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By Sajeda Sharief
Teachers should give lessons about kindness and respect, but what if in the middle of a lesson in the class room you notice the teacher describing people from a certain nationality as dirty, or even calling out a religion that’s important for millions of people and say its dump, its actually racism in the schools of Libya.
Its been said a lot in many schools I attended that education isn’t only about science but its also about manners, though it becomes confusing later on if manners here are meant to be respect and equality or discrimination and violence.
The lack of diversity in Libya is a big problem because it appears that lack of diversity causes lack of humanity in the mentality of people, even though its not direct but this mentality has become part of the education system that targets young people who are mostly under eighteen. When teachers would throw sexist and racist phrases as part of the lesson, they let pupils think that its okay to not to look at people as equals, or think that people of certain color are less than they are, which is a dangerous mentality to grow, especially if we want to save the future of human rights in Libya.
The lack of diversity and spontaneous phrases from teachers are not the only reasons for racism in schools but also the lack of awareness of what is racist between students, we study subjects like philosophy, social studies and psychology but none of the books we study mention any thing about what is racism or equality, its never been said that humanity is the most important thing between people not religious beliefs, in fact once a teacher said directly clear to student that if someone is not a Muslim then he or she are not worthy of protection, that was so disappointing but what disappointed me more is the agreements that students showed on their faces when that was said, it was terrorizing to think how people of my generation are getting massages of hate instead of peace in these war times, It’s the right of young people to be informed of their rights and the rights of other people, it’s a crime to raise an entire generation over racism and the violations of other people but not kindness and humanity, if it keeps going like that this will make children value
discrimination more than liberty.
Manners in Libyan schools now could point you to be violent in order to take what is yours, because teachers do not often turn to solve a fight between two by understanding and talking, they would instead blame the person who has not won the fight of their lack of courage, and this happened to me when a teacher did not bother to tell off a student from taking my seat though she said to me that what happened was because of my lack of stubbornness, I couldn’t help thinking if what she meant by stubbornness is me to go and hit the other student, because this was me preferring to ask the teacher to solve our problem instead of going on in the fight but I was tolled off.
Its only common in schools now to as they say “show the rad eye” which is an expression of anger not kindness. Not to friend a person of other beliefs, kill who is “Kafir” because they are villains and up to no good, only help a fellow Muslim, are all lessons that students get every day, forgetting to mention that Islam teach us to be kind to our neighbors ,feed the poor, and most importantly look at people as equals .
The most important step of building peace is to stop building hatred. We need to educate youth about peace and make them understand, and one of our basic needs is to offer education books that actually talk about humanity.
Every day things like that reminds me more of the importance of my role and and other young people in building peace. Its youth that builds the future that’s why we need to look after the humanity of young people. I chose to be part of the Together we build it organization to try and do some difference with the help of others who value peace building and awareness, so we can step by step advance and build a developed future that’s safe for the rights of human kind in general.