28 July 2011

On Those We Stand

When looking around where we are right now, it remains important to recognize that we stand on the shoulders of those that went before us. It is the permeating respect for ancestors, recognizing their lasting-presence as is being exercised in our rural environment, which reminds me daily of this universal truth. Those before us sculptured us, incubated our life, taught us language, and provided us a heritage to work with. We are who we are today, also because of them.

The prime cross cultural teaching method and the prime way of education in our environment is storytelling. It transfers memes of our great leaders, from history. Our collective and individual memory is thus full of tales and guidance provided by these persons. Frequent revisiting this guidance, also with respect to current developments and progressing knowledge, unearths grounded view points, and fuels sustainable innovation.

We better take heed and recognize this guidance, as it can provide valuable insights for our future efforts embedded in principled stewardship.

18 July 2011

Communocentric Culture

What about environments where we search for common values, where service is the fundamental quality of leadership, where tolerance in diversity is the norm, where sufficient consensus is the aim, were empathy and compassionate inclusiveness colours human interaction, and where contradictions are embraced? Where 'we' goes before 'I', where the community is the soil in which outcomes germinate, where history and its heritage is the fertilizer for future development? A society pragmatic yet idealistic, introspectively humble, compassionate and empathetic, embedded in kinship.

In Macha, we are members, live with paradoxes, reason with fear, empathize through non-rational instinct, frown at insisting self-interest, we share, arbitrate, reconcile, have compassion, come out together, and use problem-solving to build relationships.

Actually, these are virtues of Ubuntu-thinking, a hermeneutical approach and African receipt for co-existential collaboration, engendering of trust, and teamly co-creation.

13 July 2011

Education Works-in-Progress

Education is changing, all over the world. The traditional, mechanic repetitive, rota education method in rural African schools are about to change too.

We hope to inspire communities to empower their children to become creators of jobs, to be builders of communities, to be engineers of tools for main stream activities, and to be humanness though-leaders. All in the aim for education to be relevant in the local context, in rural Africa too. Thus also addressing issues like agricultural practices, animal husbandry, and cultural expressions, which techniques are put in practice daily, but not necessary at school though.

Education is instrumental in raising change-makers to counter the 'bad three': poverty, ignorance, and decease. Of course, focus on Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic will remain, however, Reasoning and Rhythm are to be added to the mix. The latter two to understand the difference in thinking in the world at large, and to empower the search for harmony with traditions of history of mankind in Africa.

In my view it is always time for breakthrough in education, on all levels. Innovations that help to think local, act global - telling stories of the past that shape the future – feeding brains with wholesome thoughts – engender success stories by and for students, that entice holistic post-disciplinary thinking – utilizing all border slashing and assistiveness Information and Communications Technologies can bolster – supporting true life long learning, wherever one is – involving the whole community in all aspects of education – and using the strength of youth.

Are we caught in chicken and egg situations? Where are the bold ideas, where the future bringing visions? We are working on them, and I like it!

10 July 2011

Harmonized Outcome

During recent encounters in France I noticed French appreciation of individual thinking, as during interacting with philosophic treatise. I met francophone intelligentsia passionately espousing the value of pursuit of purely academic activities, as in entering new grounds in mathematics.

At the same time, close encounters with German intellectuals showed how their passion grew attacking tangible situations, in pursuit of emerging of tangible products.

I am thus re-sensitized to what the African culture mostly values as the result of its toils: relationships.

Yes, the most important outcome of activity is relationship. Aiming at that outcome, the Chief arbitrates. Thus the community conduits opinions and needs. Thus local culture probes stakeholder positions, keeps verbal record of communications, and stores ingredients for building unity. Thus correctness surfaces in terms of harmony.

In Africa I notice that value is recognized in those that facilitate problem solving approaches, affect joint gains, and bring together differing parties. Those who engender relationship.