Wednesday December 13, 2017

Indigenous schooling panacea for India’s developmental woes

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By Dr. Kallol Guha

The overall development of any nation, community or group depends not on their physical infrastructure or on the volume of foreign investment pouring into their midst, but on how their indigenous schooling has culturally conditioned their human resources to take part in a sustainable and inclusive growth of their nation and themselves.

Political parties and leaders frequently speak of vikas or ‘development’ even as they chase public offices for themselves and even their children as a lucrative career option. They vow to bring in vikas if they are elected to the chair, but smartly bypass any discussion on why this vikas eluded the nation over the past 68 years.

These politicians or their affiliated parties don’t talk about the core strategy of national development- conditioning the quality of human resource through a thoroughly indigenous schooling system, rather than imitating the foreign schooling process which would marginalize one’s own culture and make people lose all sense of self-respect.

This is exactly what went wrong in India. It is by no means impossible that such an approach towards development does in fact stretch the imagination of certain politicians who are simply not matured enough, intellectually or culturally, to grasp the human significance in the developmental process.

A more likely factor is could be that many politicians deliberately ignore the factor of human-development in national development because their loyalty is towards the Anglo-American Axis power ever since 1947.

Many politicians are simply the caretakers of the foreign interest in India.

One must realize, it was the transfer of power from the colonial masters to their brokers which is termed as ‘independence’. This ‘independence’ is different from gaining freedom through mass struggle which is what Subhas Chandra Bose, Bhagat Singh, Chandrasekhar Azad tried to do.

It is amusing to conjecture what happens to the inner fabric of a nation where the history of independence is systematically falsified.

Heroes of freedom struggle are branded as terrorists or are phased out with silence. Martyrs are ignored and marginalized. The brokers of power-transfer from foreign occupation to their agents (the Mir Zafars of today) control national administration.

Corruption, underdevelopment, degradation of human resources and cultural erosion, have for all practical purposes made India an appendage of the West or a client state of the Anglo-American axis. The situation in India now is the most natural outcome of a system based on lies and deception.

As long as India is wrapped up in the Anglo-American Axis tentacles and resources worth trillions are transferred to them (as was revealed during India Against Corruption Movement), local and international marketing forces of the Axis Power will continue to propagate India as the “largest Democracy” and brand it with “Freedom of Press”.

There is no sign of a truly effective government designed after the ideas of Azad Hind Fauz, emerging in the political scenario of India. If it does, the Axis power and their Indian clients– the Anglophonic press and a large section of the Anglophonic Indians– would be one of the first to oppose them.

India has had a long tradition of being ruled by minority foreign powers. After the Afghans, Persians, Turks and British, it is now the turn of the Anglophonic Indians to rule modern India. In this context, the 90 percent of Indians who are not Anglophonic have no chance of leading a dignified life through the development of their own language, culture, and heritage.

They can, at best, expect to survive on the left-overs of the Anglophonic ruling class, who in turn thrive on the legacy of their Anglo-American masters and call it ‘development’.

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Yaounde Declaration: Africa’s answer to stop the continent’s mass rural exodus

Representatives from over 30 African countries held discussion about Africa's plan to improve roads, provide education and energy in the rural areas

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In this photo taken June 20, 2016, pedestrians shop at a market in Lagos, Nigeria. Source-VOA
  • Experts from over 30 African countries met in Yaounde, Cameroon, for a Forum on Rural Development
  • During the week-long discussions, they devised a plan to control influx of African migrants taking long and perilous journey to Europe and the US, to find work
  • At the end of the discussions, Experts adopted, The Yaounde declaration, which calls for development in rural areas so that the African youth don’t have to make the dangerous trip to Europe for seeking employment

AFRICA, September 11, 2016: Representatives of 30 African countries have been working this week to map out ways to stop the continent’s mass rural exodus at the Forum on Rural Development in Yaounde.

