31 December 2012

I too have a dream.

It was on a Wednesday, 28th August 1963 , that very famous speech of Martin Luther King was given calling for an end to racism in Unites States of America.
Today, nearly 50 years later, the Addu city is up with the same word. “I have a Dream”. This time is not a dream to fight racism but a dream to build a better city.

Now I been someone who has a stake in Addu; at least because I was borne and brought up here, I believe it’s worthwhile for me to express my dream too. Come on. Why not? We are in the era of democracy.  Freedom to express, we say, is the best part of democracy.

Well, frankly speaking… I don’t have much big a dream yet. Might be because I am not so open-minded and I am unable to focus what is ahead of us. Let it be. I will tell my dreams.

I have a dream…..
that one day I will be able to go on link road without the 2nd largest garbage area in this nation be by side.
I have a dream…..
that one day in Addu we will see a medical facility where at least some very essential services like a dialysis or proper X ray service will be given even if we don’t get a “Europe Standard” hospital in here.
I have a dream…..
that one day, I will see the near 1000 plant pots in Addu city that was made for SAARC Summit been utilized than wasted.
I have a dream…..
that one day in Addu, a proper land use plan comes into existence and the lands will not be distributed on the basis of party colour, business stake or family interest, but on the best interest of Addu and its future.
I have a dream…..
that one day we will have at least a blog, if not a proper website for the Addu city council, so that we will know what was done and what was not.
I have a dream…..
that one day the clause 110 of, the Local Government Act or famously know “decentralization of administration units of the Maldives” will be seriously considered in the Addu city.
I have a dream…..
that one day, I will make a sense why we have to spend so much just to reflect and review of the “Vision Addu” we when we know how much we spent on it and when all know it’s not near implementation.
I have a dream….
that one day I will make a sense of the cool excuses I hear for not having a national flag in the city square of Addu on the 2nd largest flag post in nation.
I have a dream …
that one day our education system in Addu will cater for the society rather than for the books and Edexcel exams even if we don’t get a world class university in here.
I have a dream …
that one day someone somewhere will take some action to stop the huge spending on ECC gone in vain.
Yes I have dreams and I keep I have a final dream that all the dreams will come true.

26 September 2012

My response to the State minister of Education's statement that education system failed.

Yesterday, I read an article on haveeru daily in which the state minister of education Mr. Imad Solih declared the national education system as failed.
I read the article 2-3 times. I noticed one thing. Just like we always do, we made the bold statement that it failed. We did not go beyond. Since he in the end of his interview called to give a thought, and since I happened to be someone who tries to share what I feel about education issues, I thought to share my thought on this.

I don't like to go on repeating that it has failed. Rather I will put it as, there are serious issues that is leading to what they call as a failure. We need to talk of it and face the truth. Here I will highlight 8 areas that I feel requires immediate attention of stakeholders.

1- Mishandling of lower grades. The primary education in Maldives has been the official foundation of studies. However, there are problems that needs to be given attention in this area. Very often, if not in capital Male' or some high populated islands, the primary sector consists of comparatively less qualified teachers. Here qualified not only refers to the certificates that one holds, but also the handling of students, the connection of lessons to real life the understanding of what is taught and what is in curriculum, the balance of sports and education are included. Not to mention, in many schools 'temporary' teachers has become "permanent-temporary."

2- Top 10- Both in O Level and A Level, it seems we have none in mind other than bringing at least one student to national top 10. Yes, it is well and good to aim high and work on it, yet please, not at the cost of may other students. It is a big secret that students who might produce a bad result are been asked to not to sit for exam or to sit for exams as a private candidate, just to get us more points in national school rankings.  Moreover, these kids are been ignored knowing or unknowingly, making our schools, as factories that produced one good citizen and 10 bad citizens. The education sector needs good results, yet, with it we needs to send out to our society a set of graduates who fulfills the nations demands in one way or the other. Simple terms, if Top ten students are gold, we need to accept that even silver and bronze could be used well!

