Libyan Education System: 7 Steps Toward The Full Change

Libyan children in the class

Sunday, Sep 1st, my first lovely baby was born. She’s a girl. It was breathtaking and little odd when I had to carried my daughter in my hands for the first time. I’ve been waiting for this moment for a long time.
After few days, my thoughts have shifted from the current political conflict in Libya to my daughter’s future. I have given her the ultimate attention in the last two weeks. I started asking myself too many questions: What will guarantee her future in Libya? How am I going to rise her in this Polluted environment? What’s the perfect place to get her education? The last question grapes all my attention, and I decide to some research on the perfect education systems. The importance of the education system in a country and how it helps building the prefect generation are critical topics. Every nation depends on its children in the future, and their children depends on the education system.
Libya has one of the worst education environment in the world. Schools in Benghazi now are closed temporarily because of the unrest. I have studied in the Libyan education system, and I can recall all the bad/good things. The Libyan education system is one of the factors which causes the demise of cultural awareness among Libyans. I’m not going to dig deep in the issues of the system. Instead, I’m going to explore the paths to change it.

I started my regular research, looking for examples and facts, doing my Google search, and skimming some books and articles. I came up with this list of things Libya should do to rebuild the education system.

1- Get some help

Get HelpI think Libya alone can’t build a perfect education system. It’s OK to get some help from countries, which have gone through some developments of their education system. It’s not replication. ::It’s observation and applying accordingly::. The [PISA] test is a test to measure the education ability in some countries every 3 years. We can start looking on some countries who have improve their rank in the last test. For example, Finland has made incredible movement when it move up in the rank in the last test. Therefore, we can look deeply to their system now, how was before, and what they did exactly to improve it. We can ask them for help. Some consulters can visit Libya and evaluate the current situation and give us some key points to make the change.
The PISA test is important among the developed countries to compare their level in the world rank. Here’s a video shows the PISA test

2- Parents role toward their children education

parents_teachI have grown by my parents who are enrolled in the education system. They were teachers. So,I got the full help at home. In Libya, there are three groups of parents in terms of helping their children to achieve their perfect education. The first group **is the coach, like my parents. This group is acting as a teacher outside the school. They give their children the maximum attention. Helping them by sitting and teaching them. Helping them to do their homework.Giving them quizzes at home. **The second group is the cheerleaders. Parents in this group is acting as motivators to encourage their children to do the their best. Parents do not pay the full attention. They just keep motivate their children without getting deep in their subjects. This group is common in Libya. They in the middle between the first group and the third group. The third group is the neglecters. Parents do not pay any attention to their children education level. They are busy in other things, not their children education. I have witnessed many people in Libya from this group who do not know his child in which grade level. One of the reason that created this type of group is the large number of Libyan family members. The average number of family members in Libya is six, which means lots families have more than 6. Some families have 10 children. My family is one of them. Due to many children, parents lose their desire to grow their children as perfect as they wish. So, children lose the full care. That’s why we have 80s and 90s generations without, for example, reading ability. Parents are important to change our attitude to the education and to build the best future.

3- School environment

school_environment_8As an architect, creating the perfect environment is something important to me. To help any things to be functioning correctly, we have to create the suitable environment. Libyan school buildings are from the 70s. They have built with minimal consideration to the new standards, such as technology. Most importantly, schools represent the period of time when schools were like the prison. They are designed to keep students inside, not outside, with metal bars on the windows, closed courtyard, unhealthy food provided, and old desks and chairs. New standards for schools designing should be provided. For example, internet connection should be provided inside classes. Labs are so important to help them get in touch with what they study. Managing children’s hobbies by providing the perfect spaces to practice and enjoy the school. So, basically, creating a place not just to study, but also to make it a place that children love to stay in.

4- Teacher Education Program

teacherFirst of all, when it comes to comparing the teaching major with engineering or any other majors in Libya, people prefer to enroll to other majors, not the teaching. In addition, education program is known as one of the easiest majors. Leaving this major for unqualified people who are involving with growing the future generations. Second, the teaching major at Libyan universities is not the perfect program that will produce the perfect teachers. Therefore, as we pay most our attention to improve schools environment, we have to improve the human resource as well.
To solve this problem, first, enrolling in teaching program should be based on admission standards. No one could get into this program unless be qualified. Second, developing a program for 4 to 5 years, and one year practical training in public schools. This program will guarantee the best outcomes of teachers. Third, the most important issue in Libya, is raising the salary of teachers. Many teachers in Libya have a second job (Part time or full time). Thus, they split their focus on two things. Teachers are the most important part to fix our education system.

