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I was asked to speak at AIESEC’s Youth Speak forum in Bahrain, and since I am an advocate for Education, they asked me to inspire the students and youth about my futuristic views on how education should be and how that links with SDG4 (Quality Education).

SDG mean the sustainable development goals of the United Nations (http://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/sustainable-development-goals/) these are 17 goals that require us to remove poverty, provide quality education, improves lives on earth by improving climate change, gender equality and so on.

Bahrain had Ratified, adopted, and implemented the MDGs (Millennium development goals) that called for ending extreme poverty and better education for all (amongst others), however until 2015 we still had extreme poverty, gender inequality, climate change problems and so on.  SO the United nations decided that by 2030 we must completely eradicate these symptoms and make our earth the best place to live in (in a nutshell).

 

Well you know that i am a dreamer, and since I have seen a lot in my past 60 years, i felt that talking about a dream school is a must.  and here it is:

AIESEC conference October 21-22 2016

To start with: I don’t like to start with jokes, but this joke was so compelling and relevant to our subject:

A teacher was asking a child a question in Math (if you had two dollars, and I took away one dollar, how many dollars is left with you?, the child cries and asks the teacher to give him the dollar that he had taken off him, the worse is yet to come, the mother came in when she heard the child crying and asked the teacher to give back the dollar)

So, this is the tragedy in our education system in a nutshell

The Youth are my inspiration, I always look up to the youth as their energy and passion gets to me and make me energetic and passionate too.  So ne of my students had suggested to me that I must sign up for twitter and that was in 2009, since then I have 18700 tweets, most of them are about something that happened, happening or will happen in education. If I download and print all the articles that I had read and tweeted about I will have no less than 18700 pages of information that is either important if we need to know more and do better or just ignore if we believe in the statuesque!  I have also read so many books fiction and non-fiction about education and learning, have moderated many sessions in international education conferences and came to realize one thing, we must Change if we want to be the best in the world, hence my 18700 articles that I had remembered to tweet about and god only knows how many I had actually read!

 

In 2009 also I attended a conference on quality in education, and I asked the question of why we do not ask the children what they want, as I believe that we should never underestimate the value of their opinion.  This led me to do a study on how children create knowledge.  I sent out a survey to schools and universities and asked the kids simple questions about education/learning and their suggestions on what we need to do to have the best schools.  The replies were amazing. I can share them here with you and in fact I wanted to do a PHD thesis on this piece of research, which is proving a bit difficult, but it will happen.

 

So, I will continue to learn and criticize for the sake of improving our learning institutions. Please notice here that I am not calling them education centers but learning centers. People go there to learn new things and not to be educated. Education is passive while learning is active. One learns more when it’s a two-way road.

 

 

Quality in Education is not just a pretty classroom decorated with lovely pictures, it’s the type that arouses the interest in the students and let them think, the type that will inspire children to make changes to the world.  Quality education is driving the sense of research in children’s path so they find the best way to enjoy our land, our culture and ourselves.  Quality education is the reason this industry is growing. And we need to have a handle on it.

 

Thus, If I was someone important in the education field, I would do the following:

Learning Centres VS Education Centres?

  • I have read so many books fiction and non-fiction about education and learning, have moderated many sessions in international education conferences and came to realize one thing, we must CHANGE if we want to be the best in the world.
  • So, I will continue to learn and criticize for the sake of improving our learning institutions.
  • Please notice here that I am not calling them education centers but learning centers. People go to schools to learn new things and not to be educated.
  • One learns more when it’s a two-way road.
  • Life is full of exciting facts and figures, I wish that in my lifetime I can see people being looked at in terms of how much have they achieved in their lives instead of what color, gender, race, sect, age or religion
  • I would love to see world peace in my lifetime.
  • Please remember that I am 60 years old but still learning

Is it just a pretty classroom?