3- Unhealthy competitions- It is very good to have competition between schools so that both students and teachers will be motivated to perform well and try to get the best that they can bring. At the same time, it must not be a war. We, today, in some cases are not even ready to accept the 'other school' as a school. We criticize them, show them they cant perform and simply reject to share any good ideas, concepts, materials or experiences that e have got. At least there are situations where some school heads formally tells the staff not to share anything to the other school strictly, simply to compete. Our competition means and ways needs to change. We need to work for the betterment of all students regardless of which school they belong to, even though we compete.

4- Salary- The big issue. I don't think I have to mention this. At least I hear at times some senior officials of government saying teachers deserves something better. Let me not make a fuss by repeating something that we all know. Very simple as this, teachers needs to be paid something that they really deserve. They are what you calls as the builders of the future generations.

5- Efforts to bring local teachers- There are some subjects that we teach in Maldives for ages, yet we don't have any course to train teachers. Teaching is done by not the best performing students most of the time. In Maldives, been a doctor or a pilot is all that counts. The nation needs to value the jobs of the teachers and accept the profession as an important area, With that and also a little of what I mentioned in point 4, we might be able to bring high performing students to this sector. At least a better salary might give the sector a chance to get a grip on the serving quality teachers before they move to another area.

6- Expatriate teachers recruitment- There are situations where I heard some expatriates who has been working here for a long while, asking me 'what kind of teachers Maldives is bringing now a days.' Very honestly this is something we need to really give a thought. If a teacher comes for higher education or A Level school and is unable to speak fluently in English, yet expected to be a CAE teacher, what can I say? When the same teacher who failed in school X where school heads seems to make a fuss, is been sent to another "desperate" school, what else can I say. Teachers who fail in Male' been sent to areas like Addu, Fuvahmulak, Kulhudhuhfushi, and the ones who fail in these areas sent to another (what they call as) a rural island, does not do any good for our education. Now don't expect me to say that teachers recruitment in Maldives is a big business for some in MoE or somewhere else and they love to see more turnover!! People say so, yet I will not say so!!

7- Implementation of the new curriculum- The new curriculum that we are trying to implement seems to be better than what we have been following since late 8o's. The question is will it bring about changes needed? I already heard some raising the question if it will be effective. Some raises the question whether it really caters the need for this ever changing nation. That is not what disturbs me. My question is whether we have teachers to implement the new curriculum accordingly. Are we really aware of the new changes? Are we equipped with all the facilities to do the teaching in a meaningful way. Or are we once again going to see the new curriculum inside a drawer in MoE and continue with the same trend of repeating what we have been doing. I hope it will not be a gift for the Male' schools and elite schools. And I hope we are not just going to toil to produce all rocket scientists in this nation yet, accept the fact that we need a means to cater the low performing kids too.

8- Vulnerability- The education system today is subjected to a lot of, sudden changed without much plans and studies. The two schools that we saw yesterday all of a sudden we see as a single school without even any framework to implement the merge. The subjects we never saw, happens to be a subject for many students like a surprise. The school head changes more than the changes in the current on oceans.

These are some factors that I feel contributes to the problems in our education system that needs immediate attention to avoid a whole system failure.

Photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/adduhighschool/7020052119/in/photostream/

04 July 2012

Maldives: A Failing State.

The news of the death of  Lawyer Mr. Ahmed Najeeb shocked me. May God bless Mr. Najeeb. Yet, it was what followed the murder,  that tempted me to go back to my blog. 
The police investigations ended in a matter of 24 hrs. Prosecutor general studied the case and  sent to court in more or less than 6 hours and withing another few hours the court filed the case against the suspected murderers.  Now the court says they will reach a sentence within just 10 days. WOW , WOW!!!  That was great. Congrats to the police, the prosecutors and the courts of justice. 

Well. Back to my topic...."Maldives: A Failing State." I said this, so for a reason.

I feel there are grave mistakes in our nation. Mistakes that we simply should not commit, or mistakes that the nation can not afford at any cost. Surely they have huge impacts on our life. The very basic principle that any nation stands will be unity, equality and rule of law. These are  essential basis without which the nation can not be complete.

I mentioned of Mr Najeeb case because I feel, the investigation, prosecution and the court rulings were unfortunately not fare for the vast majority of the nation. I feel justice is been served not on the basis of equality but on the basis of priority. Once only in recent history I saw such a  fast reaction on investigation of a death case. "Ayyubey" supposed to be a friend of former president; the famous 4th gear investigation. 

