I think almost everyone will agree with me that education is important, and the higher you get in the echelons of education, the higher standing you might expect in your job and career. This is quite naturally accepted worldwide, and that is why education is the highest priority for parents when preparing their children for life, it is in fact a gift I shall never forget for my own parents who have sacrificed an awful lot to allow me to continue my education in private establishments to ensure that I get the best education they can afford. This single factor, more than anything else, has so ingrained the importance of education in me.
Knowing the limited resources my parents had, I insisted after finishing my high school that I should find a full scholarship program to lessen the load on them, not that I had of course, I still had my demands: car, more spending money, etc, while I was at pursuing my higher education, but at least I managed to get and retain a full scholarship program which at least paid the education fees and allowed me to have a regular monthly cheque.
I eventually graduated and held a good job, I daresay due – again – to the investment my parents had in my private education. I was always able to excel in my studies and ultimately my job. The world was open for me, even though I came from a very “regular” working-class background; my dad’s sole income at the time was his government school teacher’s salary. There was no other income for the family.
This conditioning created a huge respect for education and academic accomplishments in me. I would happily starve myself, sell all my assets, and do away with all the pleasures in life in order to ensure that my children have a good education.
They attend one of the better schools on the island and have done so since kindergarten. I still struggle to pay the bills, and still dread that school fees invoice which now exceed BD4,000 every single school term. I pay it; however, as I see it as my duty to my children and their future and I don’t wait for the government or anyone else to hand me the required money to do so.
I must confess that I find it absolutely disgusting of the finance department of St. Christopher’s school’s threatening and uncivilized manner in which they demand payment if I inadvertently become late in satisfying their invoices. This is especially true since they moved into that multimillion Dinar facility in Shakhoora and since their accounts office was taken over by a new finance manager. She has no qualms whatsoever – for a school that is supposedly not-for-profit organisation – to issue a letter to expel the children if I become inadvertently late even though all of our children have spent all their lives there! Talk about consideration. It is as if after all the investment we have put into that school, we would choose not to pay an invoice. They can rest assured that we will, every, single, heart-wrenching, time. We do not and will not take chances with our children’s education.
Still. As disgusting, humiliating and completely un-understanding as I find that, I guess in a business it is their right to expect payments on time. And they wouldn’t care for legitimate excuses that the government owes me money since November last year which has not yet been paid due to last year’s budget not being rotated to this year’s. Let my family stew, let my children suffer, and let my blood pressure soar. What is it to them. It is just a peon pushing paper who decided not to get the payments done on time, and no matter how much cajoling and begging for your own seriously overdue money you do, their only response is that ubiquitous inshallah; I word I have come to detest as it usually means a delay and an abrogation of responsibility.
Little did I know myself that education, as far as the government is concerned, is immaterial! Look at the state of their schools, look at the state of their ministries, look at the state of their services. Are those things not evident enough?
As the press have shown us today, that even a position of undersecretary – a position which according to reports is only available for those who have at least completed their Bachelors degree – is in actual fact available to bogus degree holders! And not only that, if an undersecretary actually goes out and gets a ready degree from an unrecognised university, that will be more than sufficient to secure him the very high position of an undersecretary, a position second only to the minister!
The report tells us that this particular undersecretary not only got that position by using his apparent bogus certification, he abused the power of his undeserved office to harass and retire another person who is more qualified for the position than the usurper is! Not only that, the lowly correctly educated person discovered the superior’s bogus certification which rattled the said superior so much that he engineered a campaign to remove him forthwith! With no apparent official repercussions for that massive abuse of power.
Fortunately, the wronged person did not take this lightly and took the matter to the judicial authorities and the fireworks have already reached their zenith in this case.
If this is in fact correct – that is, an undersecretary must have an accepted university undergraduate certification to attain the job, what does it take to acquire the ultimate job of minister? Or is it as that position is purely political, does it even matter? In fact, would it be acceptable to the government to have a minister who did not even finish primary education?
I do hope not. But do educate me if otherwise, stating sources of job description and required qualification if possible please.
Where did all of this hubbub take place, I hear you ask? The Ministry of Municipalities and Agriculture!
Ah, I see that you are not surprised.
Nor am I.