29 May 2010

"I am not a Muslim......." The interesting developments that could follow.......

Tonight surely will be marked as a dark and a sad night in the history of Maldives. Just few hours back, a Maldivian announced himself as "not a Muslim" during the question and answer time of Dr. Zakir Naik. The announcement that was seen by the almost 10,000-15000 people present in the gathering and a lot of Maldivians watching live in TVM shocked the whole country.

It is sad, but speaking very frankly, i was not shocked. I just felt that this is the untold news that was told. This is the reality that we had to face one day or another. I as a Maldivian am against it, and feels very sad for that. Yet, now my purpose of this post is not this development, but another development that could arise due to this.

WHAT SHOULD WE DO TO HIM.
I am not a lawyer, nor a student of law. I was shown this interesting development by the Former Attorney General Azima Shakoor while I was online from facebook. Thank You, Azima for sharing this.

He said he is not a Muslim. According to Constitution...

1. Article 9. (d) Despite the provisions of article (a) a non-Muslim may not become a citizen of the Maldives.

If then now is he a Maldivian? Who are Maldivians?

2. Article 9. (a) The following persons are citizens of the Maldives:

1. citizens of the Maldives at the

commencement of this Constitution;

2. children born to a citizen of the Maldives;

and

3. foreigners who, in accordance with the

law, become citizens of the Maldives.


If then where does he belong? He was and a Maldivian for all his age till his announced it. Simple, remove his citizenship as he no more is in "our way". What does constitution says?

3. The same article 9. (b) No citizen of the Maldives may be deprived of citizenship.

Then?

Then lets take him to justice. If he is not coming back to faith what should we do?

If so again will it be proved in Supreme court that he is guilty?

4. Article 51 (h) to be presumed innocent until proven guilty
beyond a reasonable doubt.

So?????? He is A Maldivian? A Maldivian can not be a Non- Muslim! He says Not a Muslim? If then has to be proved
beyond a reasonable doubt. It seems what he said is not enough for this either.
So is this the next big job for our Supreme Court to do?



24 May 2010

Dhivehi And Islam. YES or NO???



With the news of the idea of government to make study of Dhivehi language and Islamic studies as optional in A Level, many started asking questions about this. A lot of people questioned the aim of the sudden change in policy and more importantly the outcomes that could arise. Today, there are argument that are in favour and otherwise to this new development. The opposition, of course rejected this idea all at once. Let me share my thinking on this.

Well, before this, let me tell you the Maldivian National Philosophy of Education.
"EACH CHILD WHO COMPLETES FORMAL SCHOOLING SHALL POSSESS THE PHYSICAL, INTELLECTUAL, AND PSYCHOLOGICAL SKILLS NEEDED FOR HIS/HER WELL BEING IN THE MUSLIM, MALDIVIAN SOCIETY AND SHALL POSSESS THE SKILLS TO FUNCTION AS A CONTRIBUTING MEMBER OF HIS/HER FAMILY, COMMUNITY AND COUNTRY. "

It is in accordance with this philosophy that the curriculum, subjects contents and all should go. In simple terms this is cast that is made to be used in shaping the children of Maldives. This is the case with every country and the philosophy of education of every country is different.

Now the question is about making Dhivehi and Islam optional in Advanced Level. (grade 11 and 12)


YES

Advanced Level is the higher secondary level. This is the level at which students decide not on their identity but on their carrier. By this time if the education system fails to give the identity they should be given, its not their fault for them to be forced to study two subjects for 2 more years. Let the students concentrate on their carrier path and build the identity well in advance.

The fact is it is few students among the O level students who join A level. Majority leaves the education from O level. If then, why push the A Levels? Make the necessary changes to curriculum, books, teaching methodologies of O Level and give them the identity. Say 8000 students do O level and 2000 do A level, and what sense does it make to try to give religious and mother tongue knowledge to the 2000? Reality is that we try to teach everything about Islam in Islam period and everything about Nation and language in Dhivehi period, thus we end up been unable to teach anything well.

Moreover, today SSC and HSC both are certified at the same level though for the name sake it one is higher. When it comes to public, the reason why people say it should be compulsory is that O level is not enough. If then it should be O level syllabus that needs to be corrected.


NO
Language and Islam are very fundamental subjects that every single Maldivian should study. It is mainly these two subjects that brings the identity to the students. The identity that they are Maldivians and that they are Muslims and they they have to act accordingly. Today one reason we see our new generations very strange to Maldivian and religious ways and things is because we fail to bring that identity to students. It is due to that reason we see that today's youth loves and copy the way and style of others and try to imitate them rather than having a lifestyle that fits to the norms and customs of our own country.