5- School timing

TimingIn every developed country, schools start from 8 am to at least 4 pm. Some countries, such as South Korea, lasts to 8 pm sometimes. In Libya, the regular hours from 8 am to 1 pm. It’s OK for this period of time. However, if we want to improve our education system, we have to expand this time. Children should be busy with their study and hobby. Too much hours at home is not improving any thing (just watching TV). So, if we add more 3 hours and dedicate them to develop children hobbies that would improve their ability in every other things. Making the children busy with things they love is one of the most important factors to improve them in other things.

6- Libyan national education curriculum

images (1)I’m not sure if the national curriculum in Libya is the perfect one. We should, at least, have the same level of the developed countries curriculum. Curriculum should not be too easy nor too hard. It should be updated constantly and cover everything.

7- Standarized Test

TestThe middle schools and high schools have the standardized test, which means all Libyan schools take the same test. That’s a good thing. However, we don’t take advantage of this test to pull out some important facts. For example, with this test we can identify the good schools and bad school from their grades. Then, we can analysis these schools to see where are their strengths and weakness. By doing that, we will have a complete understanding of each school in each city.

To sum up, Libyan education system must change as soon as possible if we want to built the future. Most importantly, inspiration and energize all parties who enveloping in this change is necessary. Switching is not easy and it required all our attention.

What It Means To Be Libyan

Originally posted on Journal of a Revolution:

Yes, it’s another culture post. I’m a Libyan who’s obsessed with the intellectual revival of my country, okay? While political flame wars are fun, it’s the artistic manifestations of this unstable and contrasting country that piques my interest. I’ve written about our cultural bankruptcy and Libya’s lost literature. And yes, I’ve revisited this topic several times before.

Pictured: Something difficult to find Libya (the book, not chewing gum)

Pictured: Something difficult to find Libya (the book, not chewing gum)

What really pushed me to write about it again was a book, namely Chewing Gum, by Mansour Bushnaf. I stumbled on this book almost by accident. There was a BBC report called “killing books in Libya” in which the author himself describes the dismal state of publishing in the country. My compulsive googling habits led me to discover his recently published book, and my rage at being unable to attain a copy led naturally to a prolonged Twitter rant at the injustice of not being able to buy books…

View original 971 more words

What Would Be If Specifically Designed For Libyans ?

I believe the change starts with us by changing our behavior and our environment. Without government, restrictions, and law and order, we fall in complete chaos.

These are some ideas made specifically for Libyans. It’s just for fun. These things need to be fixed with other ways.

1- Moving out from traffic light in the red:

Car traffic light-01

2- Littering: throwing trashes out of window:

trach can-03

3- Disorganization and not driving  in lanes:

Highways with wall lanes

4- Disorganization and not standing in lines:

stand-01

Note: it works as well in Walmart during the Black Friday events.

5- Disorganization and not parking correctly:

Parking lot with walls

The Principles of The National Dialogue in Libya

Tripoli Airport

Once I meet with my friends these days, all we talk about is the current situation. Every one picks a side. We talk for hours without convincing each other. The point is we have different views, but we share one thing. We have the common goals which are building and developing Libya. In the reality, the different parties have taken the weapons as the way of talking. When two Libyans are fighting, that means a civil war.

Civil wars last for years and  usually finish with national dialogue. People of the one nationality usually do not notice they are in a civil war. They will realize it after killing many people and destroying their country. A civil war ends with national dialog or peace talk. For example, Lebanon had a civil war for 16 years. Eventually, they reached a settlement. So, they eventually sit together. Some countries did that too late.  Do not do what Sudan did. The delay of national dialogue could divide Libya into three parts.We should perform now. People start splitting up into groups. I support that party and I against you.

Libya now faces a conflict among more than three parties. Libyan Dawn Operation is basically combination of Misrata Militias and some Tripoli, Zleten, Tajura, and Nalot militias. Libyan Dawn Operation represents the moderate islamic parties (Political Islam). Brotherhood is the most famous organization in political islam party. The other party is the Liberal, as the political Islam call it. General Hafter’s army (Dignity Operation) and the House of Representatives are the most famous members in the side. There’s a third party, which is the extremisms. They don’t believe in democracy. 