 

 

 

 

 

  • Quality in Education is not just a pretty classroom decorated with lovely pictures,
  • It is not just technology
  • It’s the type that arouses the interest in the students and let them think,
  • The type that will inspire children to make changes to the world.
  • Quality education is driving the sense of research in children’s path so they find the best way to enjoy our land, our culture and ourselves.
  • Quality education is the reason this learning industry is growing. And we need to have a handle on it.

Our Teachers

  • The teachers will be facilitators
  • Learning is experiential and not looking at the rear of the teacher while she or he are writing on the board
  • Students will deliver the class and the teachers will be advising if there is a mistake
  • The teachers will be tested and evaluated annually to know if they love what they do
  • Our future teachers will have to be the first in their class and entry to teachers college must be competitive
  • Teaching will be a great profession that all of us want to be part of it

The Curriculum

  • There is no set curriculum as we are learning new things every day. (Through themes such as plants, rocks, animals, etc)
  • Learning will be through themes (such as: today we are studying about flowers and bees)
  • There are no particular subjects for Arabic, English, math and science everything is done via projects and that will include group learning and project publishing
  • Emphasis on RESEARCH and self study
  • Emphasis on Entrepreneurship and fundraising

 

Debates, dialogues and stories

  • There will be daily debates and conferences run by the students
  • There will be a “show and tell” sessions on a daily basis
  • Students will be encouraged to publish their work
  • Stories are a must, every day a story is either read or written by the students, end of the year all stories ae published in books and sold to parents
  • No story should be neglected or criticized

Reading, Trades and Art

  • Reading must be encouraged and directed.
  • Art is an integral part of the curriculum (all types of art, including ceramic, pottery, sculpture etc)
  • Inspiring the artistic inclinations for the students
  • Skills and trades are part of the curriculum and it must be taught (carpentry, metal work, electrical work etc)
  • Mathematics is taught by application to show why we need it)

Trips, Camps and Sports

  • Traveling and knowing about other cultures is part of the curriculum
  • Camping in the desert every term. To learn about the creatures and plants that live in the desert (learning by experiencing our landscape)
  • Visiting the archeological sites to know about our history
  • Strong emphasis on sports

Community service, Environment and Careers

  • Community service is part of the curriculum and no one passes school without producing results from community service work
  • Environmental learning starts from year one of the school so it’s ingrained in the minds of the children
  • Career path is detected from young age and students are directed towards their chosen careers and specific studies that will make them achieve it

Languages

  • Every Language we learn is a new tongue
  • We must provide most of the languages in schools
  • This will allow the students to attend universities around Europe instead of wasting time after school or in holidays to learn German, French, Spanish or Italian

How will the future schools look like?

  • The schools will have open spaces and will be green buildings
  • Cafe style classrooms, open schools with no boundary walls
  • Classrooms are open and even parents can attend them

Closing the Gap

  • At present students need to spend two years before they can go to university
  • This is because our education doesn’t’t match what western universities need

 

By the way, I am not the only one that is complinng about the education and learning system in our countries, almost every man, child and woman I talk to have some sort of complaint about it.  See this article for example the author who is a professor at a university also has complaints and suggestions, but how do we apply these suggestions? That is the big deal.

The whole world is complaining

  • OECD complains every year
  • WISE- Doha conference complains
  • Bahrain Education Project (stopped now) used to complain
  • This guy complained https://www.youtube.com/shared?ci=P0yAwmS9QNw
  • All the ministries in the Gulf complain and spent billions to repair
  • North America Complains
  • Europe complain
  • Australasia complain
  • And much more

Finally,

  • I want to enter a school and be inspired by the students! Inspiration is stimulation and what I will see will ignite the spark in me to do more in the education/learning field
  • The ministry of education will be called the ministry of learning and development of the mind
  • Education is time dependent but learning is lifelong
  • Education is passive while learning is active

My Wish:

  • Life is full of exciting facts and figures, I wish that in my lifetime I can see people being looked at in terms of how much have they achieved in their lives instead of what color, gender, race, sect, age or religion
  • I would love to see world peace in my lifetime.
  • Please remember, I am 60 years old but still learning

 

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