Revolution does not happen in a vacuum. It has social and economic compulsions behind. It arises from inequalities of wealth, injustice and arrogance.
The revolution in Libya marks the same trace of social disparity in the loss of honor for the common people, official arrogance of autocracy and fear of law with its widespread abuses.
In all revolutions around the world, the conditions which lead up to them is the desire of the many for equality resulting either in a complete change of policy, or only in a modification of the existing one. Libya is no exception.
Undoubtedly, wide reforms and major changes are expected to take place in society after revolution in Libya. They may include economic, social, and ideological structures of a nation.
Education, out of many, is one of such concerns possibly planned for reforms in the country. It, being the most important factor, in making revolution happen, could hardly be ignored by the new authority.
Widely perceived, the level of education in Libya, whether it is primary, secondary or tertiary, even does not match the minimal standard of African parameter what to speak of international standard.
Educational reforms by definition refer to a thorough change in the structure of the educational system of a country. They always involve a political process with implications for the redistribution of power and of material resources.
Urgency in the fundamental alteration in national educational policies of Libya is the need of the hour. The revolution demands major changes in the way system of education has been running in the country.
The primary task is to look into the aims of the curricula and their content making them more relevant to the regional and local needs as the country moves toward a new path of social or economic development.
A major challenge in education in Libya is to raise the quality in most of its schools and its institutions of higher learning by allocating suitable resources to the field of education.
Efficient and well-trained teachers, good school buildings, and different kinds of technical equipment are the important prerequisites needed for successful reforms.
The old aristocracy did not make use of the formal system of education leaving the country much behind in the race of modern development.
The other area of concern is the equality of opportunity for all irrespective of sexes and their high participation in the future direction of educational development.
Investigation must be undertaken to look into the percentage of students completing different levels of the educational system and students coming from different social strata in order to meet their individual aspirations.
There is also a need to initiate fundamental changes in the structures of the development of informal and other adult education programs, thus affecting the goals and character of their educative impact on the population.
A more educated population is more productive and would have the attitudes and behaviors required for a sustained modern industrialized economy.
Specialization generally carries great weight in high learning and scholarship. Promotion of it will stimulate progress through the combined efforts of capable, motivated individuals acting as effective citizens politically, economically, and technically.
A modern nation needs participating citizens, men and women who take an active interest in education and perform their duties as members of community larger than that of the kinship or tribe network and the immediate geographical locality.
Modern Libya needs individuals who can keep to their educational responsibilities, observe ethics and principles in the rules of learning, make judgments on the basis of objective evidence, and follow authorities legitimated not by traditional or religious sanctions but by technical or professional competence.
Plato, a western philosopher, was concerned with education, for only through proper training could the State be assured of a loyal citizenry and talented leaders.
He stated: ‘If the state is to be preserved it must take care of the young, control their education in a state system independent of the whims of parents and the power of wealth, and place their training in the hands of teachers more competent and more responsible than the poor schoolmaster and pedagogue’.
Education represents a major agent for the control of social change. Libya as a nation can ignore or delay its zeal in reforming education at the peril of its own existence.
Published in print: THE TRIPOLI POST, Saturday, November 5-18, 2011, p-6