Monday, May 21, 2007

Empowering Fiji’s future “crap detectors”

courtesy of EnufDictatorship..... a suggestion for a long term solution.


“The solution of adult problems tomorrow depends in large measure upon the way our children grow up today. There is no greater insight into the future than recognizing that, when we save children, we save ourselves.”
Margaret Mead

In the past weeks and month, either in Fiji or around the world citizens have in some ways acknowledged and celebrated our children and our youth. In Fiji, celebrations have included clean-up campaigns (the garbage kind), games, mini lectures on community policing, training on developing an understanding of union rights, etc.

We all believe and support the idea that our youths of today are the leaders of tomorrow. Therefore, if we have to consider our current problems as a country, we also have to consider how we are preparing those we believe to be the future leaders of our country. We have to ask ourselves are we providing the best skills, knowledge, characteristics and attitudes that will develop these children and youth into wise, successful and responsible leaders. In short, are we really empowering our children, in order, for them to be able to lead our country to a prosperous future?

No one disputes that education starts from home. On the other hand, we also believe that “it takes a village to educate a child.” To this end, we believe and support the idea that schooling contributes to this education. Therefore, we have built schools where we hope that our children and youth will further develop the necessary lifelong skills, knowledge, characteristics and attitudes they need to prepare themselves for their future whether it be gracing the corridors of parliament, government offices, educational institutions, hospitals, financial institutions or toiling the land and sea. Most importantly to consider as well is that the decisions these youths will make in their future will affect those of us who are currently middle-aged or approaching old age.
Is our school system empowering children and youth?
Ernest Hemingway in one of his early interviews was asked to identify the characteristics required for a person to become a “great writer.” After Hemingway disparaged a few possibilities provided by the frustrated interviewer, the interviewer finally asked, “Isn’t there one essential ingredient that you can identify?” Hemingway replied, “Yes, there is. In order to be a great writer a person must have a built-in, shockproof crap detector.”

As I reflect on the current situation at home, I can honestly say that Fiji has suffered enough “crap” for so long. The “crap” I am referring to here includes all the wrong, inconvenient, intolerable financial, cultural and political mistakes, which have allowed our country to “run down”, to reduce to chaos and uselessness. These include amongst other things nepotism, corruption and coups. Norbert Wiener calls this “entropy.”

I then wonder is the schooling system, which is seen as the second most important institution assisting in the children/youth’s education dynamic, interesting and “new” enough to contribute in the promotion of empowering them to become experts at “crap detecting.” By “crap detecting”, it means “people who have been educated to recognize change, to be sensitive to problems by change, and who have the motivation and courage to sound alarms when entropy accelerates to a dangerous degree.”

How can we empower children then?
When children are empowered, not only are they aware of their freedom but also they develop a will to exercise it, and the intellectual power and perspective to do so effectively. Therefore, our children have to be encouraged to question, question, and question. That is, empower them to be active inquirers and problem solvers.

These questioning skills are developed through inquiry teaching and learning. A review of the methods of teaching currently used in schools and the content should be undertaken. The traditional didactic, textbook only, chalk and board, teacher-knows-all approach should be changed to transformative inquiry, all different sources, teachers-and-students-are-all-learners approach. The content of what to be taught should be relevant, significant and up-to-date.

Children bring into the classroom a wealth of knowledge from their own experiences. These have to be taken into account when teaching them. They are not empty vessels waiting to be filled-up. In addition, beginning from early childhood education (kindergartens), children have to be encouraged to take action. Modest things that are already in place in schools like picking up rubbish, cleaning classrooms, etc have to be extended to school/class/group/individual projects, whereby children research issues that affect them like poverty, illiteracy, truancy, children’s rights, animal rights, health, etc. Then they should make plans to take action in their community either to raise awareness of these issues or to combat them.