This map shows the Libyan conflict

Libya Conflict Map 2014

To demonstrate what happen when the people of these parties start debating, let’s take the usual dialog among Libyans in these days:

Operation Libyan Dawn Pros:

Swaeq and Qaqa (Pro Hifter) are not enrolled in the Ministry of Defense

Dignity Pros:

Misrata Militias are not acutely enrolled in Libyan National Army

Operation Libyan Dawn Pros:

Hafter uses the HoR to establish important decisions.

Dignity Pros:

Militias were used by GNC to establish important decisions

Operation Libyan Dawn Pros:

It’s anti-revolution by Pro-Gaddafi

Dignity Pros:

Brotherhood coups the legitimation and trying to control the country by their militias

Operation Libyan Dawn Pros:

Revolutionizers (Thwar) are the protecters of 17th Revolution in Libya

Dignity Pros:

The national army with police are the only ones who protect Libya

Operation Libyan Dawn Pros:

Revolutionizers are the only legitimate body who fought against Gaddafi

Dignity Pros:

Revolutionizers (Militias) are now out of control

Operation Libyan Dawn Pros:

The HoR are not legitimate body

Dignity Pros:

The HoR are the only legitimate body

Operation Libyan Dawn Pros:

There’s no army in Libya now unless it’s Gaddafi’s army

Dignity Pros:

There’s army in Libya now and should stand out

Operation Libyan Dawn Pros:

The 17th Revolution is still active and not finished yet

Dignity Pros:

The 17th revolution is no longer active. We should starting building Libya

Operation Libyan Dawn Pros:

The HoR asked for western intervention. They are betrayers    

Dignity Pros:

The HoR asked for stopping fighting and dissolving militias

Operation Libyan Dawn Pros:

HoR is being controlled from outside

Dignity Pros:

GNC and militias are being controlled from outsider

Operation Libyan Dawn Pros:

Revolutionizers must build the new political regime of Libya

Dignity Pros:

Libyans should participate creating the new democratic Libya

Operation Libyan Dawn Pros:

UAE is behind the HoR support

Dignity Pros:

Qatar is behind the GNC support

Operation Libyan Dawn Pros:

Mahmoud Jebril is a duble agent to UAE and Egypt

Dignity Pros:

Salabi  is a duble agent to Qatar

Not the military action in Libya would change the current situation and solve all this debate. Only the national dialogue among all parties. Not the political decision only by House of Representatives could dissolve to current crisis. Only the national dialogue. Not the western intervention could solve the conflict. Only the national dialogue. However, when we talk about the national dialog, we should understand and consider some basic principals:

Every party has to start the dialog or peace talk with 50% chance they will be wrong. Do not assume that one of them are 100% rightful.

Every party should be willing for giving up some of their privileges. To reach the peaceful with your opponents, you should waive some of your rights to their rights.

Every party has to start the dialog with chance of other party will be your partner. It is not good making enemies.

Every party should keep calm whatever happen. They should make sure all their members keep calm during the dialog. Keeping relaxing will reflect on your opponents.  It is important to show the respect to  each others.

One of the Libyan traits is stubbornness. Do not be stubborn. Instead, be flexible and open to other’s opinion.

The national dialog should be not biased to one party against the other. Should be standing in the middle between all other parties.

And these some questions from Civil Society Dialogue Network we need to consider before starting the national dialog:

Q1: How large should national dialogues be?

Q2: How wide should the inclusion net be cast?

Q3: What constituencies need to be included?

Q4: How should their representatives be selected?

Q5: What is their relationship to existing institutions (HoR and Gov)

Q6: What are their decision-making powers?

These question should be answered through negotiations among the key political parties in Libya.

We have to sit down together, and ask ourselves what the common thing that we have. The answer should be Libya or caring about Libya. This is the starting point, and It could be the 1%. The 99% things could come along by just peace talk. Israel and Hamas reaches the cease fire by just talking. Why not ? 

Yes, We Need ِAn Intervention To Help Libya.