Moreover, today, as we look at the countries which have successful stories in making good generation of citizens and progress in development, we see that these two pillars of religion and mother tongue are given a very high priority. The best and most well known example is Malaysia where they make sure they students learn mother tongue and religion even at university level. This is the case with most of the Arab countries too. And this has proved very successful.

One fact that we need to accept is that enough of religious and mother tongue knowledge is not delivered when a student finished Ordinary Level studies. In this case it will not be wise to make the two subjects optional when it has been done and proved working ever since started.

Looking at public, most of them do not want this happen. At least one experienced person who worked in education sector and now in political arena told me that he is aware of many school heads and other who rejects this idea. Surely there are many who don't like the idea. Maybe in democracy it has to be considered too.

What I think.
I switch to the optional will be fine when there is the environment for that. Just like what happened when people got freedom of speech all of a sudden without them knowing its power and influence, the options if given could be very much misused. As hurry makes curry we at least need to stop a while and get equipped by making necessary changes to our SSC and then bring the change if at all it is important. For me, for now, I say NO. Keep it compulsory.

Photo: www.fotolia.com/id/9223216 (was cropped to make to two)

10 May 2010

17th SAARC Summit in Addu...............







Wondering if I went mad? Thank God, I am not. :)

Two days back I got an invitation to a face book group. The group named as " 17th SAARC Summit in ADDU".

I felt like laughing. SAARC Summit? In Addu? Come on!! Then I thought, Hey! this is a good idea. Indeed its marvelous. It'd be nice if such a huge gathering of international level takes place in Addu.

That can make the 17th SAARC a very different one.
The first summit with a lady secretary general
The 2nd time a SAARC summit takes place outside the capital city. So far it happened only once, in Bangalore India.
With a new government and a new regime and a new president, it can prove another new one that the Maldives experienced. That could be made a beginning of holding important international summits and meetings outside the capital Male'. The old way of ONLY Male' can be changed.

That's was my thinking, but this is also another thinking. "Rafiu, You think this is going to happen? It wont. Never, its just a campaign for the upcoming election." That too was an idea.

So I thought, any way, it is a good idea that one atoll took the initiative, and move the summit to the islands than the summit held in Male' always. For me, I thought, this could be a good beginning. Yes, as someone who was born and brought up outside Male' I too wish that such events take place in the different islands of Maldives. Yet, if it never happens, I will not feel ashamed for having to say that it is something good to be done, because regardless of it happens or not, I wish to the islands outside Male' also been the venue for important events.


Photos:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Addu_Atoll
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Asian_Association_for_Regional_Cooperation

02 May 2010

Right Change and wrong .........Change? Not very right change!!


As we hear the word Change, the first thing that comes to our mind happens to be changing the government. That is however, not what I would like to write in this article.

During the whole of last month, I was able to post just one article. A very humble sorry for that. I hope I will be able to continue as I did before from now on. I was busy doing the last teaching practice(TP) of the course.

This time I would like to write about a change I experienced during my TP.

I had to go to Majiddiyyaa School. The most senior school in the nation. So I was also expecting something different. And that was exactly what I came across. The first day in school was the first day, the school switched to Smart Boards. This was the first time in history of the nation that a school was fully equipped with smart boards in every single class. Everyone, teachers, students, management, and even parents were very happy.

We were not trained to use smart boards. So college changed us from Majiddiyya to 3 other school. I got Imaduddin. Even there I met a change. This time the school switched from black board to white board.

Now, I mentioned two changes. Lets think of the two changes we saw.

Majiddiyya.
The switch to the smart boards was a huge step ahead. Its not a mere board, but a collection of resources too. It is high technology, and best a school in this nation can serve yet. However, there are 2 things to be remembered.

1. I got the chance to talk to many students of the school. A lot of them had a big complain. According to them, each student of grade 9 and 10 had to pay MRF 600 to pay for the board. They say it is not very fare for them to charge from 2 batches and teach the rest all free at their own expense. I too feel it is true. School should have funded and divided the cost among at least 4-5 batches. At least few students said that they will not allow others to study like that and will either take or break those.

2. I spent a week in school and did observe many lessons. And also I did ask from my friends about the lessons taken in other classes. Except very very few cases, in most classes the teaching was done using a PowerPoint Presentations. I don't think this will be a right mode. I am very confident to say that if the switch from black board to smart board was a 100% shift to PPP, then its a too expensive change at a too high cost.

If the same trend is followed as I saw in a week of stay, I am afraid we may have to expect for a step behind when it comes to results.


Imaduddin School.
Let me make it short. The black boards were changed to white boards, and for some reason or the other, there was a sheet of glass fixed on the board. This made it almost impossible for may students to see the board. This does not sound very permanent either and student already are complaining to re fix the black boards, which, Thank God, are still right inside the corridor.

So, what I thought is simple. Change is easy, but not so is it when it comes to a right change.

photo: www.techlearning.com/article/6550