Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Code of ethics ... LOL

Today I spent an hour in a meeting with two people, and through the discussion and the people themselves I've learnt alot, more than i have learnt in any other hour maybe in my whole life.
The thing was an interview i went to with one of the researchers i'm assisting, doing a research about education in Egypt and how it affects our students' identities as Egyptians. We met with some guy who's the 'president' of an NGO that's targeting the same topic in a more practical way, they're trying to impose a change that would eventually lead to our students learning the values without having any sort of bias or discrimination in their thoughts, trying to instill the values of dialogue and accepting others of different races, genders or religions ... try to make people aware of how their country is governed and what their rights are ... all which are things and values that i totally respect and appreciate that for the first 15 minutes i was totally in love with the guy ... apart from the fact that he's too showy and arrogant about how his CV is so full...
anyways, all was good until more deeper talk was initiated in the matter, then it just struck me ... add eih bab el Naggar me7'alla3 ... w add eih e7na sha3b mezyaat ... we add eih fe3lan there's no good project for improvement in this country that does not go astray from the personal benefit of its creators ... i was totally surprised by how my total respect and high thinking for a guy whose 'aim' is to spread awareness and knowledge and his own beliefs turned to my thinking 'how ignorant are you about your own matter!!'
What made me think this was when we were discussing how teaching religion in schools affect all the things previously mentioned. The guy was really against it (which i know lots of people are) but his examples and reasons were so ... i can't even find the word. It was so contradicting. His opinion was that when a 7 year old find his class being divided and christians moving outside to another class to be taught another curriculum about their religion will force this child to wonder, and talk to his parents and ask what christianity is, why do they believe in Jesus as a holy person and why they don't believe in God the way we muslims do ... and the same with the christian kid, wondering the same thing and asking his parents about all the differences ... and then the parents (and in his words specially the moms cause they're the ones available all the time) would eventually push the child to believe that those poeple are non believers and their beliefs are not right which would eventually cause the child to grow hate inside him towards those having different religious beliefs.
So the guy's brilliant solution was to cancel religion classes at school and since most religions teach the same things when it comes to ethics of truthfulness, equality, respect to the elderly and OTHER PEOPLE'S DIFFERENT BELIEFS AND OPINIONS, we should make other common classes and call it Religious Codes of Ethics that all the students would attend together. Because (according to him) the religious curriculum doesn't teach them shit!
now i want to focus a bit on that previous paragraph with this brilliant idea of his ... Is it only me who notices or is it totally contradicting?
How the hell is it the religious curriculum's fault when you just said that those values (specially the ones in bold) are taught to them anyways? and then he was totally surprised by the question. 'do they actually teach that?' DUH!!!
my opinion is .... it's the people's awareness themselves that needs to change ... of there's a change to be made in the way they are taught stuff then let it be in the way their taught it, let them learn in the right way, let them be taught correctly, let them actually look at this curriculum and grasp it instead of just highlighting words and learning how to put them next to each other in the correct order in order to jot them down in the final exam paper and pass! i'm TOTALLY against canceling religious teaching in schools, whether Muslim or Christian btw because if that's canceled and with all the pressure there is on students from all the other subjects and how much material they have to intake, most of them will have no way what so ever to know anything about their religion. the religions that BOTH would lead them to learning those values if they just take studying them seriously ... so why the heck do we act as revolutionaries and work on changing a shit load of things to reach something that we can also reach by just taking one matter more seriously ... that's called awareness! it actually reminds me of a line one of my friends just told me this week '3a22adha yabny aktar 3ashan rabbena ye3a22adha 3aleek'
and now the awareness people need awareness themselves! how ironic is that.
the problem in all this is that i think this is just a small example on what goes on in all attempts to improve or solve anything in here. People appoint themselves as saviors and say they're trying to spread something and would you take a deep look, or actually sometimes just a glance, you'll find that they themselves couldn't lack it more.
the funny ending is that those two, the researcher and the ethic code guy, after they finished the talk, both just said quick goodbyes and ran out leaving me the assistant to pay for the drinks ... tadbeesa ya3ny ... code of ethics ... LMAO


Ran said...

DAH!!! everyone is tryin to think outside the box that we r about to forget whut was inside in the first place
hope i'm makin any sense!!!

haijekov said...

perfect sense :)

Kristen said...

Hey, I didn't leave you to pay for my drink because I bought it before I met with you! Ouch that hurts that you think I have no code of ethics... I left without paying you for the hour partly because I was unsure if I should pay for an hour when you didn't really translate anything... Anyhow, I'll see you again soon so don't worry, you will get your money and I'll even pay for the guy's drink. The only other comment I wanted to add was that yes, I agree it is not religious education's fault that the state is not teaching the ethics correctly, but I would like to add that there is an inherent nature of religions to create divisions among people, to identify one group as "saved" or "truly moral" in comparison with others who are just "confused" or who got it "wrong". In other words, it creates a right versus wrong distinction between people which can very quickly snowball into worse things like racism or prejudice. I guess the answer would be to create a curriculum that was very wary of teaching these divisions, but I have read parts of the Quran and the Bible that say their followers are the truly correct and saved crowd versus others who are ignorant. Thus I am not entirely sure if such a religious curriculum can exist...

cesario said...

I don't think that religion classes only are responsible for fanatics attitude.
Sure, each of us learn that the other religion is not the true one, but as haijekov said, we also learn about living with and respecting other religions.Yet, we go to our parents{for many, the first point of reference as a child} with all these thoughts and ideas, if the parent is a fanatic or a racist, chances are that he/she is going to instill this in the child. So, I think that parents have more effect than religion classes.
Also, I completely disagree with canceling religion classes; As for me, I didn't really understand God and religion until maybe my teens, but when I did, all the things I learnt in religion classes made sense and they gave me great info.
So, They do help.

haijekov said...

thanks cesario for your interesting thoughts, there are later posts too that contain other interesting ideas towards the subject if you'd like to check them out

Cady said...

Good post.