 

intervention

 

Do you think this topic is to debate whether the UN should intervene in Libya or not. This topic focuses on the intervention in Libya not militarily, but culturally and ethically.

Anyone lives in Libya could observe the ignorance among Libyans. They lost their identity as an educated people “I don’t think I have ever seen a Libyan in Libya sitting and reading a book for pleasure” as Ann Marlowe describes her feeling after visiting Libya in 2011 . Instead, Libyan people keep neglecting the fact that improving any country requires discipline in anything we do.

Who we should blame? Gaddafi!! or ourselves. If we keep blaming the 42 years ago plus the last 4 years, we will never make any progress. As I always say that what happens in Libya now, it’s the result of the sum of laziness, irresponsibility, and ignorance together by Libyan people.

WAKE UP !! before we lose Libya.

Yes, we need an intervention. An intervention of waking us up.

“Often an intervention is an effective way to persuade loved ones to take the first step toward recovery”. This is what people do in western counties.

We need an intervention in Libya to change our perspective to the modern society.

We need an intervention to make us active and care about our work.

We need an intervention to implant in ourselves the word responsibility. Everyone should do his/her work perfectly.

Ann Marlowe says that it’s not the USA to be blamed for the chaos in Libya, Libyans should be blamed in her report.

“Libya could be a wonderful example to the world, of Muslims who threw off their oppressive government and set out to govern themselves democratically and to create a vibrant and open society. But for that, they would have to have a different culture than the one they’ve inherited” Ann Marlowe says.

 

It’s not coincidence that we have all these problems right now. The big issue relays on us. The absence of the modern culture for 42 years has effected the life in Libya.  Libyans treat their government as just an open bank for them. They totally depend on the oil. Many people work for the government. They receive the full salary, and should be working the full time that they got paid for it. However, they work only half the time they should be. And If they set and work, they wouldn’t do their job perfectly. To be clear, not everyone, but the majority does that. It becomes the Libyan culture of working at the government.

“Americans come from many backgrounds, but one thing most of us share is a work ethic. Libyans do not” Ann Marlowe says.

As I mention before, many countries used  foreigner managers to manage their life , such as UAE. It’s an intervention, not militarily, but ethically.I totally agree with  this type of  intervention, because I’m sure Libyans alone, this generation and the next, will not be able to build a modern society where everyone can take responsibility. The government should replace all Libyans who work in the government with other people by any nationality to work. Yes, it’s investment in the human resource. We will learn how to control our life according to the international standards.

 

Humanize Palestine

Humanize Palestine

In Benghazi, we watch the war between Libyans. One Libyan stay at home everyday listens to the Bombs fall by other Libyans. This is how we live our days lately.   

Despite the war in Libya, Benghazi and Tripoli, Libyan people still support the Palestine people, especially in this attack from Israel on Gaza. Our war have given us a fraction of frighting life that Palestine people have been living for decades. 

In support them, these are human people, like every human lives in this world. 

Please share and support Humanize Palestine. 

ABOUT HUMANIZE PALESTINE

Humanize Palestine attempts to restore the humanity that is often stripped away when Palestinians are reduced to calculative deaths, forgettable names, and burned and mutilated bodies, rather than people who shared loved ones, stories, dreams and aspirations.

http://humanizepalestine.com/

10 Things You Can Do RIGHT NOW To Help Libya

tripoli libya

As Libya is going to be a failed state, I was wondering what I can do. You and I are not  political or  military people. We are just a normal civilians. So, probably we can do nothing and just watch our homeland collapse. WRONG!!

There are too much possibilities to do a lot of things to your country. I was thinking how to be an active to save and help  Libya. As I mention before in my topic Change Your Environment to Change Benghazi , the change starts from you.

I have shared 10 things you can do now for Libya  with my friends on Facebook. So, I’m just re-write them again here:

1- Get your car’s plate installed today. If you haven’t register your car yet, go and register your car today. It’s free for a limited time. Reducing the number of cars without plates, could save someone’s life from assassination.

2- Respect all the regulations and order. Be a good citizen by flowing every rules. Do NOT cross the traffic light in red. Do NOT steal the public assets. DO NOT be the cause to hurt someone else. Fighting the corruption starts from you.

3- Remove all dark sticker from your car’s windows. We don’t want more anonymous drivers cause problems.

