Syrian Education: part 1

Syria's conflict from a rural level

We hear a lot in the news, in the media, about education and about the educational system progress, and about plans to improve the educational system in any place and time, for example in 2012, there was huge concentration on the subject of education and huge investments has been made globally, we saw TV shows totally dedicated for the subject of education and growing demand on educational institutions, around the world. But yet it seams education and the big hopes and dreams that it used to offer to generations started to fade.

People are not enthusiastic about education and its benefits as they used to be in the past, and this is not a global case, this is a case of some geographic places, on earth, and its intensity can differ from place to place, and from street to street and from family to family.

In this article I want to answer to a question of -why some places on earth emerged from poverty and tyranny to progressive and peaceful places, and some other places still struggle with the most basic needs and wants of life and still not satisfy them?

Of course this subject is so huge to tackle that it needs a book of 600 pages to answer to give the total answer but I will minimize the subject to three parts and finish it that way.

The subject of study will be the education in the middle east and particularly in Syria, the main points of the article are :

1-      The educational system itself.

2-      the people(student-teacher) relationship.

3-      The educational environment.

4-      conclusion.

As I mentioned earlier, education used to give rosy future for the people that used to believe in it, and implement its laws and requirements. People in the middle east has gone from huge waves of change in the last 50 years or so, from the ottoman repression to a colonial past and finally to independence, in this period the educational system in these countries has gone to many changes, some countries has gone to a unstable changes which made generations confused psychologically and mentally ,like the Arab spring for example , it was moved mainly by confused youth and mostly educated some of them burned their self and some was depressed with the prolonged economic recession of these middle eastern countries , as the west knows, the middle east has gone from third world transition, to a some kind of a second world, but with the absence of the job markets, that it was promised to provide to the people of that nations. In Syria in particular the Syrian youth Is well known with its energy and enthusiasm of work and ambition, but the educational system in use didn’t provide the opportunity to invest this power and use it in its most efficient way possible. The system was first implemented in the French colonial time and little has been changed since then. It is merely concentrated on repetition of information as it is written in the book, as long as you write it as it is, you get the marks, if you express your own mind and idea you will get not more than a ZERO. The biggest benefit of the Syrian educational system that it gives education free but, the cost of free is much more than free to the government and for the employed people , because the total budget is centralized. this system is inherited from the socialist past of the 1960s .the educational System, went into a lot of improvements but the core of the educational system remained the same it is like an old building that you keep painting it with a new paint to show that it is still new…, the ministry of education, which is situated in Damascus, still faces a tough decisions on how to spend that budget accurately in this educational system, this system has to be improved the public schooling system in order to improve it needs funding, the funding will come from, privatizing the public schools partly, it means taking money from students and redistribute it in a more modern style, specially raising the quality in the wealthy parts of the country and make it governmental private system and send the money to improve the poor areas of the country .another major improvement will be cutting the barrier of scientific and literature categorization and implement more specific categorization. With the final end of diversifying professions, to create students with unique talent and knowledge. Also more intensive care has to be given to the public realtions of the ministry, to contact the schools personally, giving them more training, help and push to progress in order to fulfill their duty in the best way possible, creating more TV shows and educational programs, like competitions between different schools live on television to bring the competitive spirit to these schools, discussion boards , discussing the problems of the students and their point of view about the educational system and the way to improve it further .also the educational system has to give importance to the physically and mentally advanced students, to make their progress go much faster than their fellow students which will benefit the whole if implemented in a right way, the smart or talented poor man paradox should be deleted which is a very common thing in the third world countries, the class sizes has to go down English language has to become a must, French language has to go away. The final test system has to go for good either. Bringing instead the multiple choice system, with very specialized questions for each specialized school and department. The total fiscal spending has to rise on education in order to raise the quality of education and not the quantity. To create specialized work force, to raise the total wealth of the nation in this order of work. Foreign educational investments have to be accepted because every progress of every Syrian citizen will be reflected on the progress of the whole.

The people of Syria are difficult thing to explain, because of the diversity of the population, there are differences in ethnicity, religion, culture, political orientation etc…, which makes it difficult to have a full view of this whole number of human beings. But the most common characteristic is that how hard they try to escape from it they will never succeed .like warm heartiness and communication skills. What this means that people of Syria like to communicate with each other so much that you feel when you are speaking with one person you are speaking with the whole. All in all, diversity is a good thing for creativity and innovation, but it needs collateral understanding, it needs people who are ready to find common grounds, in their small or big differences, in view in order to create a better Syria for all of Syrians. But to find those kind of people who have the character of forgiving and accepting the other as the way they are , without guging, is difficult in each place and country, that why conflicts arise and clashes begin, taking with it the life of the innocent to the grave. Different parts of Syria, have different levels of education and willingness of progress and modernity,it doesn’t matter the place of people or where they live,it matters who they are and what culture they represent and in what environment they spent their most of their lives which in time will shape them according to that particular culture, no matter if that cultural bias will produce something positive, or something negative. Like the color of black and white, there are different shades of gray between them, the same with people and their willingness to learn. Tocreate teaching books which will satisfy the needs of the whole, is something impossible indeed, because each region, town, street, has its developmental pace, which is difficult to change with a stroke of a stick. The point in here is each geographic place on earth is highly connected to its developmental past in all aspects which can be boredom to development or can be a way forward to it. Like the society which has paternalistic past will produce more advanced paternalistic institutions, accept in cases of huge changes (political, economic , social),which disturbs the entire process, the results of this changes can be a new way of thinking, behaving or new economic order of economic distribution. This new sign of change can and will demolish what was previously made in order to rise in a new and better shape and form. What was in the past shall stay in the past, the only thing that humans can do is building for the future, we can’t change the past but we can change the future. And sometimes humans can only watch and talk about it, without being able to affect any results on future also, like the times of war, we see sane people become insane this is related directly with the inability of people to change the deformed course, that their country or people is taking, because what heart likes seldom be liked by the mind.

(to be continued)

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