Emmanuel Afessi works on his desktop at Odja center in Cameroon’s capital, Yaounde, where he is training 30 youths on information technologies at the center he created when he returned from the United States a year ago.

“Africa needs to produce its own knowledge, its own equipment and that is why we want to train people within the continent,” he said. “ICTs help close the gap between the developed and the developing world much faster than any technology including the motor vehicles. It is a large contributor to most African countries GDPs today. Think about just the whole aspects of internet and mobile phone. That is a huge multi-billion dollar market.”

The 33-year-old Afessi says he was unemployed and fled to Paris and then the United States, where he was denied refugee status. He says he could not find work and decided to return home, sell his father’s piece of land, and open the ICT center.

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Afessi was part of Africa’s rapidly growing population of emigrants. The U.N. Refugee Agency reports estimates this year nearly 47,000 migrants have reached Italy, the vast majority of them Sub-Saharan Africans.

A representative of Kenyan civil society organizations at the Forum on Rural Development, Vitalis Abbasi, says many of the migrants are highly educated, but unemployed and are traveling from rural areas in search of opportunities.

“If the roads were good, the energy systems were well, we could also access information and communication technologies, a lot of people will stay in those areas,” said Abbasi. “We could lift people up in those areas by pulling agriculture production up. So once people get a bit more money in their pockets, it is now easier for the rest of the economy to grow because when a lot of rural people have a bit more money in their pockets, even up to $2 per day average, they start consuming industrial goods, also manufacturing our own goods, rather than always depending on importing.”

Experts from 30 African countries adopted what they call the Yaounde declaration that invites Africa to invest more in the rural areas youths are deserting. They say Africa is losing its trained human capital if current trends continue.

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The head of program implementation at the New Partnership for Africa’s Development, Estherine Fotabong, says governments should have the political will to create enabling environments for the private sector and civil society groups.

“We still have the majority of Africans living in rural areas, despite the rapid urbanization rates and from different studies the projection is that up to 2035 that will still be the case,” said Fotabong. “We still have most Africans employed in agriculture and we still have lots of land in our rural areas, so why not invest in social amenities, in infrastructure, in better education systems, in industrialization in rural areas so that youths will not see any reason to leave the rural areas to go to the cities.”

The Yaounde declaration is accompanied by a call for action that requests African heads of state to support the implementation of an action plan being developed to stop Africans from having to make the dangerous trip to Europe. (VOA)

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Hamas says, a Woman must have a protector while Driving with a Male Instructor

The Palestinian territory has been under the rule of an Islamist organization, Hamas, since June 2007

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gaza
  • The presence of a chaperone for a female student taking driving lessons from a male instructor in Gaza is essential
  • While this move is largely rejected by most driving schools, a few see this as an opportunity to increase revenue
  • The matter is taken by religious judges, some of whom believe the policy is not necessary

The Gaza Strip that is lodged between the borders of Israel and Egypt, saw the rise of a new debate that revolved around new regulations for driving lessons taken by women. The Palestinian territory has been under the rule of an Islamist organization, Hamas, since June 2007, whose internal intelligence police want to enforce stricter laws regarding women.

According to Hamas police, women must be accompanied by someone while taking driving lessons if their driving instructor happens to be a man. Gaza is nowhere near as strict on Islamic morality issues regarding women as Saudi Arabia and Iran, which is why many driving schools in the strip are appalled by this new development. Driving instructor Mohammed al-Hattab was perplexed when the cops stopped him in the middle of his lessons because he was alone in the car with a woman.

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Experts believe this new development is totally unnecessary because all reputed driving schools in Gaza exercise a compulsory ‘morality test’ before hiring instructors. Moreover, no school will entertain sexual offences from employees since it will largely mar their reputations. Even against this backdrop, Hamas authorities remain stubborn.