4- Do NOT share any fake news. Make sure that its resource is reliable. If the news hurts someone, don’t post it in your Facebook wall even though it was true.

5- Do NOT comment or replay to anyone on social media with aggressive way. Try to respect other’s opinion. Listen first, then act accordingly with a good behavior. If the other person insists on his viewpoint, you shouldn’t debate with him anymore.

6- Do your job a 100% perfect. Arrive at you work on time. Leave at the time. Try to serve the other with smile. Try help the other people to get their stuff done. We don’t want any more stressful public service places.

7- BE optimistic. Do not use pessimistic words about Libya. If you feel upset with the current situation, just try to change it without negative actions. Do NOT post on your Facebook account “LIBYA IS OVER”. You have to  say just  “LIBYA IS GOING TO BE OK SOON”

8- Supplicate to ALLAH. Ask Allah every time in your pray to help us getting over it.

9- Advise other Libyans to do the good stuff. Every time you meet your friends, ask them to be  good citizens. Start with sharing this list with your friends.

10- Commit to do all this things in your daily life. We are the reason of the current situation in Libya now. Therefore, we will be the reason to over come all this obstacles. REMEMBER, the chain reaction effect. It will start with you, then will move to others.

Top Favorited Radio Stations In Benghazi

To Stations In benghazi

Keeping up with the best radio stations broadcasting in Benghazi. This is my favorite list, and I’m sure many people agree with this list.This list provides a good variety of music and news. Let’s Start:

Libyana Hits 100.10 LibyanaHits

Benghazi’s number one hit music station.

http://www.libyanahits.fm

When It comes to listening to music, Libyana Hits is my favorite one. It plays really a good playlist of English and Arabic songs. It also provides stories from, health, science, technology, arts and culture. This station classifies as a modern youth station in Benghazi

Libya FM 88.50LibyaFM

Libyan’s number one national radio

http://www.libya.fm/

I love this station because I can listen to  quick news every hour. Their news is like digesting everything in Libya in 5 min. It plays mostly Arabic songs as well. Libya FM provides also stories from, health, science, technology, music, arts and culture.

Radio Ajwa 107.70Radio Ajwa

One of the best new radio stations in Libya

http://www.ajwa.net/

Sometimes I need to listen to the news in depth. So, this is my station. One of the best new news radio stations. Libyan’s number one news I think. It provides news 24/7 and Political Programs.

Radio Sawa 88.10 sawa-radio

Number one Arab’s radio Station

http://www.radiosawa.com

This is Arabic radio station broadcasting almost in every Arab countries. It provides good resources of Arabic and International news. In addition, they play a good playlist of English and Arabic music.

What’s your favorite? In Benghazi, Tripoli, Misratua or any place in Libya. Share your favorite radio station in the comment section below.

2 Ways To Add and Find Your Favorite Places Online

Wikifoure

Last January, I talked about establishing your business online on Google Places.  Once people search for a specific business category, they will find a complete list of all businesses and their information. Related: Google Places: Few Steps to Publish your Business Online. It Works Perfect in Benghazi 

But if you want to find, let’s say, a mosque in Benghazi, you won’t find it online unless you ask one of your friends. To find this mosque online and its location on a map, someone has to add this information to any map online.
There are many ways that people can add places on a map online. Google places one of them. This two ways are easier and more informative than any thing else:

1- Using Wikimapia.org 

This website uses the idea of people can add their places. This is the easiest things I found online to add some places. The benefit from this website is people add informal places that no one think to add. It’s not official website that you get official places, but people who are the responsible for these places. The power of people is translated on this map. Go and check it. Try to write any mosque’s name and you will find it easily. Go to wikimapia and add your own places such as your home or your business. As much as people add places, the website will increase its credibility to becomes an important resource.

Screen shot

Screen shot

2- Using Foursquare App

Have you ever checked In using Facebook. Usually people like prove that they are in a specific and spacial place. They share that with other people. What if you find some good information on this place. This is exactly what Foursquare dose.
Foursqaure helps you to check in and gives you some information and people’s review on this place. Foursqaure is an app on your phone and it uses your GPS to locate your location. And then gives you informative review by people, such as best restaurant close to your location. It’s fun, playful, and informative. You can also access to Foursqaure.com  and check some places.

