The fighting with guns has ended, but it is yet to begin with the pen. Education is undeniably the most serious concern for many as it holds the key to the future of Libya. Most of the schools in the whole country have not even started the New Year course as the curriculum is not yet ready.
The preparation of the curriculum is not the lone worry for the administrators as bringing the students back to school will also take some effort. The trauma of war can be too much for young children to handle and it will require more than the usual desire to learn something new in school.
The education system in Libya needs to be revamped, and needs to be done quickly without wasting any more time. It would have been best if the National Transitional Council, NTC, already had somebody working on the new curriculum since the early days of the uprising in Benghazi so that the new school-year could have started in time; that never happened.
The standard of education should be lifted to such level that it could easily compete with the best in the world. There is no dearth of brilliant minds in Libya but you have to provide them at least with a satisfactory environment in which to groom their talent.
This is the bottom line of course. If they are educated in a competitive environment with a high level of education, there is absolutely no doubt that they will flourish in all disciplines of science and arts.
I have had the pleasure to talk with some of the promising students in the Tripoli University and I was amazed at the level of their dedication. They all raised the same question on the standard of education they were getting over the years.
The level of education was extremely poor during the 42 years of Gaddafi regime. The subjects taught were outdated and the curriculum that was devised by his minions focused on one main idea, that is, how to keep the minds of the Libyan people closed.
Ruining the level of education was one of Gaddafi's many dastardly acts. By restricting the approach of Libyan youth to the high level of education he strengthened his grip on the country as he was sure that without top-notch education nobody would ever be able to realise the fact that he has enslaved them.
Some people were lucky enough to get good education at the same time that they were being educated in the military colleges where the standard was comparatively high compared to the civilian ones.
The difference in standard was not incidental but was done on purpose, because the graduates were to serve in the military. Education is one of the main reasons that February 17 occurred.
Right to education is a must but it is up to the government to make sure the level of education is at par with the very best in the world thus ensuring a secure and peaceful environment, where children could come and learn. It is also the government’s responsibility to ensure that all the schools met a certain criteria so that students are equipped with the modern knowledge to face the world head-on, no matter where they study.
It will be really important to see what changes will be made to the existing curriculum, only if it is to be somehow retained . The making of the new curriculum is of grave importance and it will be interesting to see how the interim education minister handles this issue as it will play a key role in forming the minds of young children, the future of Libya.
It is undoubtedly a daunting task but it has to be completed in time in order for children to be able to put this all behind them and go straight back to their studies. But it is not only about studies. It is also about the mental health of children.
This revolution has grown out of the blood of thousands. It has affected every household. It will be next to impossible to find a family that has not been affected by this revolution. Therefore, it is extremely necessary to take the children out of all this sorrow and gloominess and give them a perfect environment where they can, not only study but also think!
Teaching is a noble profession and it goes without saying that teachers have a very important role to play in the upcoming days. They will not only have to teach the children and youths, but also to bring them back to life. It will be hard. One cannot just snap his finger out of the blue and succeed. But the teachers can still make it happen.
The new curriculum could only provide one with the reading material but it takes the teacher to
explain and make the student understand. Teachers will not only have to teach the next generation Science or Arts but also tolerance, discipline and unity. That way the students don’t only shine in education but in all aspects of life, and also contribute in making our world a better place to live in.
I was recently told by a professor that most of his students are horrible in basic mathematics. That's because of the sub-standard material they were taught in the primary and secondary schools.
The change must come from the grassroots level and the people in-charge must ensure that the new books are not only of the highest standard but also very gripping and rich in the culture that students are inclined to study.
Education should be the foremost priority not only for the NTC but also for all future
Education is the foundation of the country and one cannot afford to experiment with it.
We should do our duty to empower the youth by giving them the best possible education and enabling them to dream big.
As the going says, half of the work is done by dreaming; if you can dream it, you
can certainly achieve it.