Don’t Blow off our Only Hope

Noriya AlSebeeh is the only candle of hope in the new (old?) government. She is assigned the responsibility of the most dangerous ministry in my opinion.

The Ministry of Education, as well as, The Teacher’s Society have been hijacked for decades by Islamists; particularly Moslem Brethrens. Their web expands to all vital veins in both institutions. And the confused youth of today is just the product of their long mind-molding strategy. Yet, Noriya is not a stranger to this ministry and she has a reputation of being strict in applying the rules on all, without discrimination; a strong personality that this ministry has long needed at decision-making levels. And I think that the Prime Minister was highly successful in making this choice.

But the question is; will she survive? That’s if this government survived and did not have the same fate as its previous ones, which is more likely the case.

Just few hours after forming the government and disclosing the names of ministers, Islamists like Thawabit Alommah (don’t know who the hell they are) and the joker-MP Altabtabai and his likes, demanded her compliance with the sharee3a in covering her head with a veil when she attends parliament sessions. This demand, they claim, is according to a condition that was attached to the law issued last year, permitting women participation in the political arena. And even though this law does not specify wearing a veil as a condition, but rather complying with Alshareea regarding the general appearance, but the trouble makers made sure to deliver the message to her, and she made sure to reply that she is a Moslem that fears no one but God. Now this message would prove its strength when she appears in the oath ceremony in the parliament with her uncovered hair. But if she wore the veil to please those Islamist, then this is an indication that she had lost the credibility as an official who can make a difference, and that she’s nothing but another head-count.

Now other than the opposition Noriya is facing, and will continue facing by the radicals in the parliament; she also has to deal with higher and middle management in the ministry; a product inherited from the previous Islamic ideologists. And the first thing she did to lessen their blow, was to assure those involved that there won’t be any changes concerning their posts. Noriya realizes very well that her enemies from within the ministry are even fiercer than the ones from without.

Now this ministry is the most problematic of all ministries, it deals with the new generation, the makers of the future of this country. And perceiving this inheritance from all directions, one can see nothing but a complete mess. The level of education, for one, is shamefully low, public schools severely lack expertise in teaching professionals (almost anyone who applies to this post is readily accepted without testing their credentials)*. School curriculums are not set to teach sciences for the purpose of producing scientists and thinkers, but rather for creating more clergymen since each chapter in science books almost always ends with verses of Quran, set to emphasize the idea of creation.

Not to mention Islamic religion courses that is biased to the teachings of the Brethrens’ ideologies, amongst which, promoting jihad and emphasizing the roles of women as housewives in an effort to prepare the generation to accept the ancient style of living under Khaleefat’s reign. And more importantly; not considering the fact that the student’s background differ when it comes to their belief systems, and that enforcing such ideologies contradicted with their teachings at home, which created more sectarianism when students’ trust in school suffered a drastic blow, especially when those students had to repeat and memories what their parents had told them not to be true. Now you can imagine what type of conflicting personalities this system shaped in the youth.

And other than that the system itself is based on the old motawa system of repetition and memorization although science had drastically improved learning processes using psychology and research as well as Net technology to develop the mind instead of just over stressing it with useless information that has no significance in the student’s future career.

This, in addition to other delicate issues such as drug and sex abuse in schools, a matter that needs prompt attention and long term planning strategy based on education, and not on the hush-hush and expulsion (fasl) attitude that escalated the problem instead of solving it (check AlQabas about two days ago).

The Ministry of Education needs sieving and sifting; it needs a long term planning to save the new generation by providing the right education. Just like fighters who are prepared with gears of war, students have to be prepared with proper tools, that allows them to face their problems instead of running away from them and ignoring their existence, as is done now. And although Noreya has no magic wand, and no one is asking her to perform miracles, but she is the most suited person available, and she has the wit and the personality to at least plant the seed of reform. Now; will she be able to withstand the radical pressure? Or would she have enough chance and enough time to fulfill her duties? I guess we only have to wait and see.

Many silent parents have their hearts hung to this hope, and I hope she is strong enough to withstand the Islamic tide that accomplished nothing in schools except destruction. We are in desperate need to save our kids, don’t blow off our only candle.

* She issued a decree to test all applicants, which is a positive point in her favor.


5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. hi-skool-teacher
    Mar 28, 2007 @ 23:19:01

    with less than 2 months experience as a high school teacher, allow me to say your post has nothing to do with Education in Kuwait and Nouria Alsubiah. it appears to me and t anyone objective that your post is driven by your anger on islamists; an anger I have on both islamists and liberals; given that the law of segregation in Kuwait University is signed by the famous liberal ahamd alrub3i.

    back to nouria. If you think she is the one who will make the reforms in education , allow me again to say you know nothing. I will talk about two mistakes she made; unforgiving mistakes.