Foursquare

This app uses the power of people, because people who are responsible on adding these places. I use this app daily. I add as many places and review them as much to help other people finding the right information.
People should take advantages of this technology. They can adopt the new way of accessing data and information among this insanely increased technology.

Why Libya Is A Poor Country? يصير منها او لا

Tripoli SkylineLibya is a poor country because of the corruption. Despite the huge oil production, Libya stays as a third world poor country.

Immediately after the revolution, people started to imagine Libya as the new Dubai. Everyone was optimistic about this change. I was thinking the same. However, this dream of becoming a new Dubai in North Africa have vanished due to the current situation. There are to many issues in Libya right now. Political issues, corruption problems, and Civil war on the edge. It looks like we are going to stay a third world country.

Why Libya COULDN’T catch up with the other Developed world? We have all the required resources to become a first world country. This question is resonating in my mind everyday. Until one chapter in a book have answered everything for me.

It started while I was waiting my flight in Istanbul airport, going back to Benghazi after a short visit to Turkey. I have picked a book in the terminal. This book is The Under Cover Economist by TIM HARFORD.

Tim in his book talks about poor countries under the chapter is named Why Poor Countries Are Poor? Immediately I paid for this book, I wanted so badly. Trying to understand his point, which is almost close to my question on Libya.

During my visit to Turkey, I was fascinated by their development world. Turkey in the last five years their GDB have tripled. Turkey has paid off all their debts. Turkey is one of the fastest growing economies in the world. Turkey in the near future will become the first growing economy in Europe. What’s the relationship between Turkey, Brazil, and Singapore? The common thing is they were so behind of the first world countries. They were poor countries. However, they caught up with other world. Their GDB has dupled. They have invested in man-made resources and human resources. In Turkey, I found places that are amazing even though I couldn’t find them in the US.

In Tim’s book, he describes this theory of catching up as “Dimensional Raising” which is almost the same the economic theory “Dimensional Return”

Dimensional Return is when you add more input, the output gets smaller. For example, If someone works in a company with one computer. This worker should produce a certain a mount of work. If the company gave him another computer, his productivity will increase by using more technology. However, If the company gave him a third computer, his productivity will not increase as the first computer. And with a fourth or fifth computer, his productivity will not increase at all. Therefore, poor countries, once they invest in infrastructure and education, they will gain too much compared to developed rich countries.

When I talk with my friends, I say that we ,as Libyans, can reach the other world easier than we think. Dubai is the best example. They didn’t have to invent the technology, they just have imported the technology. They have built the tallest building in the world. Do they really built it? In short period of time they could do many things that the developed world have taken centuries to do it. They became the Dubai of today and one of the most interested cities just in few years.

Dubai

Tim has connected the dimensional return theory with the idea of doing things that get results very fast. When a poor country invests in new infrastructure the output will be magnificent compared to the developed countries. If a poor country invests in the education, they will improve the quality of their lives very fast compared to developed countries they will have just more number of unemployed people.

Libya has all the resources to do exactly what UAE did in 90s. Libya is the seventh largest oil reservation in the world, and the first in Africa. We Do have a really interesting location in the heart of the world. Libya has the ability to become a leading country in North Africa and Middle East.

Libya could invest in man-made resources such as infrastructure, and invests in human resources such as education. We don’t have to do anything, we can import everything from the other world. We could employe talent people who are really good at managing and administration. They could manage our life for certain time until we could take the control of our lives. This is simple, Dubai actually didn’t built the tallest building in the world. People form other countries built it for them.

So, after all, WHY Libya CAN’T CATCH UP WITH THE DEVELOPED COUNTRIES? Tim in his book describes that due to the wide spread corruption. Yes, Corruption is the reason of becoming countries poor. Usually, people who are in charge invest in small things just to steal more money and keep hope for ordinary people. If they didn’t invest, they would lose everything at once. Therefore, they manage to keep small investments going on to steal more.

This theory is just rightful in Libya. Libya is one of the most corruption countries in the world according to Transparency International rank. All the natural resources and money have been stoled by people who are in charge.

For 42 years Gaddafi have done this. Libya is transforming to a democratic country. We have elections now, and I hope the people who will take the charge soon are as good as people of Turkey.

Let me know your thoughts about this in the comment section below. Help me to think deeply about Libya. By thinking and planing, we could accomplish something.