One may not be able to “legislate morality”, but one can legislate against immorality… (Proscribe vs. Prescribe). We do this by making laws against those behaviors we as a society consider to be immoral or against the interests of the state. With personal beliefs however, I am of the opinion that no person can or should be forced to believe something which they do not want to believe. It would be pure hypocrisy and against the tenets of Christianity to force someone to become a Christian. Religious beliefs are one’s personal choice, (within limits).
I think we shall be straying away topic if we go into the ‘chequered history’ of most of the major religions. Suffice it to say, where men have used religion as a mask for their own wills, much evil has resulted. My suggestion was that the church should play a greater role in influencing society so that people have a law within that prevents them from causing harm to themselves and to others. When one is regulated from within, there is not much need for regulation from without. I believe even the famed Adam Smith, saw the need for an orderly society if commerce were to prevail.
Your idea of the three ‘H’s is what I think we need more of in primary and secondary education in our nation. If we make the assumption that the state is properly functioning and represents the interests of the majority of its citizens, then I believe the total education of the youth should be given over to the state schools.
It is much easier to criticize then construct, so I guess I’m being lazy here, but I will talk about some of the shortcomings of our education system. As to academic achievement, I think for the amount of resources our schools have, they are doing an excellent job. In fact, it would be self-denigrating to say otherwise, since we are the product of these schools (Well I am at least). I think however there is this lack of cohesiveness in the approach to education. You learn about social science separately and then about science and then Math, agriculture etc… You do not see how all these things are related or what usefulness they shall have for you in later life. For example you may learn basic trigonometry and algebra in high school and then study the soil substructure and all of these are presented in a vacuum so that you do not see how these can both be related or how it may affect you in later life. Then children lose interest because it seems to be just an intellectual exercise, something to memorize to pass the tests.
If instead, education was seen to be more relevant to our youth, then perhaps they would put more effort into it. If we imbued them with the spirit of success and helped to nurture their intellectual independence at an early age, the youth of PNG would grow up to be truly independent, not only in name. What am I really saying? Basically that thus far, our education, at least in the primary and secondary level, has really had no relevance to our daily life. Basic numeracy and literacy are good for a non-thinking majority who are duped by those in power. What we need is for the next generation to be more than just literate; we need them to have the ability to analyze issues intelligently. This will help to curb the herd instinct that many of our people have.
What I have tried to say is that if we have a morally conscious and intelligent population of people, we will reduce many of the current problems we have. Education apart from morality, only equips one to do greater evil.
About free education, I do not think we can afford it even though it is highly desirable. I understand the struggles of parents when it comes to school fees, and may I suggest that if more parents, especially the fathers, were less inclined to drink they would have a greater ability to pay.
“Obviously these issues seem a burden to you so I hope this brief note will help inform your more detailed and thorough analysis, not just on Education but religion as well…”
I hope this wasn’t you being sarcastic. Obviously whatever ‘analysis’ I present will be very limited. I do not make any pretence at being well informed on these issues, whatever thoughts I have on the issue I present. I do find your postings, and those by others, very informative. I have learned much by reading from my more learned compatriots. So keep up the good work.
I hope to hear your views soon.
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