In the hands of the child is the state of humanity
Abraham Lincoln the foremost publicist and American statesman spoke first as a father and second as public officer, a father of a nation. He said, “A child is a person who is going to carry on what you have started. He is going to sit where you are sitting, and when you’re gone, attend to those things, which are important. You may adopt all the policies you please but how they are carried out depends on him. He will assume control of your duties, states and nation. He is going to move in and take over your churches, schools, universities and corporations. The state of humanity is in his hands.”
One phrase which becomes very instructive is that ‘the state of humanity is in his hands.’ I make bold to say that if the state of humanity is in the hands of the child and the child is in the hands of the teacher today, it means the state of humanity in the hands of the teachers. It therefore means the future of our nation is in the hand of the teachers. The teachers are the light and salt of humanity. I guess that is why the American-Indian proverb says, ‘we do not inherit from our forefathers. We borrow it from our children.’
The core of the TeacherFIRE program is to remind the teachers that they have the power in their hands not only to preserve but to purify humanity. They are touch bearers. They lead the way for children to follow. I guess that is why a child, who graduates from a school, is called the product of the school.
It means the society expects that school to have deposited in the child the ingredients he needs to succeed for the next level of life at the time of graduation. Unfortunately, many are children, who are released to the next level of their lives without being adequately prepared. Therefore some or most of the children being turned out are factory rejects as the custodians have committed the blunder of production error. The tragedy is that there is no way to judge the quality of the products being released to the society by our schools.
We all know that when we buy a tin of beverage or any products, written on pack are the ingredients, which make up the products. To ensure that the members of the public do not buy a factory reject, there are all kinds of regulatory bodies at work. In Nigeria we have Standard Organisation of Nigeria and in respect of food and drugs, we have The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control.
In the case of the child, who is called the product of a school there only two regulatory bodies, who are unfortunately, in most cases powerless in determining the final outcome of the product called the child. These two regulatory bodies are the conscience of the teacher or the school leadership and time. The conscience answers to passion and sense of mission. Both are only ignited by a sincere commitment to prepare the child for the future, posterity and humanity. Time as a regulatory body is a judge and a revealer. Time judges and reveals that kind of product the school and the teacher have released to the society in the person of the child.
I believe that one of the best ways to prepare children for the future is to arm them with life skills. What are life skills? They are the skills without which no man will get the best out of life. Life skills help us to negotiate the best out of life. They are tool, which help young people to live up to their responsibilities. You will recall that I have earlier shared the responsibilities of young people under Sections 19 and 20 of the Child’s Rights Act, 2003. To be committed to acquiring life skills is the measurement of a person’s commitment to personal self-improvement.
Life skills can be broken into three broad headings:
- Communication and Interpersonal Skills
- Decision-Making and Critical Thinking Skills
- Coping and Self-Management Skill
If teachers are able to help their pupils to imbibe the principle shared above, I believe they would have play their roles as people sent to help humanity.
Meet our Models
It is important to note that our entire model, shoes story we have shared in the course of this discussion understood their roles as individuals sent to save humanity. From Anne Sulliva, Booker T. Washington, Efren Peñaflorida, Erin Gruwell, George Muller , Hind al-Husseini , Janusz Korchak, Kipchoge (“Kip”) Keino, Maria Montessori, Mama Ekundayo, Ron Clark to Steve Mariotti, our models have one fundamental trait in common. It is the commitment to developing the total child. This discovery is kind of strange considering that they live in different geographical locations and at different times in history.
Listen to Maria Montessori on her commitment to equipping children with life skills. She said, ‘but although education is recognized as one of the ways of making mankind, it is nevertheless, still and only thought of as an education of the mind…And if education is conceived along the same antiquated lines of mere transmission of knowledge, there is little to be hoped from it in the bettering of a man’s future. For what is the use of transmitting knowledge if the individual’s total development lags behind…Resting no longer on a curriculum or a timetable, education must conform to the facts of human life.’
Thank you for visiting…Think the CHILD…Think TODAY…Think the FUTURE…
Note: Excerpted from my forthcoming book: ChildProtectionCREED Handbook. Watch out…
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