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
I 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
I 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
As 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
First 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
In 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
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
The 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.