Moreover, the development of attitudes like respect, tolerance, empathy, etc and personal characteristics like caring, open-mindedness, etc have to be specifically targeted when teaching academic and non-academic lessons either inside or outside of the classroom boundaries.

Finally yet importantly, parent education have to be encouraged and promoted because after all parents are partners in education.

To conclude, I leave you youths of Fiji with a quote from the late US President Ronald Reagan,
“We (Fiji) need you; we (Fiji) need your youth, your strength and your idealism, to help us make right what is wrong.”

God bless our youths! God bless Fiji!


Agent99 said...

Youths of Fiji! Now is your chance to stand up and speak out for your freedom. Blog it and blog it and blog it. I'm not recommending you stand up in public and scream it at the top of your lungs.. they are everywhere and you have no more rights. Nobody can protect you. So. Blog it. Speak out. Roar!! This is your future at risk! Your education, your health and your families and friends are all suffering. A great wrong has been done to the people of Fiji and there will be no peace until it is made right. Fiji has always been the peaceful island of the pacific. Not any more. You can stand up for your freedom now or forever hold your peace - when it's too late. Blog your hearts out and let the world hear your outrageousness!! Speak out for our motherlands freedom. Let the people vote for who they wish to run the country. Nobody on this planet has the right to rule by intimidation. We have come too far to go back in time. and the time to speak. is. NOW.

Agent99 said...

Just one other main point. We've heard disturbing stories about kailoma's being picked on by the indigenious fijians. Apparently, they are being blamed for the current illegal regime. We cannot stress enough how important it is for you to realise that we do NOT condone the current government. We also believe in democracy and freedom and for the right to vote for who we believe is the best person for the job. We have all heard of very dear friends of ours being bashed and picked on. Visitors who have come returned to Oz are telling all and sundry of how they are being victimised and bullied. We plead with you for your understanding. Please. We are all from the same country and we love it just as much as you do. Take your aggression out on the current illegal regime - not on us. Please remember that Fiji will always be our homeland and we care about what happens to it. Our family and friends are also there fighting for their freedom just as you are. If we all stayed united we will win! Togetherness Foreverness!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Today was the first day for me to finally look at the various blogs, and read for myself the various things that have been written about our current situation.

Fijian Black I commend you for your courage and nobility in speaking out! The people of our nation must be informed of both sides of the matter, and not just the lies and other untold blasphemies that the current ILLEGAL powers have been spreading around, on our television screens, on the airwaves and such.

What have we come to?

Where do we go from here?

There have been a great many things that Frank Bainimarama has done Illegally that I Know personally, things that have been done to family members of mine.

It's so painful to see what's happening to us, to a country we hold so dear.

Praying seems not enough! Im anxious for something to HAPPEN and we fight back!

It's a sad thing to admit, but I am embarrassed now to call myself Fijian considering the fact that we all can't seem to stick to the system, and the mentality that infects us is"that to get into power, you could simply pick the speedy route and stage a COUP!"

When will this mentality change? When will we as Fijians ( both the indeginous and Indo-fijians) realise that we can't keep resorting to this sort of childish schoolyard tactics!!!!!!!!!!!!

When will they all GROW UP????!!!!

Anonymous said...

A National Day For Prayer. Say a prayer for Fiji tomorrow citizens.Thursday, June 14. I will be at Sukuna Park @ 1: p.m wearing black. Before you break for lunch, wherever you are say a prayer for all the suffering and hardship people are going through today, those without jobs, those without food and children who cannot go to school. Those who have lost loved ones, lets pray for them. Sa cakacaka tiko na vu ni ca e Viti. Meda masulaki na noda Viti lomani. Kemuni na noda mai vavalagi, please say a prayer at the appointed hour. If you can go without food on that day and break after your prayers, believe that there is power in prayer, then let God do the talking after that. Pass this message around.
God Bless Fiji.

newsfiji said...

Fijian Black - where are you?? This is the time we need like minded people like you here and ready for action!

bath mate said...

I like it very much.


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