Sunday, May 27, 2007


Sitting on my desk studying, I got this phone call from a friend, nothing serious, just the normal chit -chat, I had a pencil in my hand and some paper in front of me, I started painting this meaningless drawing... I am done with the phone, I found that I have a nice outline, maybe I should finish it..... My mother comes in a while to find me working on it, she asks,"what is that?!"
I said I don't know, it's nothing I guess, so she says your nothing looks good, finish it..... So you find me working on it for a while till I realized that I need to go on studying, I leave it and decide to get back to it later......

Later that night, my parents came out from outside, we sat to have dinner"actually I had dinner alone since they already ate", anyway, I finished dinner and thought I can finish my drawing.Went to my room, got the pencil and the paper and started again...

Now this is not why I am writing now... you see, we got into this discussion about educational system in Egypt!!

I have been to many schools, about 5 plus college, they were all dramatically different in so many ways but the comparison we made was between specific two, the last two actually. I spent 3 years in the first one and 4 in the other...

Now, the first one was very much concerned with external activities and I mean by that sports and art work mainly, it had a large library and play grounds and so on... I can say that I spent the most full years of my life there, I can't remember how many art exhibitions I had, the poetry competitions, the sports tournaments etc.

I was an active child, I have to admit, not every one was like that but my point here is that I actually had the space to be one, I had teachers to guide me and I want to acknowledge that I had one hell of a librarian "Ms Shadia", she was in charge of most of the art activities but she was more of my friend who taught me a lot of things....

So far all seems great, so what is the problem?! The educational level!!
I had a range of 96-97% when it came to my total marks! This was not acceptable for my parents, they wanted THE BEST!

I was going to hi-school by then, and hi-school determines what college you end up in and consequently what future you have!! I was set to be a doctor since I can remember, this meant I had to raise my marks to be able to get to the exact college, actually the exact university they wanted!

To sum all, I was moved to another school...

This one had the perfect record of marks and college applicators, superb teachers and most of all, not anyone can get in there, only the top of the top!!

I got in , and it was almost the complete opposite of the first school, very concerned with stuffing information in your head, very ignorant to the artistic creative part of the child's mind!!

4 years I spent there, always studying, always the top of my class, full marks and very well known among all teachers for being the perfect student "there is no bragging here :P, just stating facts".

4 years I barely had any activity other than studying, barely playing any sports or drawing inside my school.... I had to keep all my activities for the summer, and that means almost not reading a couple of books in 9 months!

I qualified for the college I wanted, I am studying there now!

Now the discussion was: is it acceptable that a child is mind set on a particular aspect of his educational life and neglecting all the others??! Do we put our children in a school that we entrust to develop their minds to find that after 11 years of education, I got a copying machine?!
Does qualifying for a decent college mean that a person has a healthy well developed mind??!
If you got to choose between having one of the previously mentioned schools, what would your choice be??!

In Egypt, most of the parents will go for school number 2, a lot of reasons, I am considerate for some of them, I know it is a tough life we are living, if you don't get to be a doctor or an engineer, you won't get a job "as if doctors an engineers do find jobs that easily", there is nothing like a proud parent watching his kid graduate from a nice college and so on!

But are we really willing to let something like that be inflicted on the brain functions of our children?! A kid is a kid, do you want to deprive him from the sweet and innocent joys of life because you are worried about his graduation??!

I say let'em play, let'em live, don't spoil them or leave them without good education but please stop creating generations of copying machines!! We already have loads of young people who were raised this way and end up depressed because they don't have the creative touch in their lives!

I don't say let us all be Mozart or Chopin, but at least let this child when he grows up be able to look back at his childhood days at school and say I had fun while I was learning, not look back and all he would be able to remember is some frowning faces and piles of books stuffed with information no one cares about!

A friend of mine told me that I should ask if anyone sees other options, so I am open to any comments!


mohamed said...

For me I would say, everything is wrong, first of all getting high marks doesn't need all that effort.

Beside it should be on creating things not memorizing things.

I mean come on tell me the difference between a boy who sleeps from 9 to 6 (9 hours) and go to school learn new things go to the lab do things by his own hand , go to the school work shop create whatever he wants , get marks
for projects not for tests
and finally going back home having the rest of the day to have fun
do whatever he or she wants
draw!! play!!
live their childhood
having healthy life.

And on the other side
THE EGYPTIAN STUDENT studying all the time and ending up with not pretty good marks. And having parents screaming and yelling at them if they saw them playing.

Doesn't get enough sleep mostly end up sleeping 2 or 3 hours,
and of course no time for hobbies and talents.

And of course no healthy environment or life at all or even food.

I won't tell you which child would you choose to be, instead I would say look to the two countries having these two children.

Think for a while which one have brighter future? Which one would control everything after all? Well I will let you think about it.

Konfused Kid said...

Hey are you Iraqi? ashu most of the links to the right are concerning our accursed country? What's the deal? Nothing happening in Egypt of note?

I really liked your header...very eye-pleasing.

Glory Rose! said...

hey Konfused Kid, thank you first and yes I am half Iraqi that's why I am interested in the "cause"... there are stuff happening in Egypt but I guess I haven't seen many good blogs about it :)
I really like your blog too, your last post was hailarious :)