There were more and more murder cases in Maldives in recent history. I am sure it is not only some families that will suffer due to the loss of a family member. If then, why does investigators fail to give the same priority to all such cases? Do we have "blue blood" in our nation too? If not why did the prosecutors and courts fail to give equal attention to the murders of other "normal" Maldivians? If justice is not served, and if equality is not given in the courts of justice, where else do we expect it to be served in a country?  Why did the chief judge of Supreme Court today realize that death penalty can be given in Maldives even now! Sir. Where were you when all the many other Maldivians were slaughtered on the roads of this beloved soil??? Did you know that several people in this nation question the legality of the government in the country?  Thus I say our nation is moving towards a failed nation. Justice needs to be given fare and equal to all as in a civilized country. 

Everyone knows that our economy is in a bad shape. Yet, the actions of both the government and the opposition is harming our economy. Opposition demands for huge projects, and large economic activities, and public demands for high pay. Government is hell bent to do anything to win the hearts and minds of the people for the up coming election regardless of economic impact. The cow has no more milk!! Yet we seems to have a nice smile on our face as we exploit the already near collapsed economy. The high ranks gets as much as MVR60,000 to MVR80,000 as salary. The normal Maldivians get as less as MVR2500 to MVR5000. Few gets something between 10 to 15 thousand Ruffiyaa. The huge gap between the rich and poor is something that needs to be addressed. Yet out nation that claims to be a 21st democracy has yet to make a minimum wage, a pay commission and establish equality in pay roll.

Rule of Law:
The security forces are been pointed at for a coup. The justice till today failed to address the issue. Police and Military persons today has become the number one enemy of a huge percent of population. Obedience to security is almost none existing. They are often accused of misuse of power, abuses and cruelty. The large percentage of the criminals are at large. They know that they can get a few dozen life sentences, and still they can enjoy as a free bird in the country. The youth has taken the rules onto their hands. Some gangs are as powerful as a political party.

Political situation:
God sake, I will not comment to this. We have a party system that I wish to be called as "real havoc".

Basic areas: Health sector is like the least performing sector. Education sector has failed to produce the civilized citizens for the nation. Morals we no more believe in. Parents are been ruled by kids, educators are the slaves, government is a joke in the eyes of people.  Extremism of Islam and Extremism of atheism is in this nation. Cheating is a way of life. Escaping the punishments is too easy a task. Media is fully controlled either by government or by a rich politician. 

More and more, we can go on saying. All I know is the nation is moving backwards. With all these issues already on the table, the actions and reactions of a justice system towards "thier friend" makes me believe we are moving towards a failing nation. 

07 February 2012

What happned? What will happen?

Today surely is a historical day for Maldives.

After 22 days of protest against president Nasheed's regime, the regime has been brought down with the support of police and later on military in a matter of 7 hours.

Why did this happen?
This is what we need to look back. The regime of president Nasheed was toppled easily due to many reason.
Lets start on. President Nasheed came to seat with the support of many political parties and majority of the voters in 2008 election. With that a 30 year regime of president Maumoon came to an end. President President Nasheed in his first address gave a wording that touched many hearts and souls. "Be humble on success and be patient on failure."
The first problem was that not everyone in the government was ready to take that as a slogan. Many including some seniors were too keen to go on with retaliation, spread of hate against the previous government and its members. This specially was seen in the Parliament of the nation where the members took it as a platform to become famous and to give very bad accusations on each other.
Another problem was the salary cut he made and the  government's total rejection to repay it. This attracted the hate of many people to the government.
Some of the major projects were said to be going to the wrong hands in the wring manner. Government did not do enough to prove their innocence.
Some of the huge changes were made in a short period of time. This lead to mismanagement.

The opposition was provoked too much just with the confidence of the power at hand.
The Hulhule' Air Port, the health sector privatisation and MNBC were factors that contributed to the unexpected scenarios.
These are some reasons, and many more are there. Yet, the main reason of all was that some members of Maldives Police Service and MNDF joined the opposition for some reason or the other. Without this factor, the protests would have been just like any other protest in Maldives. I maybe standing against the whole public by saying this. Yet I feel sad, a government elected by the people was toppled by with the help of the police and military who are supposed to protect the government and the people. Today if you saw president Nasheed been brought down by the security persons of the nation, I will not be surprised to see many more been brought down the same way.

