For The Sake of Our Children!
By Sanaa Sabet
Founder of Dare To
For the first time since I came back to Egypt 16 years ago, I’m having difficulty finding an excuse as to what is happening to the Egyptians these days. Egyptians who have been called ‘a most patient people’, by international reporters, have, since 2011 lost their patience. It seems we have lost our bearings and somehow have misplaced our morals, caring attitude, and identity, replacing them with becoming more obsessed with self and looking for miracles to make us feel better for the miserable hard life we live.
Our remedy for this country, if it’s ever going to improve, is to change the education system, but nothing is mentioned about how the grown up’s role will be tackled in this equation. We have to understand that overhauling our education system is a long term process, especially since we don’t know what we need to do exactly! However, before we can change a system, we must first look at ourselves as adults. On closer inspection, we will find that we need to make a lot of changes to our attitudes and perceptions of our lives. We must acknowledge and comprehend what we are doing wrong in order to make it right. Then and only then can we start really making changes, based on a solid, strong foundation that has meaning and is strongly culture related.
As adults, our actions and words have a marked effect on our children. As a former School Principal, I have always maintained that education is the extension of the home and both totally depend on each other. Children are born with minds that are like a formatted hard disk and as they grow minute by minute they record all the data that is being fed directly to them, and around them, as well as the environment in which they live. What information will come out will depend on the family culture.
Unfortunately, what’s happening these days is that children are getting educated to pass exams in schools, while learning from the parents and their environment all the bad habits that destroy a nation. How can you expect things to change if a child sees their parent drive without regard for anyone’s safety, for example, coming from extreme right to extreme left suddenly to turn left; driving with their children on their laps, or not strapped in their seats. How can you ask your child not to swear if you do it yourself, or he hears it on TV or outside? There is no regard for time and hence people are late to work or meetings. Children don’t sleep early, because they often sleep for 2 hours or more in the afternoon, during school days. Subsequently, they go to school half asleep and too tired to take in any information. As both mother and father work and the mother is usually in a hurry to get the children off to school, anything is packed into the lunch box, and as the child isn’t hungry he may be forced to drink a glass of milk before leaving for school. The list is endless. I’m sure you are making your own list!
All of these negative messages are taught to our children, as part of the family culture, and they in turn apply the same rules as they grow older. The worst part is the sense of hopelessness that is developed and wanting to leave the country to live a better life in the West.
Nothing comes easy, but if we work at it, all this can eventually be set right. All it takes is a pledge by each one of us to improve and really work on fixing our mindset and looking at our world in a more positive way resulting in more fruitful positive actions. Naturally, there are things that need to change by having strict laws with penalties imposed, but even that with effort and determination can be done. Then and only then, we can see a brighter future for the sake of our children!
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