A poster "End Hamas Terror". Image: Wikipedia
A poster “End Hamas Terror”. Image: Wikipedia

This new intention for Hamas authorities to follow the tenets of Islam which dictate that every woman in public must be accompanied by her husband or a male family member is surprisingly welcomed by a few driving schools, who have seized this opportunity for improving business. In Gaza, anyone can suffice as a chaperone for driving lessons, and fathers are more willing to send their daughters to learn driving if their safety is ensured. A few women that were interviewed admit they feel more at ease with the presence of an escort if a male instructor is conducting the lessons.

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Religious judges like Hassan al-Juju against the use of the term mahram for something so inconsequential is a ‘driving school’ chaperone, which the Hamas police loosely employ to enforce the policy. They believe it dilutes the holy sentiment that the word represents. Mahram is any man who serves as a guardian for a woman when she embarks on the religious journey to Hajj, and his job is to protect the woman from any predicament.

-by Saurabh Bodas, an intern at NewsGram. Twitter:@saurabhbodas96

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Backward Assam Village Heads for Brighter Days

Gone are the days of illiteracy and poor living conditions

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Image: Wikimedia Commons

Rani (Assam): Forty-five-year-old Dhaneswar Boro is excited that his days of illiteracy are over. He can now write his name is Assamese and he is gradually getting to know his rights as an Indian citizen.

But it was a bleak story till last year. Life remained stuck in a morass of underdevelopment in Bakrapara village in Rani development block, just 30 km from the state’s main city of Guwahati. However, the winds of change are now blowing, thanks to Guwahati’s NPS International School that has adopted the village as part of its CSR (corporate social responsibility) initiative.

Bakrapara, Assam
Bakrapara, Assam,Image Source: www.thehansindia.com

For decades, Dhaneswar and his fellow villagers here lived without the basic facilities. Their life revolved around cultivating land, fishing and selling the catch in the local market. Many among them earned their living as daily labourers. The developmental schemes of the central and state governments didn’t reach this village, which lies in the Dispur assembly constituency.

The curse of illiteracy passed on from one generation to another- the 70 families here could not afford to send their children to school due to lack of money. The dark shadow of poverty loomed large.

But all that’s in past now, ever since the village was adopted by NPS International School in 2015.

Related article– Barsimaluguri: Story of transformation of an Assam Village

“We adopted the village in 2015 as part of our Corporate Social Responsibility and we are working for the betterment of the living conditions of the people,” NPS International School director J.N. Das told IANS.

“The families here belong to the BPL category and we are training them on alternative livelihood options.

“We have brought in experts to train the villagers on rearing pigs, ducks and chicken, which has benefited them economically,” Das added.

Thanks to the effort, several villagers have now taken up rearing pigs, ducks, goats and chicken, moving away from their traditional occupations.

It’s also changing for the senior villagers, for whom the school organises literacy camps. They are also being trained on health, hygiene and other issues.

The initiative also has an environmental aspect to it — the villagers are being made aware about the hazardous effects of plastic.

“We are telling them about the need to conserve the environment,” Das informed, adding that the the village has been declared a ‘no-plastic zone’ and anyone found dumping plastic and other non-biodegradable waste is slapped with a fine.

The villagers have planted about 100 saplings last year as part of the green initiative.

Das’s claims are endorsed by Dhaneswar. “There have been so many changes here after the NPS School adopted the village. We are learning how to conserve the nature. My wife has been trained on rearing duck and chicken. It is benefiting us economically,” Dhaneswar told IANS.

“Politicians come here only at the time of elections. But now, the days are changing for good. I feel the younger generation will see better days,” chimed in Dipak Basumatary, another villager.

A primary school was set up in the village about 20 years back. The few children who study there now have a chance to interact with their counterparts at the NPS International School.

“These interactions will certainly benefit our children as they will learn a lot of new things,” said Ila Kachari, an elderly village woman, who proudly added that she too can now write her name after participating in the literacy program.

“The village used to be backward. But we are now developing it as a model village. We are ensuring that the villagers participate in all the activities,” Das said. (IANS)