Harmony at heart | Daily News

Harmony at heart

School of Excellence, Madurankuliya

A loving atmosphere in your home is the foundation of your life. Perfect Prefect features Head Prefects of School of Excellence, Madurankuliya, Jesahir Rushdhy and Fathima Nashika, who feel that some credit for their success must be given to the family unit.

Head Boy School of Excellence, Jesahir Rushdhy points out that ‘hate speech’ is really causing a lot of distress, pain and turmoil in society.

Hate speech can be defined as a direct attack on people based on their race, ethnicity, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, caste, sex, gender and political affiliation. Then there is another form of hate speech. There is also hate speech directed at individuals due to the perpetrator’s own insecurities. Some of this hate speech can be rather vicious. One example is the case of Rosalie Avila, a 13-year-old, who took her own life after being taunted by her classmates. Through social media we know about the reasons for bullying. The question is how do we combat hate speech at that level?

But there is another sinister form of hate speech by perpetrators far more malevolent than bullies at school. These are leaders who use rhetoric to incite hatred and violence, driving their people to commit acts of unspeakable evil. Hitler, the evil genius is unsurpassed when it comes to this kind of evil. The Holocaust was the systematic, state-sponsored persecution and murder of six million Jews by the Nazi regime. To put it simply this is how the words of one man resulted in genocide.

“Today hate speech has become a serious problem. I think in order to make a difference in society we need to raise awareness about hate speech. We need to raise public awareness concerning the dangers posed by hate speech. We must take action against hate speech in order to protect individuals. I see so many young people doing this and it makes me very proud to be one of them,” explained Rushdhy.

Three months ago New Zealand said on Friday that it plans to strengthen its hate speech laws and increase penalties for inciting hatred and discrimination in response to the attack by a white supremacist in Christchurch two years ago that killed 51 Muslims.

It is clear that we need to combat hate speech and as Rushdhy points out, this must be done by raising public awareness concerning the dangers posed by hate speech. The best way to do this is by starting with our children.

“Poverty is a problem, however there are parents that make ends meet and see that their children have what they need to complete their education. However, some children from poor families are not that fortunate. In many parts of the world most of those living in extreme poverty do lack a basic education. I am the youngest to a single parent, and my family too has experienced ups and downs. I am convinced that my success lies in my hands,” pointed out Rushdhy.

He states that his ambition is to become a Software Engineer. His interests lie in the IT field and he aspires to become one of the best in the world. However, his dream to educate the uneducated is one that he will never relinquish. It might be charity or any other way but he is determined to help the needy and the orphans.

His mission is admirable. But what is he up against? An article on the internet exactly one year ago by Olivia Giovetti – ‘How does education affect poverty. It can help end it’ says that according to UNESCO, if all students in low-income countries had just basic reading skills (nothing else), an estimated 171 million people could escape extreme poverty. If all adults completed secondary education, we could cut the global poverty rate by more than half.

“I want to tell all young people that you should never give up on your goals and dreams. Be resourceful and always find a way to achieve your goals and ignore peoples’ negative remarks. Always try to think outside the box. Reading is of tremendous value but also do not forget to experience life around you and create your own identity. I also want to say that my mother is my biggest inspiration in life. She continues to motivate me and always will. The advice she has given me will always be a source of guidance. Her support and encouragement means so much to me. I am so grateful to her because she encountered so many difficulties while bringing me up but made sure that I had everything I needed.”

Last but not least he wished to thank his Principal and teachers for all their support.

To her classmates Head Girl of School of Excellence, Fathima Nashika, is a mediator. She is the first to intervene when there is an argument and as Head Girl she tries to ensure that there is harmony within the School of Excellence. Nashika sees herself as a responsible leader. She always thinks of the next generation and understands the importance in building up the next generation of leaders.

“I am there to motivate the students in my school who are younger than me. This is because they will have to face so many challenges and difficulties in life and that is inevitable. They will one day occupy key positions in an organization. And they will need to find solutions. Achieving goals and succeeding in life is important but an individual needs to know how to work in a team and achieve the objectives of the team. They must understand the realities of life. Today’s children are tomorrows leaders and I wish to impart my knowledge,” explained Nashika.

Indeed, Nashika brings up some excellent points. Covid19 has forced State leaders, government officials and medical professionals to come up with their own answers. For people around the world and their leaders it is possibly the most distressing situation they have ever faced. And as one can see on the news the virus is still causing widespread devastation.

“I would like to ask all youngsters to grow in self- confidence. It is not something that will happen overnight. Hone your decision making skills, because in the future you will need to take decisions at a crucial stages. You will become an effective leader over time once you refine your organizational skills. Also you need to be trustworthy and congenial. It is so important to have a strong team spirit.”

Nashika proudly says that her biggest inspiration in life is her mother. She sacrificed everything for Nashika.

“All I am I owe to my mother. If you ask me to come up with a leader I admire, then that would be my school principal. He is so calm, cool and collected. He is never fazed by anything. He is patient and has this ability to motivate his students. He just brings out the best in people,” said Nashika.

Her dream is to continue her studies in the IT field and become a Network Administrator. Like her partner the Head Boy, even she wishes to help students succeed in life. While the Head Boy wishes to help orphans, the needy and those who lack a basic education due to poverty, she wants to help students who are backward in studies but who have hidden talents. These are children who show inability to progress normally in school work. Such children need special care from school authorities, parents and others. Backwardness in education is a vast area. That is why a trained and competent teacher is indispensable.

According to How to Educate a Backward Child? Psychology: “The teacher must have great patience and firm determination. They should never to be discouraged, while at the same time clearly recognizing the child’s limitations. Moreover, the teacher must respect the child. A backward child needs praise, continuous help, sympathetic consideration of his/her difficulties and sustained interest on the part of his teacher.”

“I thank the Almighty for giving me this wonderful opportunity to be the Head Girl. I consider this a blessing. From the bottom of my heart I wish to thank the school administration for putting their trust in me. I wish to thank my Principal and all my teachers.”

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