    (1) the new integrated high school system. it is meant to combine the positives of both old high school systems we have; the national high school diploma and courses based high school (الثانوية العامة and المقررات respectively).
    the 10 grade students (first students to enroll in the new system) have 11 courses to study in the same time. the system was implemented before making the suitable arrangements like curricula and training the teachers. for curricula, they simply took the books of the higher grades and cut off few parts and thought that suits the new system! imagine, I am teaching geology to Grade 10 students and the geology course for moqurarat, the latter are older almost graduating and majored in science whereas the grade 10 students are first year hi skool students, did not declare their major (either science or art) yet they study the same concepts with almost the same details.
    in the first semester, I taught grade 10 students Biology even thou I did not study biology in the university! the same happens now for biology teachers who teach geology now!! the same is true for physics and chemistry teachers.
    until now we receive contradicting instructions on how to assess the student, the weight of first and subsequent years, etc .. all these are showing that it is implemented before having a full vision on it.
    again, this system is created by nouria.

    (2) the student portfolio for primary schools. it is a new way to evaluate the student’s skills. the question is what skills our curriculum introduce to students? nothing except memorizing stuff and writing them down! before adapting such a way for evaluation, CHANGE the curriculum to focus on skills and creative thinking.
    again, this system is created by nouria.

    you could blame islamists for anything you want, even the two mistakes nouria did, but that does not change the facts: she is the responsible not them nor not anyone else.


  2. hi-skool-teacher
    Mar 29, 2007 @ 08:19:25

    did you take off my comment?


  3. ولاّدة
    Mar 29, 2007 @ 09:42:48

    المكسب الذي سنكسبه من وجودها على رأس وزارة التربية أقل بمراحل من الخسارة اليت سنخسرها بقبولها شرط الحجاب

    وزارة التربية طوفان عفن ما يقدر عليه إلا مارد علاء الدين..وأتوقع اللي تقدر تسويه شي بسيط

    لكن لو قبلت الحجاب راح تكون سلبتنا أنا وأنتي وكل المواطنات حق الاختيار


  4. bunaz
    Mar 29, 2007 @ 11:38:32

    sorry to sound pessimistic, but If one hand can’t clap, and if it takes two to tango, then it’ll need much more than a single candle to light up a vast valley of darkness.

    thank you for coming. it was nice meeting you in person 🙂


  5. AyyA
    Mar 30, 2007 @ 10:34:26

    Thanks for the info dear. I know that being inside the ministry is not like being outside and that you must know better. As for me; I don’t personally know Noriya and what I’m deducing is according to what is written in the newspapers of which I’ve been monitoring closely because of my interest in education, especially that as a parent I had a hard time dealing with this sector. And also I want you to know that I personally was disappointed with Dr. Alrub3i’s move that took the country years back, and I don’t know if I could ever forgive him for that. Yet; I do not judge all liberals according to one person’s action, because to me liberalism is a line of thought, a state of mind and a principle. And unfortunately; many liberals in Kuwait bear nothing of the sort except the name. And unlike Moslem Brethren who is a well-organized group with far-fetched political agendas, most Kuwaiti liberals hardly agree on the same issues, and each individual presents his own opinion. But the danger of the former groups stems from their group movement and organization, no individual dares to present his own thought away from the group, and that’s what give them power; be it a disastrous one. And as for Noriya; she is more of a public figure now than she ever was before and only the future can tell her credibility to make a difference, and to me she seems like the last log for the drowned to cling to. And I hope I’m not disappointed.
    As for your second comment; I’m not really sure what you meant!!!

    Yes I do agree, but not only that; those Islamists are greedy and there is nothing to stop them; if you give them an inch, they’d ask for a mile. Look what they have done to our country because of our deadly silence. And if she gave in to their demand this time, that means she will be under their control for everything. Wi titi titi….

    I would like to keep a fraction of hope in my heart no matter how dim. And I do understand that one hand can’t clap. But I also know that a pebble can never overflow the ocean, but it sure can cause a ripple. Anas Alreshaid did not change much the policy of the country, but he sure was an inspiration to a lot of us, and he will remain a model for a lot of youths to follow.
    And thanks a lot bro for your kind invitation, you really made my day, and I was more than happy to have met you, and too bad I did not get to know you during the orange movement.


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