More honourable to fail than to cheat
Daily Mirror Editorial
Mar 23, 2011

According to the thinking of the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), wars, begin, continue and end in the hearts and minds of people. Therefore it is education which should be mainly used to curb or eradicate violence and abuse of power because at a time when lawlessness appears to be getting out of control as seen in the diabolical killing of two Buddhist monks at the Raja Maha Vihara in Kotte on Tuesday night. All our places of education must be involved in telling our children that both the southern uprisings of the 1970s and the 1980s and the northern uprising were primarily due to injustice. The southern uprising was largely due to the Governments being unable to give the southern educated youth the openings and opportunities they needed for progress in life and to be productive citizens. The northern was largely because the government was unwilling to share power give equal status or opportunities to the minorities who therefore saw themselves as second or third class citizens. Education must help our students to come to an understanding that the bloody 30-year war was largely due to the minorities not being given equal rights relating to language, education and other issues.

National reconciliation needs to be part of the teaching in our schools, hence the need for schools that will recognize and respect languages and the religions of our this area of education the role of the religious leaders is important. Education must also be available in the homes and places of worship, based on values of selflessness, liberation from self-centredness and sacrificial service to others. It is such an educational dimension which can rebuild our society and nation from our past record of violence and abuse of power for which all our communities are responsible.

We need to reflect deeply on the letter sent by the legendary president of the United States to his son’s teacher.

“He will have to learn, I know, that all people are not just, all people are not true.

But teach him also that for every scoundrel there is a hero; that for every selfish Politician, there is a dedicated leader. Teach him that for every enemy there is a friend. Steer him away from envy, if you can and teach him the secret of quiet laughter.

Let him learn early that the bullies are the easiest to lick... Teach him, if you can, the wonder of books...

But also give him quiet time to ponder the eternal mystery of birds in the sky, bees in the sun, and the flowers on a green hillside.

In the school teach him it is more honourable to fail than to cheat... Try to give my son the strength not to follow the crowd when everyone is getting on the band wagon... Teach him to listen to all people but teach him also to filter all he hears on a screen of truth, and take only the good that comes through.”

Source: Daily Mirror - Sri Lanka