Recently I had a very intense debate with a french friend about the causes and possible solutions to stop the rise of racial and social violence in France. He was telling that the current situation required repression against the aggressors and me, being very “peace & love” on my side, I am deeply convinced that the best way to solve this issue is to deal with its root causes and that the government has to focus on the change of people’s education.
According to me, it starts all in the childhood, with the education and children environment . Not the mentality, origin or DNA. I don’t believe that Arabic, Asian or Slavic people (or people from any other origin) has any determined genetic predisposition. And that people, when well-educated, can solve their problems without violence. In parallel, I also think that today’s educative system (in the majority of countries) is not at all adapted to our current world, and its social and economical challenges.
Let’s face facts: our world changed dramatically in last decades. First of all, we are constantly connected and spending more and more time online, exposing our personal data and not always being able to control what’s going to happen with this data.
Secondly, the world became truly global. The economies of all countries (maybe except North Korea) are closely linked, impacting the our daily lives. It became also really easy to move from one country to another and start living overnight another life and being surrounded by another culture.
Thirdly, the Internet provided us limitless possibilities. It became easy to find any information, to learn or to work without going anywhere by just digging into the Web. Allowing to the global entrepreneurship to increase last years.
On the other side, the educational system of the majority of countries is completely outdated. Children still learn math and history, geography and nothing about the their rights and duties in the digital world (even if they spend half of their life’s there). They do not learn how to communicate and live together with people from different cultures. They do not learn how to become independent and undertake action by themselves: make a speech, start a business, research information etc.
This misalignment between what children learn and the real world’s challenges create citizens who become completely lost when they have to start finding their way in life. Some of them manage to learn by themselves (or thanks to parents) but others are less lucky and become frustrated, which can eventuality lead to violence and actions that they can regret afterwards.
So who is responsible and what can be done? On my opinion the government can do already a lot. Yes, it will take time and require investment. But honestly, the deal is worth it.
Of course I am not the only one who noticed this rising need. The World Economical Forum recognized the issue too: “…As globalization and rapid advancements in technology continue to transform civic space and the world of work, education systems have grown increasingly disconnected from the realities and needs of global economies and societies. Education models must adapt to equip children with the skills to create a more inclusive, cohesive and productive world“.
They identified topics that should be added to the curricula of every school in order to empower kids to deal with digital world’s challenges: “… While traditional education metrics of literacy and numeracy are vital, society also requires learners to have a range of holistic skills to thrive in the modern world. These include creative, technology, innovation and interpersonal skills”
They also suggested new ways of teaching: “… Creating a playful learning environment with technology can tap into children’s natural ability to learn through play – and develop the rapid learning skills essential today”
Now, what about the multicultural aspect? From my side I would also add such topics as “life in multicultural society”, “psychology” and “inclusion”. And those, since very young age. It is always much easier to explain something to kids rather than teenagers…
In parallel, the environment in which kids evolve is also crucial. We as humans are constantly influenced by what’s happening around us: our parents and friends’ opinions, our health, financial welfare, the advertisement, cultural traditions, religion etc.. So it is a very complex topic and the solutions shall be thought in a holistic way, taking into account all those different factors. By improving the life conditions of its citizens the government will definitely decrease the violence in its country.
It is a huge project but I truly think that the school is a good point to start. It is the place where children make their first experiences, meet first friends and where they form their first opinions. So maybe it is also the good place to form relevant opinions and to create citizens that will respect each other and will become empowered for today’s world?
Would be great if you can share your own opinions and in the meanwhile please take care, life is though.