibran has advised to the parents in these words as “You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.” He further adds, “Life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.” These are the great thoughts of great people, but reality of the environment of households is quite different. Here below, I’ll put before you some dialogues, generally heard in the most of the families which show how the members of the family behave and interact with each other. They are as follows:

A loving mother warns the younger son or daughter in the words as “I won’t tolerate your attitude any longer, listen to your lies or defend you when you are wrong.” An elder sister scolds to the kids, “Are you not ashamed to speak like this to elders?” A notorious son insults to the elders in the words, “I don’t want to listen to your lecture!” A sister complains to a brother, “Oh! I never imagined this from you.” A wife irritates the feelings of a husband as “What sort of big work that you have that can’t wait for you!” A mother is annoyed and says, “What the world would speak about for bringing up a son like you!” A grand father shouts and says, “You have hung my head in shame.” A husband quarrels with a wife, “What do you think you are?” A parent warns the collegian girl or son, “I dislike your friend circle or your company.” A child feeling avoidance says to elders, “You have time for everyone but me!” A grandmother fires her own son, “You are a betrayer of relationships and family values.” A mother to a daughter or a son shouts crying in the extreme words as “I wonder how you were born to me!” An uncle says to any junior in the family as “To break every rule of the family and denial is your usual practice.” And somewhere, a wife threatens her husband, “I won’t keep my mouth shut to keep the family peace.”

I recall having read a poem of Alfred Lord Tennyson during my PG study days in early 1970s. Let me give you a quick extract of the said poem. The poet’s feelings are so deeply hurt with his daughter’s mate selection that he expresses his hatred in these words as “Come not, when I am dead / To drop thy foolish tears upon my grave.” In the last stanza of the poem, the words are as “Wed whom thou wilt, but I am sick of time / And I desire to rest / Pass on, weak heart, and leave me alone where I lie / Go by, go by.” My good Readers are advised to refer my previous Articles “No honor in Honor-killing!” and “Life Partner”, if missed, to co-relate it with the burning issue presented here in Alfred’s poem. The most of the communities throughout the world have to face such situations in their households on the issue of ‘marriage’ where sometimes parents become the enemies of their children or the children consider their parents their enemies with their differences of opinions or contrasts of the angles of seeing the life.

I have written somewhere in my previous Article that to rule a country and run a family are equally difficult. The key person of a household who may be either a male or a female is always fully capable to deal with all external affairs of the life successfully; but when the critical situation of internal family problems comes to him or her, they have either to fall on knees to surrender themselves or resist against the problem. Both the extremes are risky – the former makes the family discipline weaker and the latter results into the lifelong hatred of the person responsible for disharmony in family environment. Some middle way should be sort out to ease the situation and for that very purpose mutual understanding and preparedness of hearing each other are necessitated. Purity of intention and sincerity in action are surly to bring good results for the solution of any type of family problem.

Now let us have a look on some principal root causes of disharmony in a household. First of all, the elder people of the family should love all impartially and must set a good example of good manners and behaviors towards them. James A. Baldwin has said, “Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them.” Can any alcoholic father or mother prevent their children from going to the path of such a harmful habit in all aspects? One more thing is that the parents should not mistake to silence the children all the time, but allow them to express what they wish to say. Parents should not become heavy with loaded ego and they should be good attentive particularly towards kids by sparing some hours even from their busy schedules of work. All members should sit together at least a single time in a day, if possible, particularly at the dinner time. This habit is the best tool to bring all to nearness of one another. The culture of a household can be judged well on its dining table.

A true home has a function of making their children good, honest and obedient. Children are such plants which cannot be uprooted if the proper seeds are sown and proper nourishment is provided for a few years. Children should not be made handicapped by making their lives easy. Offering more services than they are entitled to have is the greatest drawback in raising up the children properly. Bette Davis has said, “If you want your children to keep their feet on the ground, put some responsibilities on their shoulders.” Just like filling an ocean into an earthen pot, I may say that the parents should teach limits to their children. They may be given all gustatory treats, but never any luxurious ones which may be too much expensive and beyond own economical capacity.

Summing up, I would like to say in brief that all the members of the family should try sincerely to create credibility among one another so that nobody may think that somebody in the household is his or her enemy. To make a home paradise is in the hands of particularly a mother who may be called as the queen of the kitchen. A funny slogan is such as “A Happy Mom equals a Happy Home.” A father is also like a king of his household which is just as a small scale kingdom. “As the ruler, so the subject” is well known to all. Love, Faith, Self-discipline and Responsibility are the key words to make a home happy or free.

Hope my above thoughts may help you to protect your home from attacks both within and without, without any doubt; and, have peace and harmony in your household.

Wish you a happy home, my good Readers.

-Valibhai Musa
Dtd.:
16th March, 2008

 
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Posted by on March 16, 2008 in Character, Essay, Life, MB

 

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