University Mirrors Society
Posted: Saturday, September 7, 2002
By Stephen Kangal M.O.M.
Institutions of higher learning cannot afford to mirror a society. They are a society unto themselves and should be the model for the society at large. It began with the earliest civilizations and has endured most recently in the examples of Berkeley, California and Kent State, Ohio, not to mention our own fine example in 1970 that resulted in the Mutiny at Teteron.
"UWI must and does reflect the ethnic diversity, the multiculturalism, the stresses, the developmental agenda, the aspirations and the prevailing value systems of the wider society. This is its mission. How therefore, can it not afford to reflect the host society?"
Once upon a time, rural or farming communities, loathed teachers because of their insistence on an education for all children. Imagine if those teachers had yielded to the wider society's prevailing value systems. Ethnic multiculturalism is implicit in pluralistic society. If an institution fulfills its function of moral character development, there would be no problems with integrity, honesty and accountability in the nation's leadership. With open minds that are a result of exposure to other cultures and values, past and present, practical and theoretical, an enlightened student body will ultimately influence the general electorate. If the alumni of our institutions of higher learning are not contributing to the greater good of all members of the wider society then those institutions have failed our children and by extension our nation's future.
"The learned Principal, with respect", now attempting to re-erect an impregnable St. Augustine wall and moat to re-establish and fortify the proverbial cloistered ivory tower to insulate, distance and alienate his UWI minions from being contaminated by the pseudo-mediocrity that he feels quite falsely prevails amongst the wider host community."
Requisite constraints to transition one's view from the subjective to the objective realm. Those freshmen already manifest the essence of the host society. It remains the responsibility of those entrusted with the development of their intellect, to provide guidance and to uphold those examples of human virtue that have proven beneficial to all civilized societies.
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