Ok, Now the government of president Nasheed is gone. What next?

This is the big question. What will happen.
Here are some things I feel we may see in this nation.
1- President Mohamed Waheed's government will not be stable, nor will it last long. Believe me the new president can not be in office till November 2013. The coalition will demand for early elections sooner than you think.
2- Some of the major decisions of president Nasheed will change. This includes, airport to GMR, Health cooperations, privatisation policy and very possible the working hours of government too.
3. Hey Adduan. Expect a change. Be ready to move back to Addu atoll.
4. Do not expect the government media to be free and fare. Specially the MBC that will come tomorrow.
5. The big business man in country stood up against the president Nasheed not out of love to nation, but out of self interest. The economic policy will change. I will not be shocked to see GST removed and moving back to the old import duty style.
6. Dhoogas in Addu Gan will most probably be taken from MVK group.
7. Mulee-aage will be the presidential residence. Ok ok Our merchant Gasim probably get finance ministry.
8. President Nasheed and the seniors of government will be arrested sooner or later and will face many accusations.
9. The political war will not end. Today the coalition maybe on their honeymoon. Yet don't expect any safe road to make a power share deal between some prominent figures in group like, president Maumoon, Mr. Gasim, Mr. Yaameen. Mr. Thasmeen, Dr. Munavvar and Skh. Shaheem.
10. I am not worried about anything as much as I worry about this. They like it or not, there is religious extremism in Maldives in the name of Islam. Now that Adhaalath was involved in the protests I am afraid the nation will be brought down to knees by the forces of religious extremism next.

At last.
Hat off to the President Nasheed for not using force to stay in power and proving that you really meant what you said. "Be humble on success and be patient on failure."
Congrats to the new president of Maldives Dr. Waheed. A man I see in media as humble and simple.

Photo: sun.mv

24 January 2012

Our National Day

Today is the national Day of Maldives. A day to be proud of the nation we belong to. And a day to think about the nation. This is the moment for us to look at the nation, think and decide on what we need for the nation.

Early morning, we did host the national flag around the nation. We did pray for Maldives to be a prosperous nation. So I just opned the browser and checked the daily online newspapers. To my surprise, only one news paper reported anything about the National Day. That too was a report saying the national Day started with protest, and fierce confrontations between pro and anti government protesters. Let us look at the real picture of our nation

The nations today is in a situation that everyone is so concerened of. Cheif judge of the criminal court is "taken" by the Maldivian military for the National security reasons. Protesters are on the road, conforntations between police and protesters, protesters from pro and anit government are on rise. Justice system, president says is almost on a halt and opposition accuses government of moving close to a dictatorship.

The paradise on earth turned to democracy yesterday, and now the same place is more or less moving away from rule of law and moving backwards on the road of democracy. Disrespecting the educated and the seniors in the nation, now has turned as a normal part of life.  More problems and confrontations, many more accusations and abuse of pover on every angel is making people fedup and helpless of the dreams they had for thier nation with the rise of democracy. 

I wish that is the end of the problems we have. Yet if one could believe me, that is just a beginning. Today, as we do all these very immature things just with the colour of party thinking in mind, OUR CHILDREN ARE LEARNING FROM US. 

Today, on the TVs and Radio channels, we will talk about our nation. We will show our proud history and we will say we are proud to be Maldivians. We used to hear that we are so peaceful, we don't have fight, anyone can live here without any fear, we love each other, help each other and care each other. Yet! Alas!!! That is history.

We have too many problems, and too much to be fixed. Today, on the national day, I wish that everyone who belongs to the nation think about our future. 

Our Nation begs from her children for an action.  Let us show to the coming generations, a nation they could be proud of. Let us try to fix the national unity before it is too late. Let  education system focus a lot to mold the minds of the children for a better  nations. If we fail to do this today, tomorrow we will be faced with a nation that no more is a paradise on earth.  God bless us. God bless Maldives. 

Photo: Shaad Ali