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National Development blueprint it at home and school

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The progress and advancement of Sri Lanka in all its spheres depend on all its citizens getting a wholesome education. Children spend much of their time in the classroom and in the school for various extracurricular activities. In today’s education system, schools focus much emphasis on the aspects of scholastic achievements and passes in examinations and the achievements of the various sports teams of the school. Great care and concern is concentrated on a percentage of students.  It is good for the school authorities to find out for themselves how much attention is paid to the students who are considered ‘good’ in studies and those considered ‘good’ in sports and how they get special persons designated to coach them.

Of those who pass the Advanced Level examination only a small percentage enter universities or other tertiary institutes of education. When students leave school after they complete their Ordinary Level or Advanced Level, they either go for some skills training or apprenticeship or go for any job that comes their way. Besides these, there are those who do not even sit the Ordinary Level examination and those who drop out of school at Grade 8, 9 and 10 due to various reasons including poverty which of course prevents some attending school altogether.

Besides acquiring study habits and sports habits, there are other qualities that students acquire during their school life. Students in some schools acquire good civic qualities and imbibe good social habits while students in other schools acquire anti social qualities and habits. Obviously students in the former schools get a nurturing and a formation while in the latter type of school the students get ignored and uncared for by teachers and imbibe unacceptable social qualities. When left to themselves, these students give in to their raw feelings and misbehave even in public. This kind of bad behavior accompanied by use of filthy words is exhibited during school matches when defeat brings to the surface uncontrolled envy, jealousy, anger and quarrelsomeness. They have not learnt mutual respect, patience and self-control.

Human development should strive for harmonious relationships and tolerance in a society of multiple pluralities, between peers, young and old, between men and women, of all religions, classes and backgrounds. Today we need to develop ways to bring about community fellowship by engaging the adults in reconciliation and in educating the young towards service to one another in unity and peace.

  This phenomenon of social disorder has become quite widespread to the point that we cannot call ourselves a civilized, cultured and refined people. The campaign preceding this year’s presidential election itself was extremely uncivilized. Those in authority have made use of their position to unethically and immorally enrich themselves and by-pass the law to help their kith and kin, friends and favorites. In such situations the yearning for justice fires the imagination of youth.

The successful outcome of programs of national development projects depend on order and discipline.  Therefore, a disciplined approach to any serious work has to be instilled from the earliest levels of schooling.  

The importance and the need for quality integral education, training in professional skills in all spheres of human activity has to be focused on. This means continuous updating and a hands-on approach that strives for competency, efficiency and consistency.  This project of soberly and confidently facing all the challenges before us is the task of integrated and mature men and women of well formed character.

Structures and laws by themselves do not create well developed human beings. Wholesome human beings with integrity and unblemished character do not come out of a sophisticated study of law or science. A ‘motivational spark’ has to be lit early.  This has to happen either at home or in school so that each one is helped to discover an outline of a purpose in life and is directed from within.

It is in the home and school that values of speaking the truth, being just and honest, graceful and sincere, loving and compassionate, kind and peaceful are learnt. It is in the home and school that the seeds of sharing, mutual forgiveness, generosity, magnanimity, gratitude, mutual help and respect, concern for the poor, uprightness, sacrifice and achievement, fearlessness and courage are imbibed.

Can we not in Sri Lanka inflame the weak spark in the hearts of one another and make of our fellowmen a caring community of brothers and sisters who love one another?  Is it not possible to inaugurate a system of education that brings forth well formed, well integrated, truthful, just, selfless human beings who are assets to the Country? It is possible if the parliamentarians presently bickering over preservation of their power blocks were to prioritize the institution of the family which is neglected and the system of education which is in a blind alley of corruption and confusion and found wanting in motivation and clear direction.

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